If you buy via a link on this page, we may receive a commission, at no extra cost to you.Learn more
People have been fishing for, at least, 40000 years, which is a long time! And people continue to practice this ancient hobby. The main difference is that they don’t fish because their lives depend on it. They fish because it is fun. Plus, fishing is a great way to connect with nature, with others, and with your past.
With so many years and so many people involved, it is not a surprise to find a bunch of records, tales, and facts about fishing. That’s why we bring you 13 fun facts about fishing:
- Fish can swim backward
- The first fishing hooks were made out of bone, stone, or wood
- The most expensive fish in the world is the bluefin tuna
- Black marlin, sailfish, and swordfish: The speed demons of the sea
- There are over 20000 fish species
- A wooden pole? All I see is a fishing rod
- Bananas are a wonderful snack but leave them at home
- The Greenland shark is the grandpa of the seas
- No fishing at the dead sea
- Anglers spend over 300 million dollars to keep fish cool
- The name anglers come from the old English word “angle” which means hook
- Anglers spend 7.4 billion dollars on fishing gear in the US alone
- All anglers have a “lucky hat”
Let’s talk a little about each one of these fun and curious facts about the fishing world. And we had a small surprise at the end of this article. So, keep reading a little longer.
Fish can swim backward
While there is no reason for fish to swim backward, most of them can do it if the need arises. The sharks can’t, though. Their hard fins don’t bend. Therefore, they can neither swim backward nor stop swimming suddenly. It is a little funny how the top predator can’t swim as it pleases. But everything should have some sort of balance, right?
In fact, if you manage to grab a shark by its tail and pull it, it will die. But who in heaven will do that?
The first fishing hooks were made out of bone, stone, or wood
People started fishing with their bare hands. But as time passed by, people started to realize that they can use some tools to make fishing easier. So, they begin to use harpoons, nets, and fishing hooks.
However, there weren’t any blacksmiths around to make metal hooks. So, people created hooks with what they had around. That’s how they invented the gorge, the first fishing hook. It was a straight piece of wood or bone with two pointy ends. Some anglers still use the legendary gorge today.
Later on, the shape changed to the curved shape we know today.
Bluefin tuna: The treasure of the sea
In some countries, canned tuna is so inexpensive that people use it to feed their cats. But bluefin meat is a different story. The price per pound sits around 20 to 200 dollars. So, a 300-pound fish could put between 6000 and 60000 dollars in your pocket. Crazy, right?
However, you can’t fish bluefin as you please, as they are protected by some regulations. Plus, fishing them is not easy. Bluefins lurk in the depths, and you must battle them for hours. And even though you manage to reel the fish in, if you don’t dispatch it properly, you can render the meat useless. A little sad if you ask us. So, it takes strength, ability, luck, and never of steel to catch them.
Black marlin, Sailfish, and Swordfish: The speed demons of the sea
In terms of speed, the sailfish, black marlin, and swordfish have no match. They are the fastest fish in the world. Well, in this case, seas. The sailfish alone can swim up to 70 miles per hour, which equals 61 knots. It is faster than most yachts available and faster than your average boat. Be ready for a hell of a fight if you ever happen to hook one.
There are over 20000 fish species in the sea
“There is plenty of fish at sea” All of us have heard this phrase at least once in our life. And let us tell you that with over 20000 fish species and more than 3500000 million fishes, this phrase is as real as it can be.
You might be thinking to yourself. How in god’s grace do they manage to count them? Well, they use GPS, sonars, and drones to estimate fish populations.
But this is merely an estimation. Keep in mind that close to 80% of the sea remains unexplored. So, there is plenty of space for more fish to hide. And plenty of opportunities for you to find them.
A wooden pole? All I see is a fishing rod
The first fishing rod ever used was a straight, wooden pole. The Egyptians and the Chinese were the first to use such technology. Like bone, stone, and wooden hooks, some people still use wooden poles as rods today. It is not the best tackle available. But something is better than nothing.
It took a couple of years for people to realize that adding rings to the pole prevents the line from tangling and snapping. Reels come into play around 1600, completing the first blueprint of what we know today as fishing reels and poles.
Bananas are a wonderful snack but Leave them at home
This is an old and funny superstition. And still today a lot of anglers don’t bring these delicious snacks on their trips. But why? We all know that bananas get bad as soon as you stop looking at them. So, if you are transporting bananas by boat, you will go as fast as you can to minimize your losses. It is only logical, right?
Sadly, fast-moving boats make fishing impossible. They can’t see the bait. Plus, it adds more tension to the line, making it more likely to snap. So, fishing from a boat that is transporting bananas is next to impossible. But anglers didn’t blame the speed. They blamed the cargo.
The fact many crew members of ships transporting bananas died during the trip helped to reinforce this belief. Bananas release methane during the decomposition process, which is deadly at the right concentrations. Plus, deadly spiders love to lurk around them. However, a direct connection between these accidents and the fruit was never found. Still, a coincidence is more than enough to spread the fear until today. Therefore, you will rarely see an angler who brings bananas during his/her boating fishing trip.
The Greenland shark is the grandpa of the seas
The Greenland sharks have an average life span of 200 years, making them the longest-lived vertebrates in the world. These creatures live in the arctic ocean and can grow to tremendous sizes.
Another fun fact about this amazing creature is that its meat is poisonous. It has trimethylamine oxide, shortly known as TMAO. This substance helps the Greenland shark to stabilize proteins and tissue. But you can destroy the TMAO molecules by fermentation, which makes the meat edible. A curious fact is that Greenland shark meat is a national dish in Greenland.
No fishing at the dead sea
It is not prohibited to cast a rod in these waters. But everyone will laugh at you since this sea houses no fish. The salt concentrations are so high that nothing can live inside it. Nevertheless, it is quite a beautiful place to visit.
Anglers spend over 300 million dollars to keep fish cool
Nobody wants to spend long-time fishing and then realize that their catch has gone bad. So, the logical thing to do is to bring some ice. Anglers around the world invest more than 300 million dollars each year to buy ice. It is quite funny how something so cheap could be so expensive in the long run.
The name anglers come from the old English word “angle” which means hook
Have you ever wondered where the term anglers comes from? It comes from the ancient English world angle, which means hook. Therefore, the term anglers refer to those people who fish with hook and line. That means that anyone who catches a fish by any other means is not an angler.
Anglers spend 7.4 billion dollars on fishing gear in the US alone
Yes, you read that right. American anglers spend 7.4 billion dollars on fishing tackle alone. That includes rod, reel, lines, bait, and hooks. If we assume that the American angling community has around 60 million anglers, it means that each one spends 120 dollars on gear per year. And that is a lot, considering that most of this money goes to lines, hooks, bait, and lures.
All fishermen/women have a “lucky hat”
All fishermen/women, regardless of what and how they are fishing, have one thing in common: A hat. You start using it for convenience at first. Like, to protect your head from the sun. But you will find yourself using it at night as well. So, the hat is more than a simple piece of clothing. It is a lucky amulet and an essential piece of gear.
Fish are more body than brains
As simple as that, fish have relatively small brains in comparison with their bodies. Typically, one-fifteenth of the fish’s weight is brains. Feeling bad about not being able to outsmart them? Don’t be. Fish are exceptionally smart, and they have sharp senses.
Obviously, not all fishes are equally smart. Some are wearier about their surroundings than others. Needless to say, they are harder to land than others. So, don’t feel bad about it. Fishing is endless learning.
Going for muskies or pikes? Check The temperature first
Pike and muskies love to lurk in cold water. Therefore, before casting your rod, make sure to check the water temperature first. Muskies typically love to swim in waters with temperatures around 60 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit. In contrast, pikes prefer waters with 50 to 55 degrees.
Some fishing superstition
These are more myths than facts. But they are funny still, and they are part of the amazing fishing industry. So, here you have some classic fishing superstitions.
No whistling while fishing
Sailors believe that whistling was a way to challenge the wind. Needless to say, challenging a force of nature is not a wise choice, right? Plus, some people believe that whistling scares fish away.
Don’t fish on a boat without a name
Many sailors believe that fishing or sailing in a boat without a name is bad luck. They believe that ships have minds on their own, and by naming it, the boat becomes alive, and it will help you in your voyage.
Additionally, renaming it, without the proper renaming ceremony is bad luck also. According to the legend, the sea keeps a record of all ships. Thus, renaming it will only enrage the sea.
There is some truth behind all these. Trading ships built their reputation by their names. Thus, changing it will only bring problems to the captain and crew.
Use odd numbers when fishing with nets. We don’t know the origin of this superstition.
No redheads on board
Ancient cultures believe that redheads were not normal people and that they were bad omens. Thus, sailors and anglers grew weary of these people and tried to avoid them, if possible.
That’s all for now. So, tell us. Which are your favorite facts or superstitions about fishing? We find it funny how much money anglers spend on ice and fishing tackle alone. And the price of a bluefin tuna? It is impressive how one of these monsters could be worth more than your house. But what is more impressive is the fact that a wrong move and the meat loses all its value.