Going on a Fishing Date: A Stress-Free Dating Idea

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Sick of the old dating cliches? Dinner and a movie or a ball game?

Why not go fishing for your next date? 

Fishing is a safe, healthy, meaningful, and low-stress activity for a date that will really help you and your prospective partner get a handle on what motivates each other and how you handle challenges. 

Here’s our list of six reasons why fishing is an excellent date idea.

1. It’s Healthy and Gets You Into the Outdoors

Fishing Date
Fishing is a healthy and romantic dating activity that allows you to enjoy nature and fresh air instead of heavy meals or drinking. It also takes you to beautiful locations, making it a perfect romantic setting.

Fishing is a great dating idea for the health-conscious. Instead of sitting down over a heavy meal or drinking, you’ll be out on the lake or river bank and communing with nature in the fresh air.

Choose a sunny day and you’ll get a healthy dose of vitamin D (be sure to be sun smart).

If you are lucky enough to catch some fresh fish you will have the basis for a healthy meal.

As we know as anglers, fishing also takes you to some beautiful places – spending some time on the shores of a beautiful lake or beach or similar location is certainly romantic.

2. It’s Relaxed and Fun

Ever wonder why conversation seems to flow when you are actually doing something as opposed to being seated across a dinner table? When I want to have a good conversation with someone, I’ll often suggest a walk. Just the act of having something else to focus on along with the conversation makes it easier to exchange views without stress.

The same is true of fishing. Sitting together in a boat or on the dock, or wandering up a mountain trout stream, is a great environment to have great conversations and get to know someone without the stilted exchanges you might have in a dinner scenario.

3. You’ll Learn a Lot About Each Other

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Fishing is a useful activity for getting to know your partner’s values, preferences, and character traits. The way a person handles fishing, including their decision-making, fishing style, and attitude towards success or failure, can provide valuable insight into their personality.

Fishing is great for learning about each others’ values: deciding whether to keep fish or not. How you handle the fish you catch and kill fish humanely if you do. These are all indicators of someone’s values and how you and your date go about handling these kinds of matters will tell you a lot about each other and how compatible you might be.

Similarly, the kind of fishing you enjoy tells you a lot – are you both interested in sitting stationary on a dock with some bait? Or do you prefer a more active form of fishing such as wading up a trout stream? A fishing date will help you work out if you are aligned.

Similarly, a fishing date involves a bit of preparation, so it tells you a bit about how organized your potential partner might be. Do they go with the flow and grab things from the garage at the last minute, or do they run a spreadsheet of the necessary gear to take? Neither of these extremes is good or bad – it just helps to be reasonably aligned on these things or at least acknowledge your differences so you can allow for them.

Fishing isn’t always successful of course (otherwise they’d call it catching). In truth, an unsuccessful fishing date tells you as much about a future partner as a successful one. How do they handle adversity and disappointment? Can they put aside results and focus on enjoying the process? It will really give you a window into their soul.

4. It’s During Daylight Hours

One of the pressures of dating is what happens after the fishing date. Are you both of the same view regarding how intimate you want things to get? The advantage of fishing as a date option is it takes the pressure off in this respect. For starters, it is daylight hours so your date won’t feel there is an obligation to go home with you afterward in the same way they might after night-time activities.

5. You Are Sharing Your Passions and Being True to Yourself

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Taking someone on a fishing date allows passionate anglers to share a core part of their life and communicate its significance in their future, either alone or together.

If you aren’t a keen angler this doesn’t apply (fishing is still a great idea for you though). However, If you are a keen angler, you know that’s something you are going to want to do for the rest of your life. Taking someone on a fishing date is being true to yourself and to them. It’s about saying ‘this is me and what makes me tick” and if things get more series down the track, they know this is a core part of your life and something you’ll need time and space to do, either on your own or together.

6. It’s Cheap

The other great thing about a fishing date is that it is basically free. If you have the right gear, all you need is gas for the car and a packed lunch. No expensive dinners and stress over who pays the bill!

How to Play It on a Fishing Date: FAQs

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Fishing provides a healthy, unique, and insightful way to build a deeper understanding of your partner through shared experiences in nature.

The first thing to accept about a fishing date is that it is not about the fish! That’s hard to accept for us hard-core anglers. But the fact is that a fishing date is all about getting to know a potential partner. So play it cool and keep the focus on having fun and chatting. Don’t worry if you don’t catch fish.

If you want to take the pressure off on this front, going on a fishing charter together could be a good idea. That way the charter operator takes care of all the logistics.

Where Should You Go to Have the Best Fishing Date?

Choose somewhere that’s easy to get to and that you’ve been to before so you know the terrain. Ideally, choose somewhere that’s not too remote if it is a first date and you are just getting to know each other. Everyone has to feel safe!

When Should You Go?

It’s best to go at a time of day that is comfortable and fits in with your plans regarding meals. Many fish bite better in low-light conditions but don’t base your planning around this. Best to pick a time of day that suits your schedule and fit the fishing in around that. You might have a picnic lunch and fish through to 4 pm or something. Or head out at that time (in summer) and fish for a few hours before a picnic dinner.

Hardcore fishing such as ice fishing on a frozen lake or hiking into a remote river is probably off the agenda!

What Should You Bring on a Fishing Date

The first thing to think about when going on a fishing date is comfort for your companion. To that end, you might bring a couple of folding chairs, an umbrella if rain is possible, a blanket so you don’t have to sit on the muddy ground, and enough snacks to ward off hunger.

Of course, if you are taking a picnic, why not bring a nice bottle of wine and some cheese and crackers? Remember to bring along any utensils needed along with serviettes and plastic plates.

Hand sanitizer is a must too for a fishing date.

In terms of fishing gear, bring gear that is easy to use. Think about a simple spinning rod and a spincast reel or a spinning reel with a trigger that is easy to cast.

Soft plastic lures are a good choice or if your companion isn’t an experienced angler a simple rig with a bobber float with a hook suspended beneath works fine. Of a simple split shot or sliding sinker rig.

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Get a Fishing License or Find a Free Fishing Day

Check out the current fishing regulations and make sure you have the correct fishing licenses for both of you. Nothing more embarrassing than getting fined for not having a license on a date. You can buy the right fishing license for your state via these links or get one at Walmart.

Some states offer free fishing days where you don’t need a fishing license.

What to Wear on a Fishing Trip?

A fishing date also takes the pressure off in terms of wearing the latest fashion outfit. For a fishing date, you just need to wear something that’s suitable for the weather conditions, that you feel comfortable in, and that you aren’t afraid to get a little dirty.

You should discuss in advance with your date if the place where you are fishing is going to require wading in the water (probably not recommended for a first date at least) or any other activity that requires specialist gear. 

Remember to take sun protection (a fishing hat, polarized sunglasses, and sunscreen) on the fishing date. While catching fish is not really the point, wearing bright or white colors is not recommended when fishing in clear water as it allows the fish to see you.

What’s It Mean When A Guy Asks You to Go on a Fishing Date?

It means you’ve hit the jackpot! Just kidding – it means he wants to share his passion with you and see if it is something you enjoy at least on some level. It also means he wants to get to know you better in a relaxed and informal way.

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Rick Wallace is a passionate angler and fly fisher whose work has appeared in fishing publications including FlyLife. He's appeared in fishing movies, founded a successful fishing site and spends every spare moment on the water. He's into kayak fishing, ultralight lure fishing and pretty much any other kind of fishing out there.
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