Fishing was a necessity for survival among our ancestors, and continues to be so for some populations. It has also become a sport, and a way for people to get away from everyday life. Fishing awards anglers with mental, physical, and social benefits. In this article, we are going to highlight the benefits of fishing, in each of these categories.
Physical Benefits Of Fishing
Fishing Can Improve Your Fitness
Of course, there are methods of fishing that involve very little activity, but many anglers love to hike to fishing destinations. Whether it is an alpine lake, a path along a river, or a remote pond, hiking into a destination can improve your fitness, and therefore your health. In addition, anglers on fishing vessels can often get some serious muscular work with the efforts necessary to catch ocean fish. There are plenty of studies and science suggesting that more walking and general activity can improve your health and happiness.
Studies & Proof:
Check out the Office Of Disease Prevention and Health Promotions page explaining the benefits of daily physical activity.
See this article published in the Journal of Aging Research showing evidence to suggest physical activity will improve your life expectancy.
Fishing Can Boost Your Immune System
Vitamin D is absorbed through sunlight. This lovely little helper is beneficial for the health of our bones, eyes, and skin, immune system, and more. Fishing is one of the best ways to catch enough sun and eat enough fish (a great source of vitamin D). Only you, your sunscreen, and quiet surroundings where your thoughts can float. Do be careful with this one, as sunscreen applications are absolutely necessary when fishing.
It is worth noting that Vitamin D deficiency is being recognized as a major problem across a wide variety of populations and causing issues. People need to eat healthier, and be outside more frequently.
Studies & Proof:
See Healthline article on the benefits of Vitamin D which link to helpful studies.
See this study on the the Vitamin D content in fish.
See this study on the prevalence of Vitamin D deficiencies.
Mental Benefits Of Fishing
Fishing Can Reduce Your Stress Levels
And it’s not just that being in nature reduces your stress levels, although it helps. Generally speaking, the impact that the outside has on our health is enormous. Just looking at the steady river or mighty green forests will make you feel better. Naturally, when you are relaxed, you feel less stressed. Fishing will increase your time in outside, and repetitive actions like casting may be therapeutic in nature.
When you combine it with the relaxing sound of water, a cup of joe from your faithful coffee thermos, and adrenaline fix every time the fish actually bites, fishing can be a combination of relaxation, concentration, excitement, and meditation.
Studies & Proof:
See this study on the relationship between nature and happiness.
See This Study: Stress Biology and Aging Mechanisms: Toward Understanding the Deep Connection Between Adaptation to Stress and Longevity
Improving Your Patience & Disconnecting From Technology
A large portion of fishing requires a fair amount of patience. Either waiting, or methodically casting and drifting flies to try and get the perfect presentation requires patience and focus. In addition to this, our minds are constantly bombarded from technology and other inputs that make it difficult to clear your headspace and put 100% of focus into something in front of you. Fishing can allow you to do just that.
Modern life has turned us into goldfish. Living in small aquariums, eating instant food, and with a concentration of fewer than five seconds. With all the push notifications, emails, and phone calls roaming just before our eyes, we are constantly bombarded with stimuli that hurts our ability to concentrate, and baits us into constant multi-tasking.
Studies show that increased concentration can lead to better efficiency, less stress, better memory, and more productivity. Allowing your brain to focus on one task, like fishing, will hopefully make it easier to carry those habits to things like work, conversations, and interactions with family and friends.
Social Benefits Of Fishing
Fishing can be done with friends. It can be a social activity where you share catches, help each other, converse about life, and get away from other distractions. Lifelong bonds can be built between fishing companions. Even if you aren’t building lifelong bonds over fishing trips, simple social interactions can go a long way to improve your mood, happiness, and stress levels.
In addition to friendships, you can become a part of a community of other fisherman. Nearly every location has a local fishing chapter, trout unlimited organization, Facebook group, or some type of event where you can meet up, or have other conversations with others that share a passion for fishing.
Check out this study on social relations relationship to life satisfaction.
Max DesMarais is the founder of Hiking & Fishing. He has a passion for the outdoors and making outdoor education and adventure more accessible. Max is a published author for various outdoor and marketing websites. He is an experienced hiker, backpacker, fly fisherman, trail runner, and spends his free time in the outdoors. These adventures allow him to test gear, learn new skills, and experience new places so that he can educate others. You can read more about him here: hikingandfishing/about