Humans have been fishing for thousands of years, and even today the sport of fishing is growing all over the world.
With countless fishing methods, remote locations, and new scientific discoveries being made every day, it’s no wonder so many people love this timeless hobby.
In this article, I am sharing with you 36 of the coolest fishing facts that will blow your mind!
Table of Contents
The Largest Fishing Lure In The World Is As Long As A School Bus
The largest fishing lure in the world is a red and yellow spoon with a treble hook that is more than 40 feet long, with the spoon being 27.5 feet long and 9.5 feet wide. The treble hook is 14 feet long and 8 feet wide.
The record is credited to siblings Brad Pallister and Jessica Dew and sits outside the Thompson-Pallister Bait Company in Alberta, Canada.
I would hate to see the fish that hits on that!
The Anglerfish Fishes With A Rod And Bait
Female Anglerfish have a long appendage on the top of their heads that has a fleshy lure at the end of it.
They use their “pole” to waive the lure around to entice other fish, then gulp them down!
Fishing Made Us Human
Scientists have found evidence from 1.9 million years ago that our early, pre-human hominid ancestors caught, processed, and ate fish.
They believe that their diets, rich in fish protein, were a vital component that contributed to the rapid expansion of hominid brain size. This eventually led to the evolution of Homoerectus, later followed by Homosapiens!
The Fish Indians Taught The Pilgrims To Plant Is Still Used Today
Menhaden were the fish that the Indians told the first Pilgrims in Massachusetts to use as fertilizer.
They are still considered “the most important fish in the sea” and have several important uses including in pet foods, cosmetics, and food supplements, among other uses.
And yes, we still use them for fertilizer!
The Heaviest Blue Catfish
The heaviest catfish was caught in Kerr Lake, Bugg Island, Virginia.
It was caught on June 18th, 2011 by Richard Nicholas Anderson. The blue catfish he caught weighed in at 143 pounds!
Largemouth And Smallmouth Bass Aren’t Actually Bass
Both of the most common species of bass aren’t bass!
They are members of the sunfish family, which means that they are more closely related to bluegills and pumpkinseed fish than to real bass!
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Stone Age Fishing Tackle Would Look Familiar To Modern Fisherman
At a site in Israel, archaeologists found stone-age fish hooks and sinkers from 12,000 years ago.
The hooks were made of bone and correspond with modern fishhooks, both in a range of sizes and styles. There are unbarbed hooks and also barbed hooks of several different types.
With the hooks, they also found stone age sinkers! These were round pebbles with a groove carved around them to hold the fishing line.
More Than 30 Million Americans Go Fishing Each Year
The number of Americans who go fishing in any given year is over 30 million, and that number is growing.
This means that well over ten percent of the population over 16 goes fishing in any given year!
It’s no wonder they say fishing is good for your health!
The Oldest Freshwater Gamefish Ever Caught Was Over 100 Years Old
A female Bigmouth Buffalo caught near Pelican Rapids, Minnesota was found to be 112 years old.
Of the 386 bigmouth Buffalo they tested, 90 percent of the population was over 80 years old and five were over 100!
Maria Delores Montesinos Fernandez Is The Most Accurate Fly Caster Ever
On December 11th, 2011, Ms. Fernandez cast a weighted fly into a fishbowl that had a 6.8-inch opening from 23 feet away without touching the sides!
She did this on the set of El Show de Los Records, in Madrid, Spain.
Fisherman Spend Over 45 Billion A Year On Fishing
This includes money spent on gear, licensing clothing, and accommodations. Fishing is a serious boost to the economy and a major source of funding for the maintenance and conservation of our waterways and species.
The Hagfish Is The Weirdest Fish
Hagfish are an incredible slimy jawless eel that lives in the ocean.
If disturbed they can produce enough slime to fill a two-gallon bucket in a matter of minutes.
They are also the only fish that sneezes. Weird!
Lampreys Are A Remnant Of The Ancient Past
Lampreys (along with hagfish) are the last holdovers of a time before fish evolved jaws. At one time, all fish were jawless.
For unknown reasons, these two species stopped evolving and are now the last representatives of what all fish once were like!
You Can Tell A Fish’s Age The Same Way You Can Tell A Tree’s
By counting growth rings! Just like a ring in the tree’s wood tell its age, so do the rings in fish.
These can be either in their scales or ear bones, which are called otoliths. These methods have been tested by carbon dating and found to be totally accurate!
The Most Common Fishing Method Is Also The Oldest
The most common fishing method in the world is called bait fishing or still fishing.
It is also the simplest. You put a worm or bread ball, or any other bait on your hook, cast it out into the water, and wait.
There’s a reason it’s the most common method. Not only is it simple and inexpensive, but it’s also one of the most effective ways to catch fish!
Muskies Are Seriously Aggressive
The most dangerous fish found in freshwater in the United States (not counting Bull Sharks that swim up rivers from the ocean) is the Muskellunge.
Muskies, a big toothy fish that looks like a freshwater barracuda, have been known to eat fish half their size or bigger, mammals, birds, and even small dogs!
They have also been known to attack people and can do real damage with their rows of razor-sharp teeth!
The World’s Biggest Fish Eats The Smallest Food
The world’s biggest fish is the whale shark which reaches lengths of over 50 feet and can weigh several tons.
Instead of eating equally massive food, the whale sharks subsist on tiny krill, fish, and plankton that they strain in vast quantities from the ocean water
If A Fish Chewed Its Food, It Would Drown
Fish breathe by passing water over their gills, which extract oxygen from the water.
If a fish chewed its food, this would stop the flow of water past the gills and they could suffocate.
Fish use their teeth only to grab, slice or crush, then swallow the food down.
Brown Trout Are One Of The Most Diverse Vertebrates
Brown Trout, while all one species, have an incredibly diverse genome.
Instead of having a set number of chromosomes, like most species, they can have anywhere between 38 and 42 pairs.
Humans have only 23!
Largest Collection Of Fishing Lures
The largest certified collection of fishing lures belongs to Will (Spike) Yoacum from Carterville, Illinois.
His collection contains 3,563 lures!
The Million Dollar Lure
The most expensive fishing lure in the world is Mac Daddy’s Million Dollar Lure, which cost, unsurprisingly, a million dollars.
Why is it so expensive? Because it has over 3 pounds of 14-carat gold and platinum and is encrusted with diamonds and rubies.
It was trolled behind a boat once, with a massive insurance policy in place, but has never caught a fish.
While out fishing in his kayak, fishing guide Shane Davies caught a 10-pound bass.
His bait? A rattlesnake!
When the snake swam dangerously close to his kayak he stunned it with his paddle, put it on a hook, and cast it out in the river.
Apparently, it looked just fine to the bass!
What are your chances of catching a fish that came from really far away? If you like to fish for eels, they are very good.
The American eel lives in freshwater rivers for most of its life. However, at spawning time it can swim thousands of miles from its home to its spawning ground.
Eels spawn in the Sargasso Sea in the North Atlantic!
Fish can have all different kinds of camouflage, but there is one type that they all have.
They are all lighter on the bottom and darker on the top.
The dark top allows them to blend with the bottom. The bright bottom lets them blend with the sun’s light coming from above!
Dads Do The Work
When it comes to guarding the nest, bass have single-parent families.
The mother bass will be at the nest before she spawns, but once the spawning is done, she leaves and the father stays to guard the nest.
It is not uncommon for female bass to have several nests, while the males only have one each!
Biggest Fly Rod And Reel
The biggest fly rod and reel ever made were created by Tiny Mitchell of Port Isabel, in Texas.
It’s over 71 feet long, with a reel that is over 4 feet in diameter! There is no word whether it has caught anything yet!
Circle Hooks Are Nothing New
Everyone is familiar with circle hooks. People think they are easy to set and it is proven that they are less likely to be swallowed.
But, they are not new. In a recent find in a 12,000-year-old grave of a woman in East Asia, there were several perfectly preserved circular fish hooks.
Circle hooks go back to the Stone Age!
Fish Don’t Sleep
Part of the definition of sleep is to close your eyes and fish (except for sharks) don’t have eyelids.
So, technically a fish can never sleep. Most fish do have periods of rest where they find some shelter and don’t move much.
Sharks can close their eyes, but because of their biology, they can’t really stop moving.
They lack swim bladders so they would sink, and they need to keep moving to keep water flowing through their gills!
A Fishing Book By A Medieval Nun
The earliest fishing books that still survive today were written and published in 1496 by Dame Juliana Berners, an English prioress.
This was only a few years after the invention of the printing press and was called A Treatyse of Fysshynge Wyth an Angle.
The book contains information on rod construction, the use of natural baits and lures, and the construction of artificial lures, as well as a section on streamside etiquette!
It predates Isaak Walton’s Compleat Angler by around 150 years!
The Strangest Manmade Object Ever Taken From A Fish’s Stomach
In the late 1890s, Mr. Douglass Smith caught a 140-pound catfish.
In the fish’s stomach was a small, sealed bottle. When Mr. Smith opened the bottle he found a note inside!
The note read, “Whoever will find this will please send it back to me. H.E. Pipes.”
Mr. Pipes had thrown it in nearly 75 miles away, in the Kaw river, three years before Mr. Douglass caught the fish!
Most Consecutive Casts
Brent Olgers of Macon Georgia is the current record holder for the most consecutive casts.
In July 1999, using a Zebco reel, he made 6,501 casts of over 45 feet. That comes to an average of 270 casts per hour!
The record is silent as to whether he caught any fish with those casts!
Pyramids And Fishing Poles
The ancient Egyptians also loved to fish! There is a more than 4,000-year-old painting from Egypt that shows people fishing.
Some are using nets, but others can be clearly seen to be using poles and lines!
The Most Popular Fish In The United States
The most popular game fish in the United States is unquestionably the Largemouth Bass.
There are professional and amateur bass fishing circuits, bass fishing matches are highly attended and televised, and there are Bass Pro Shops!
There are even many types of trendy boats that are specifically made for bass fishing!
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Competitive Casting Is A Real Sport
The International Casting Sports Federation was established in 1955 and has members in over 30 countries.
It sponsors casting tournaments in both bait and fly casting and also maintains and keeps track of all casting records.
The Earliest Hook Was Actually A Stick
One of the earliest human tools was the precursor to the fish hook called a gorge. A gorge is a straight stick that’s sharpened on each end.
It’s tied to a line and the gorge is covered with food.
When the fish gulps the food down, the fisherman pulls on the line which caused the gorge to turn sideways, jamming in the fish’s gullet.
The fisherman just has to pull it in and now he has dinner!
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