7 Reasons Fishing Is Good for Your Health

Aside from being an enjoyable activity to pass the time, fishing is good for your health, as it comes with several physical and mental benefits.

(And let’s not forget, fishing is so much darn fun!)

Here are 7 reasons fishing is good for your health:

  1. Fishing increases exposure to fresh air and sunlight.
  2. Fishing builds physical fitness and endurance.
  3. Eating caught fish provides nutritional benefits.
  4. Fishing allows for social interaction and bonding.
  5. Fishing creates time away from screens.
  6. Fishing improves patience and focus.
  7. Fishing provides stress relief.

Read on to learn more about the specific ways that fishing can benefit your health both physically and mentally.

1. Fishing Increases Exposure to Fresh Air and Sunlight

As you may know, fishing is primarily an outdoor activity. Many anglers love the sport because it allows them to get outside and enjoy nature.

But nature-lovers aren’t the only people who reap the benefits of fishing; getting outside and spending time in nature can be an excellent solution for anyone looking to improve their mental and physical health.

The Importance of Vitamin D

It’s no secret that vitamin D is essential for human life. Although vitamin is present in some foods, one of the most important sources of vitamin D for humans is the sun. When ultraviolet rays from the sun strike our skin, a chemical reaction is initiated, allowing our cells to undergo vitamin D synthesis.

Vitamin D is vital for everyday life for various reasons, but especially for bone health. Without sufficient amounts of vitamin D, bones may become weak, which can lead to osteoporosis. People with vitamin D deficiencies are also more likely to suffer from heart disease and diabetes.

How Fresh Air Impacts Overall Health

Not only does fishing provide exposure to sunlight, which helps your body synthesize vitamin D, it also allows you to breathe fresh air.

Nowadays, many people live and work in big cities with low air quality. This polluted air can be tough on their lungs and irritate the eyes, nose, and throat. People living with Asthma, in particular, are sensitive to the adverse effects of poor air quality. Luckily, going on a fishing trip is a great way to experience the mental and physical benefits of fresh air.

7 Reasons Fishing Is Good for Your Health

If you’ve ever taken a deep breath on a cold crisp morning while fishing on a lake…you know exactly what I am talking about.

Recent studies show that clean air reduces inflammation and improves brain function. These studies also suggest that an improvement in air quality can reduce anxiety and stress, thus improving overall mental health.

2. Fishing Builds Physical Fitness and Endurance

Someone not experienced in fishing might not fully understand how the sport physically and athletically challenges the body.

Different types of fishing challenge the body in different ways, depending on the tools and the circumstance used for that style of fishing. Some of the most notably physically challenging types of fishing include fly fishing, spinning, and trolling.

Not to mention fighting or landing a big fish, loading and unloading the boat off the trailer, stretching and mobility required for wading, and much more.

Fishing is an active hobby that is great for all ages.

3. Eating Fish You Catch Provides Nutritional Benefits

Many anglers like to adhere to a catch-and-release policy. However, cooking and eating the fruits of their labor can provide the body with many noticeable health benefits for those who like to keep the fish they catch.

Eating fish can provide your body with essential nutrients like vitamin D and B2. Vitamin B2 is crucial in helping your body meet its energy needs. In short, your body uses vitamin B2 as part of the process for converting the food you eat into glucose. Your body is then able to convert that glucose into energy. Your body then uses this energy throughout the day as you accomplish tasks.

Fish is also a great source of certain minerals, including iron, zinc, and potassium. These minerals benefit your body by boosting immune health, reducing inflammation, and regulating heart function. These are just a few ways that eating fish can be good for your health.

Plus, what is more, rewarding than catching your own meal and cooking it for friends and family? It always tastes better!

See Also: 3 Simple And Easy Panfish Recipes (Not Fried!)

4. Fishing Allows For Social Interaction and Bonding

Fishing also provides opportunities for you to spend time with family and friends. Believe it or not, social interaction and interpersonal relationships are vital to maintaining good mental health.

Fishing Allows For Social Interaction and Bonding (Father and Son)

Big shocker, eh?

Studies show that building relationships can reduce the adverse effects of stress and give people a sense of control over their lives. Be it with family members or friends, spending the day in nature can be an excellent opportunity to experience the benefits of social interaction.

One of the things I personally like most about fishing is that it can be as casual or serious as I want it to be. Sometimes I just want to be on the water, drifting in the wind, and don’t care at all if I get a bite…

Other times, I want to hit the lake with my father and jig for crappie to cook for my friends and family!

5. Fishing Creates Time Away From Screens

One of the most noticeable benefits of fishing is it encourages you to take time away from technology. Spending time outdoors is a fantastic way to counteract the adverse effects of a sedentary lifestyle spent staring at a screen.

Taking time to unplug is especially important for anyone that spends a lot of time working on technology as part of their school or work routine. A few of the benefits of unplugging from technology include more productivity, reduced stress, and closer relationships.

Because fishing is an activity typically done in nature on the water, anglers are often away from cell service while they focus on catching fish. This lack of cell service makes it extremely easy to unplug from technology and set your digital responsibilities aside while you are out in nature.

However, if your favorite fishing spot is within cell service, try making a point to keep your phone put away. Doing so will help you reap the benefits of taking a break from technology while you fish.

For me personally, I work on a computer screen every day for work. It only takes a few consecutive days of staring at a monitor for my ‘fishing switch’…which is my body telling me to get off the computer, get outside, get my hands dirty, catch some fish and recharge outside.

And catching big bass, walleye or trout doesn’t hurt anything either!

6. Fishing Improves Patience and Focus

If you have any experience with fishing, you’re likely aware of the patience involved in catching a fish. Sometimes, you don’t need to wait very long to get a bite. However, there are other times when it takes hours for a single fish to interact with your line.

Fishing solitude on a calm lake

Whether you’re fly fishing for wary trout, ice fishing for sluggish pike, or trolling for stubborn stripers, your patience is being tested and exercised on these days that you’re waiting for a bite.

Fishing can sometimes be like a game of cat and mouse…you must observe the conditions and make decisions to be successful…this takes time, and focus.

How Patience Is Good for Your Health

Recent studies in health-related fields reveal that patience is noticeably beneficial to your mental health. Research conducted for these studies shows that patient people often experience a higher quality of life than those who lack patience.

In addition, those that are good at exercising patience are less likely to experience symptoms of depression and anxiety. So, waiting for that bite can actually decrease your risk for mental health.

How Focus Good for Your Health

As you wait for a fish to bite, you’re also exercising your ability to focus. Especially when it comes to types of angling like fly fishing, focusing skills are essential to finding success in the sport.

If you don’t properly pay attention to your strike indicators and other factors, you may miss a bite and lose a fish.

Improved focus provides benefits in many areas of life, especially when it comes to your work or school life. Most jobs require some amount of focus. By exercising your focus and patience, you will better prepare yourself for success in your career, or life around the house.

Scientists have proven that ability to focus is tied to proficiency in all areas of thinking. Improving your ability to focus will likely decrease your overall stress levels and increase your satisfaction in life.

7. Fishing Provides Stress Relief

It’s no surprise that fishing is an excellent way to relieve stress. Many anglers see fishing as a purely therapeutic activity that helps calm their nerves and minds (I know I do).

Getting outside in the fresh air and sunlight is extremely effective in relieving overall stress. Finding ways to alleviate stress benefits both your physical and mental health in the long term.

Fishing Can Help Alleviate Chronic Stress

Chronic stress is an unrelenting feeling of being overwhelmed. People suffering from chronic stress constantly feel that they can’t accomplish certain tasks or cope with aspects of their lives using their resources. Experiencing stress of this nature can also be your body and mind responding to a specific event.

Fishing Provides Stress Relief

Different people may experience stress for various reasons. Often, someone’s life circumstance affects their stress levels. Life circumstances causing chronic stress can include financial instability, relationship trouble, or an unsatisfying job.

When a person suffers from chronic stress, their body is perpetually stuck in “fight or flight” mode. This constant pressure can contribute to ailments such as chronic fatigue, mood disorders, or addiction. It’s crucial for people suffering from chronic stress to find ways to relieve the pressure they experience daily.

As I mentioned earlier, fishing requires patience and focus. This can distract your mind from the stressors or life. For me personally, when I am out fishing I try to focus only on the task at hand- catching a fish!

This gives my mind and body a much-needed break from the rigors of life. Besides, feeling that distinctive bite from a fish is one of the best feelings in the world…even better when you land that fish and get an awesome photo.

What are the Benefits of Fishing?

The benefits of fishing are extensive and apply to mental health, nutritional health, and overall muscular health. Some benefits of fishing include reduced stress, enhanced nutrition, and overall physical health.

Physical and Mental Benefits of Fishing

The physical and mental benefits of fishing are extensive; the act of fishing can have positive effects in a variety of contexts.

These advantages can be seen as a result of the stress-relieving effects of fishing. However, the advantages of fishing are also noticeable in terms of nutrition and muscular health.

Effects of Fishing as Stress Relief

With the understanding of fishing as a stress-relieving activity, it’s important to understand the drastic effects such activities can have on your mental and physical health. Although the effects of stress may at first appear to apply strictly to mental health, recent research shows that regular stress relief also has a significant effect on long-term physical health.

Excited Angler with a big bass!

How Stress Impacts Physical Health

Stress has an enormous impact on how humans function throughout their daily lives. People undergoing stress are more likely to experience negative physical symptoms such as muscle aches, chest pain, headaches, and low energy.

By using fishing as a stress-relieving activity, you can avoid experiencing some of these harmful symptoms as you continue working through your life responsibilities.

Finally, chronic stress can affect your immune health. Someone who struggles with immune health is more prone to developing infections. Studies done by immunologists at Stanford University show that chronic stress can suppress your immune function and lead to difficulties with your entire immune system.

Relaxing activities like fishing can directly decrease your stress levels, helping you to avoid such health problems.

Have I mentioned how much I love fishing? It does wonders for the body, mind, and soul!

How Stress Impacts Mental Health

In addition to affecting physical health, stress can have a massive impact on mental health. People that are stressed are much more prone to anxiety, depression, burnout, and forgetfulness.

You can proactively fight chronic stress by getting outside and partaking in relaxing activities like fishing, and your health will be better for it in the long run.

And if you can’t get out and go fishing, that’s okay too. Here are some other activities you can do that are fishing related (if you can’t make it out onto the lake or river)

  • Organize your tackle box, rods and reels
  • Read a book about fishing tactics and tips
  • Update your fishing log-book
  • Learn a new skill (such as tying flies for fly-fishing)
  • Organize your fishing photos
  • Plan a trip to a major fishing destination

How Fishing Impacts Muscular Health

Fishing is an excellent way to increase your physical strength and stamina. Each style of angling—be it fly fishing, bass fishing, wading, or trolling offshore—provides significant benefits in different areas of muscular health.

Fly Fishing

Fly fishing is an excellent activity for those looking to challenge themselves physically. For this reason, this type of angling is beloved by many anglers.

Although it’s not uncommon to fly fish from a kayak or other small watercraft, fly fishers often find themselves standing in rivers and streams for prolonged periods—this act of standing while fishing will work your legs and core and increase your endurance.

On top of standing, many desirable fly fishing destinations require some hiking to reach. Hikes like this further exercise your legs and core, on top of being an excellent cardiovascular activity.

A successful Fly fisherman with a Coho Salmon

Finally, fly fishing can be physically demanding when it comes to technique. The repeated act of casting a rod can prove to be an excellent exercise for your shoulder and upper arm. Many anglers also find that reeling in a fishing line challenges their forearms and hand muscles (especially in flowing rivers or streams).

Conventional Fishing (With Spinning Reels)

Like fly fishing, spinning reels can be an excellent form of exercise for your forearm and hand muscles. Spinning reels require that you repeatedly cast a lure and reel it back in. This repeated casting motion is a fantastic exercise, and it doesn’t just strengthen your shoulder…

The movement challenges various muscles in your upper body, including muscles throughout your back and arms. If you spin fish while standing, your legs and core also benefit. It increases your focus, dexterity, and accuracy.

On a typical 8 hour fishing day, a person can cast up to 1500 times! That’s a lot of reps!


Trolling is a method of fishing in which you drag a lure or piece of bait behind a moving boat. Some types of trolling require that you hold a heavy-duty pole as the boat moves, which can significantly work your hand, arm, and back muscles.

Depending on the weight of the pole and the gear attached to the line, in addition to the time you spend holding the pole, you might also get an excellent core workout.

Why Is Fishing Good for Mental Health?

Fishing is good for mental health because it’s a stress-relieving activity. It provides your body with fresh air and sunlight, which is needed to function optimally. It’s a great opportunity to spend time with loved ones, which can help relieve mental strain.

Indeed, fully embracing fishing can have an incredibly positive effect on your overall mental health and satisfaction in life.

I never realized all of those countless hours I spent fishing I was actually giving my body and brain what it needed to recharge, relax and find clarity.

Is Fishing Good for Your Heart?

Fishing is good for your heart because it can decrease your risk of developing heart disease later in life. By helping to alleviate chronic stress, which increases blood pressure and reduces sleep quality, fishing can help lower your risk for future health problems.

Recent studies conducted by the John Hopkins Institution of Medicine show that decreasing stress is especially crucial for heart health, in addition to proper nutrition.

On that note, eating the fish you catch can be extremely beneficial for your heart, too. Fish are an incredible source of omega-3 fatty acids, which are excellent nutrients for maintaining a healthy heart. These fatty acids can lower blood pressure. This unique quality makes them essential for heart health.

On top of keeping your heart healthy, omega-3 fatty acids are also necessary nutrients for a healthy brain. In addition to improving overall brain function, research shows that eating fish can help to decrease the effects of mental concerns like depression, ADHD, and dementia.


Excited angler with fish and dog on a boat

People are drawn to the sport of fishing for many different reasons. Some want to catch their own dinner, others grew up doing it with friends and family…

No matter the reason, fishing is a low-risk hobby that has physical, mental, and spiritual benefits to one’s health. It really is an amazing hobby supported by an abundant industry and community all over the world.

And remember: You’re never too old, or too young to start fishing…thanks for reading.

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