Mental Benefits of Fishing

Mental Benefits of Fishing

Matthew Davies image of a man fishing.

If you are reading this, I, Matthew Davies, probably don’t have to sell you on fishing. Perhaps you already enjoy the sport and have just taken a break for the season. After reading this blog, however, I’ll wager that within ten minutes, you will be heading out the door with your rod and tackle box in hand. Don’t worry; you are not alone. Fishing is the number one recreational activity in the world. The good news/bad news is that the number of anglers is growing with each passing year. It is good because that means future generations will learn to love fishing; however, more anglers on the water also means more competition.

Few people realize that there are more benefits to fishing than having something to eat at the end of the day. However, fishing provides us with a plethora of mental, emotional, and physical benefits as well. In fact, many of these benefits last long after the fishing trip is over. That means you will not only feel better on the water but days after you return home as well.

While you are not likely to need additional encouragement to get out on the water, I am going to provide people that are wondering what those benefits actually are, some definitive proof. Enjoy reading about these mental benefits of fishing.


In the early 80s, a researcher by the name Robert Ulrich noticed that post-operative patients were assigned different views outside of their hospital rooms. Some of the patients didn’t have a view, others had a view of the cityscape, and even others had a view of nature.

Curious as always, Ulrich decided to start a study that determined the difference in the recovery time of these patients. The control group would include the patients that had no view at all. The other two groups comprised of city view and nature view; As you might expect, the patients that had a view of wilderness healed more quickly than those who did not. Additionally, those patients that had views of nature suffered less pain than those who could only see the city.

The study has since been repeated several times with similar results. Therefore, it would seem almost certain that there is some connection between seeing the great outdoors and only seeing a smoggy city.

So, don’t just go fishing for the sport of it, do it to heal quicker from any pain you might have. Remember, mental illness is just as relevant as physical pain.

Blood Pressure

To go along with healing, I present to you an actual medical condition that can benefit from fishing. It is unclear as to why, but people that fish tend to have lower blood pressures than people who don’t.

As we all know, high blood pressure can be responsible for several serious health problems. Just a few of them are heart attacks, stroke, heart failure, and even dementia. While doctors and medicine can lower blood pressure, it is essential to remember that with medicine comes side effects. The only side effects that I can see from a lot, or at least regular fishing trips, is the possibility of getting too much sun or getting in an argument with your spouse/significant other.


There are many different ways to fish. Most of the time, when people think of fishing, they only think of lounging in a chair for hours on end. They forget that most people cannot directly open their door and cast a line out.

One type of fishing that does not yield too much exercise is walking out to the fishing hole and sitting down all day. Sure, you do get to walk while you are on your way to the fishing hole, but after that, nothing.

Boat fishing also provides limited exercise. You will indeed have to exert yourself more than if you were just walking out to the bench of your favorite fishing hole. You will have to attach the boat to the car/truck. Then you have to launch the boat. After you have finished your day, you will have to retrieve your boat. When you get home, you will have to wash your boat. There is a way to get even more exercise.

However, the best way to get exercise while fishing is by standing up and walking along the shore. Anglers who fish in this manner can burn up to 200 calories per hour of fishing. So, don’t think of it as a fishing trip, think of it as a way to get some much-needed exercise. After all, as many as 80% of American adults do not get a healthy amount of activity.

Quiet Time

In our day to day lives, there is a lot of noise. You may not hear it, but it is there. The best way to discover how loud your daily life is is to simply turn off the power in your house. Just in your home alone, there is a lot of noise.

While you will still experience noise when you go fishing, it will be a peaceful type of noise. When people try to get sleep, they often listen to the sounds of nature using specialized sound machines or perhaps an app on their phones. Well, think of fishing as a way to get these sounds for free. Sounds of water moving, birds singing, and crickets chirping will relax your over-worked mind.


I, Matthew Davies, have been an avid proponent of fishing for years. In fact, I am always on the lookout for someone that has not been introduced to fishing. I feel it is my duty to educate people on the benefits of fishing. Like I said before, fishing is not just a way to get a meal. It is a way to get both a meal and get some inner peace. So, if you have not tried fishing, I suggest you get out there and give it a try. Just remember: make sure that you have the proper permits and are allowed to fish where you are. Nothing will sour your taste for fishing quite like a visit from the game warden.

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