Welcome, fellow anglers and music enthusiasts, to our tuneful journey into the world of fishing!
In this blog post, we dive into a playlist that celebrates the art of angling through the power of music.
From toe-tapping country tunes to soul-stirring blues and everything in between, we’ve curated a collection of catchy and heartfelt songs about fishing that are sure to hook your attention.
Join us as we explore the rhythms, stories, and emotions that these songs evoke, transporting us to serene lakes, tranquil rivers, and vast oceans. So, grab your headphones, cast your line, and let the melodies cast a spell that takes you on a melodic fishing adventure.
Top 19 Songs About Fishing
1. “The Fishin’ Hole” by Andy Griffith (1960):
Ah, “The Fishin’ Hole” by Andy Griffith, a tune that brings back memories of simpler times. This delightful instrumental piece captures the essence of a lazy afternoon spent by the water’s edge, patiently waiting for that elusive bite. As the whistling melody carries you away, you can almost smell the fresh air and feel the warmth of the sun on your face.
The song’s gentle rhythm mimics the gentle ripples on the water, creating a soothing ambiance that sets the perfect backdrop for a peaceful fishing expedition. It’s the kind of tune that instantly puts you in a relaxed state of mind, reminding you to slow down and appreciate the beauty of nature.
2. “Fishin’ in the Dark” by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band (1987):
Picture this: a starry night, a bonfire crackling nearby, and the sound of laughter filling the air. This is the scene that “Fishin’ in the Dark” by Nitty Gritty Dirt Band conjures up. With its upbeat tempo and catchy lyrics, it’s a song that celebrates the carefree spirit of fishing and the joy of being in good company.
As you listen to the energetic melody, you can’t help but imagine yourself casting your line into the dark waters, feeling the excitement of the unknown lurking beneath the surface. It’s a song that inspires spontaneity and adventure, reminding us that some of life’s best moments happen when we embrace the thrill of the unknown.
3. “Gone Fishin'” by Bing Crosby and Louis Armstrong (1951):
What happens when two legendary musicians join forces to sing about fishing? You get the delightful duet, “Gone Fishin'” by Bing Crosby and Louis Armstrong. This jazzy gem takes you on a musical journey where worries fade away, and all that matters is the pursuit of tranquility and fun.
As the smooth voices of Crosby and Armstrong blend together, you can almost feel the sun warming your skin and the gentle breeze rustling through the trees. It’s a song that embodies the camaraderie and shared adventures that fishing trips often bring, reminding us to take a break from the daily grind and enjoy the simple pleasures life has to offer.
4. “Fisherman’s Blues” by The Waterboys (1988):
In “Fisherman’s Blues” by The Waterboys, we encounter a poetic and introspective take on the art of fishing. This folk-rock masterpiece dives deep into the soul of a fisherman, exploring their longing for the open water and their connection to the ebb and flow of nature.
The song portrays the yearning for a laborious life, finding solace in isolation, and empowerment in challenging conditions. It was influenced by personal experiences of pressure and a broken relationship and draws inspiration from W.H. Auden’s poem “The Night Mail” from school days.
5. “A Pirate Looks at Forty” by Jimmy Buffett (1974):
While not explicitly about fishing, “A Pirate Looks at Forty” by the legendary Jimmy Buffett has a soulful and introspective vibe that resonates with many anglers. The song takes you on a reflective journey of a pirate who spends his days fishing and reflecting on his life. With its melodic guitar strums and Buffett’s trademark laid-back vocals, the song transports you to a tropical paradise where you can almost feel the saltwater spray and hear the seagulls overhead. It captures the essence of a life lived close to the sea, reminding us of the freedom and serenity that fishing can bring.
6. “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay” by Otis Redding (1968):
While not exclusively about fishing, “Sitting on the Dock of the Bay” by the incomparable Otis Redding perfectly captures the tranquility and contemplation that often accompany a day spent by the water. The song’s iconic whistling intro sets the scene as Redding’s soulful voice takes you on a journey to a peaceful pier. As you listen, you can almost feel the warmth of the sun on your face and watch the boats bobbing in the harbor. It’s a song that invites you to slow down, appreciate the beauty of the surroundings, and find solace in the simple act of casting your worries away.
7. “Big River” by Johnny Cash (1958):
In “Big River,” the Man in Black himself, Johnny Cash, spins a tale of a restless wanderer who finds solace in the riverside. The song’s steady rhythm and Cash’s deep, resonant voice transport you to the banks of the mighty Mississippi, where the allure of adventure and the call of the river become irresistible. It’s a song that captures the longing for exploration and the thrill of the unknown, mirroring the spirit of fishing itself. As Cash sings about casting his line into that “big river,” you can almost feel the anticipation and excitement of the catch, knowing that there’s always something extraordinary waiting just around the bend.
8. “Down by the Water” by The Decemberists (2011):
The Decemberists’ “Down by the Water” is a hauntingly beautiful song that weaves a tale of mystery, love and the power of nature. While the lyrics may not directly reference fishing, the atmospheric melodies and poetic storytelling evoke the ambiance of a riverside rendezvous. With its melodic hooks and ethereal vocals, the song creates a dreamlike atmosphere where you can envision yourself standing knee-deep in the water, casting your line into the unknown. It’s a song that captures the allure of hidden depths and the sense of adventure that accompanies exploring the unknown territories of both love and fishing.
9. “Fisherman’s Daughter” by Daniel Lanois (1989):
“Fisherman’s Daughter” by Daniel Lanois depicts a sleepless night and dreams of ships seeking refuge in unknown harbors. The song portrays the turmoil of sailors, their struggles, and the weight they carry. It explores the consequences of not questioning the cargo they transport and the fateful revelation that exposes their faults. The song evokes imagery of rain, the sea, and a fisherman’s daughter.
10. “Fishin’ Blues” by Taj Mahal (1969):
Taj Mahal’s rendition of “Fishin’ Blues” is a timeless classic that captures the spirit of fishing with its infectious bluesy groove. The song’s upbeat tempo, lively guitar picking, and Taj Mahal’s soulful vocals make you want to grab your fishing rod and hit the water immediately. It’s a feel-good anthem that celebrates the simple pleasures of casting a line and enjoying the serenity of the great outdoors.
11. “The River” by Garth Brooks (1992):
Garth Brooks’ “The River” is a poignant and introspective song that explores the metaphorical journey of life through the imagery of a river. While not explicitly about fishing, it encapsulates the essence of chasing dreams, taking risks, and the importance of savoring each moment along the way. The powerful lyrics and Brooks’ emotive delivery resonate with the angler’s spirit, reminding us to embrace the currents of life and make the most of every cast.
12. “I’m Gonna Miss Her (The Fishing Song)” by Brad Paisley (2002):
“I’m Gonna Miss Her (The Fishing Song)” by Brad Paisley is an upbeat, lighthearted country track that revolves around a male protagonist faced with a dilemma. He must choose between his love for fishing and his partner’s demand for his presence at home. Opting to go fishing, he humorously acknowledges that he will miss his lover upon returning.
The song playfully explores the clash between personal passions and relationship commitments, capturing the humorous side of the situation and highlighting the character’s unapologetic dedication to his beloved pastime. It resonates with those who understand the struggle of balancing personal hobbies with relationship obligations.
13. “Fishin’ Blues” by Henry Thomas (1928):
“Fishin’ Blues” originally recorded and released by Henry Thomas in 1928, is a timeless blues song penned by Chris Smith in 1911. Accompanied by Thomas’ vocals and guitar, the song celebrates the joys of catching, cooking, and relishing one’s own fish, with a particular focus on catfish. Thomas adds a unique touch by incorporating quills, a type of panpipe, for the introduction and breaks. This classic blues piece captures the simple pleasures of fishing and the satisfaction that comes from enjoying the fruits of one’s labor in the form of a delicious meal.
14. “Fish and Whistle” by John Prine (1978):
“Fish and Whistle” by John Prine, from his 1978 album “Bruised Orange,” is an infectious and underrated gem. Prine weaves together snapshots from different chapters of his life, reminiscing about his first job at a drive-in and his army days, while emphasizing the importance of forgiveness in the chorus.
The song is peppered with hilarious, relatable observations drawn straight from real-life experiences. Prine humorously confesses being fired for his fear of bees and recalls being paid a meager fifty cents an hour. Through its upbeat rhythm and witty lyrics, “Fish and Whistle” showcases Prine’s knack for storytelling and capturing the everyday humor found in life’s ups and downs.
15. “Too Drunk To Fish'” by Ray Stevens (1997):
“Too Drunk To Fish” by Ray Stevens is a comedic country song that tells a misadventure-filled fishing trip with a drunken companion named Harold. The lyrics depict the duo’s escapades, from struggling to start the boat motor to Harold mistaking an anchor line for a snake and shooting a hole in the boat. The song humorously warns against fishing with an intoxicated person and highlights the absurdity of their actions. Ray Stevens, known for his humorous and storytelling style, brings his comedic flair to this lively and entertaining tune.
16. “The River of Dreams” by Billy Joel (1993):
“The River of Dreams” by Billy Joel is a soul-stirring and introspective song with spiritual undertones. Joel, despite being an atheist, incorporates biblical imagery, such as the reference to Psalm 23:4 with the line “Through the valley of fear.” The lyrics depict Joel’s search for something sacred and lost, traversing through metaphorical landscapes like mountains of faith, valleys of fear, and rivers so deep.
The song explores the yearning for meaning and understanding, delving into themes of introspection and the quest for spiritual fulfillment. With its poetic and reflective nature, “The River of Dreams” invites listeners to contemplate their own journeys through life’s mysteries.
17. “Big Fish” by Vince Staples (2017):
“Big Fish” by Vince Staples is a contemplative track where the artist reflects on the transformative power of rap in his life and acknowledges the challenges that accompany success. The song delves into Vince’s journey from humble beginnings to fame, showcasing his growth and resilience.
The music video further adds to the metaphorical narrative, depicting Vince rapping on a sinking sailboat in shark-infested waters, symbolizing the pressures and dangers that come with his rising stardom. Through introspective lyrics and visually striking imagery, “Big Fish” captures the complex emotions and realities of Vince Staples’ career trajectory.
18. “The Fisherman” by Mason Jennings (2008):
“The Fisherman” by Mason Jennings is a heartfelt and introspective song that draws upon biblical imagery to convey a message of unity, love, and finding inner peace. The lyrics reflect the teachings of a compassionate teacher who sees no differences among people and emphasizes the importance of love and trust in a world plagued by conflict.
Mason Jennings’s soothing folk-pop sound beautifully complements the song’s themes of empathy and personal transformation. With his heartfelt vocals and thoughtful lyrics, Jennings invites listeners to reflect on the power of love and the potential for positive change within themselves and the world around them.
19. “Fishing for Fishies” by King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard (2019):
“Fishing for Fishies” by King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard is an energetic country/blues track that presents a unique perspective on fishing. From the viewpoint of someone who empathizes with fish, the song explores the notion that fishing isn’t necessarily enjoyable. The lyrics playfully mention feeling hungry, adding an ironic twist to the narrative.
In the music video, frontman Stu Mackenzie continues to fish while expressing remorse for the act. The instrumentation reflects a country-bluegrass influence, featuring fingerpicked guitars, brushed drums, and harmonica, creating a lively and catchy musical backdrop for the thought-provoking lyrics. “Fishing for Fishies” serves as the second single from the album of the same name, showcasing King Gizzard & The Lizard Wizard’s signature style and creativity.
Our carefully curated fishing playlist offers a wide range of songs that beautifully capture the essence of fishing from various perspectives. With their diverse genres, styles, and emotions, these songs celebrate the anticipation, serenity, camaraderie, and humor inherent in this beloved pastime.
Now it’s your turn to embark on your angling adventures. Equip yourself with your fishing gear, locate your favorite fishing spot, and allow the enchanting melodies and heartfelt lyrics to transport you to a world of tranquility and excitement. Whether you’re casting lines, patiently awaiting the perfect bite, or simply immersing yourself in the awe-inspiring beauty of nature, let these songs be the harmonious soundtrack to your fishing escapades.