What Skills Does Fishing Give You? | In-Depth List

Fishing is one of the most popular pastimes known to give people a break from daily life and allows people to focus on the beauty of nature and the task at hand. While fishing is a great hobby, you might wonder, “What Skills Does Fishing Give You?”

Fishing teaches anglers new skills, including knot tying, hand-eye coordination, reading a map, cleaning and preparing a fish, and problem-solving. Frequent anglers will hone these skills and find a crossover between their hobby and everyday life, making many small tasks easier.

In this article, we go in-depth into the skills you can learn while out on the water searching for fish.

What Skills does Fishing Give You?

Fishing not only gives anglers skills but also allows them to learn more continually without ever being at a saturation point.

For instance, once you master a crankbait, there is still the top water and swimbait to learn. The following is an in-depth but not comprehensive list of skills that fishing can give you.

1. Hand-Eye Coordination

Few pastimes require as much hand-eye coordination as fishing. Many experienced anglers make this look effortless; however, it takes practice, a sharp eye, and steady hands to hit your mark every cast.

The reality, however, requires many hours of building those hand-eye coordination skills.

Dropping a topwater frog onto a single lily pad or sinking a plastic lizard deep into a cut requires anglers to have mastered a flick of the wrist, timing, and judging the distance to the target, all done in the blink of an eye.

From techniques such as ‘walking the dog’ to ‘dead sticking’, anglers must also control the lure while reeling in order to make their presentation seem as realistic as possible.

It requires dexterity and finesse to turn a piece of plastic or metal into a delicious meal for lurking leviathans, and fishing provides plenty of practice for anglers to pick up these skills.

Hand-Eye Coordination

2. Knot Tying

Whether in boy scouts or fixing a porch swing, knots are essential in anyone’s toolbox of Knowledge.

Fishing is full of opportunities to tie knots, from mooring the boat at the dock to connecting on the new lure.

These knots include the square knot, the bowline, the palomar, the half hitch, and the blood knot.

While some of these knots are exclusive to fishing, many carry over into everyday life, like the square knot being used to connect two separate pieces of rope or the bowline creating a loop to secure items to a loop.

A great way to practice these skills off the water is to purchase cheap fishing lines and practice on lures that don’t have hooks or get a piece of loose rope and tie it to a structure.

Simply carrying a length of cord with you and practicing knots in your free time can make knot-tying a breeze while on the water.

3. How To Clean A Fish

Learning how to clean fish is a rite of passage for any angler.

From watching your grandparent deftly wield the knife on the dock, to the mantle being passed to the next generation, it means something when an angler cleans their first fish.

However, cleaning a fish requires attention to detail and a steady hand. The wrong incision and the flesh can be spoiled or a filet ruined.

Like a puzzle that has to be undone instead of put together, cleaning a fish requires a plan of attack, and anglers will learn how to scale, gut, filet, and package freshly caught fish quickly.

In addition to learning how to process the fish, anglers learn proper knife handling, which is a significant component of safely cleaning the fish.

Keeping your blade oiled and sharp is easy before putting your metal to the test with the day’s catch.

3. How To Prepare A Fish

One of the most often overlooked parts of angling is preparing the fish after cleaning it.

In comparison, some anglers may prefer the catch-and-release method; many angle for fish as food as a nutrient-dense and healthy source of protein.

Preparing a fish is more complicated than throwing salt and pepper on a filet and slapping it on the stove.

With each species having its unique flavor profile, anglers can learn the intricacies of seafood cuisine from their catch.

From blackened redfish to fried catfish filets, there are many options regarding the kitchen side of angling.

Not only will angling make you a better cook, but it will also help you appreciate seafood on a deeper level at both restaurants and your kitchen.

4. How To Read A Map

At some point in every angler’s journey, there comes the desire to improve their skills and find a way to catch more fish.

One of the most important ways to find more fish is to learn how to read maps, especially for unexplored and unfamiliar territory.

While nothing will help an angler as much as time on the water, learning the topography of a lake will give you an idea of where depth changes are, especially finding those ledges that fish prefer to hide near.

Satellite imaging will give anglers a view of where specific structures are so they can plan to fish.

Rocky outcrops, flooded trees, and points leading into the water are all great places to start with in search of finding the 10% of the water the fish are in.

How To Read A Map

5. Problem-Solving

Creative problem-solving is one of the biggest skills that anglers pick up on the water.

Understanding how to get from point A to point B isn’t always a straight line; anglers must keep their wits about them when heading out with a rod and reel.

From solving mechanical or line issues with the reel to getting your snagged lure out from a tree, there are plenty of opportunities for anglers to creatively find a solution to save their day on the water.

Problem-solving skills learned in fishing often cross over into everyday life. The find, fix, finish mentality that comes with fishing problems is a valuable tool in everyone’s tackle box.

6. Patience

An important skill learned from fishing that can translate well into everyday life is patience. Speaking from experience, you can go hours or even days without catching any fish when they are lethargic or inactive.

Learning to be patient is vital to not losing your mind while fishing and waiting for that one bite that will get your heart racing.

Patience while fishing will sometimes help you slow down and focus, making all the difference in presentation.

From waiting in traffic to waiting at the DMV, having a little extra patience can prevent anglers from getting annoyed with little things that slow them down.


Fishing provides anglers with many opportunities to pick up new skills. From knot tying to hand-eye coordination, no matter how experienced anglers are, there is always something new to be learned.

While cleaning and preparing fish are fun skills, knot-tying and creative problem-solving often overlap in everyday life.

Meanwhile, anglers will find that the hand-eye coordination they received from hours spent with a rod in hand will transfer over to other pastimes, making them well-rounded individuals.

If you’re considering getting into fishing, consider all the skills you can learn on and off the water.

Shailen Vandeyar

A proud Indian origin Kiwi who loves to plant trees and play with my pet bunny when not freshwater fishing in the nearest creek or enjoying saltwater fishing by taking boats far in the ocean.

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