Fishing Tattoos Meaning, Design & Ideas

A beloved pastime by many, fishing, like hunting, is an incredible skill that requires time, patience, and dedication to the craft. Done in freshwater lakes or the salt water of the ocean, fishing is both a hobby and an enormous industry that feeds people all over the world.

There are countless types of fish, many with beautifully colored scales that can be used in fishing designs that represent the style of fishing specific to the individual.

That being said, it is fair to assume that some people would want to get a tattoo that would represent their hobby or passion. We do it for other sports and hobbies. You see the person who loves playing basketball getting a basketball tattooed on their arm.

You might also see the person who grew up boxing get some gloves inked on their body. Fishing is no different and some people are just as passionate about fishing as any other sport.

In this post, we are going to talk about the different ways that people portray the idea of fishing in a tattoo. We will also talk about what these tattoos mean so you can have a better understanding before you go and get your own tattoo. There are plenty of ways to represent this idea in ink including using different fish as the subject of the tattoo.

Fishing Tattoo Variations

Fishing designs most often include the tools and equipment used by fishermen and fisherwomen such as hooks, lures, rods, fishing boats, and more. Fish, often the type that is majorly caught by the individual, are often added as well to create a fuller and bolder image. Larger pieces, such as sleeves or back pieces, generally include many or all of these icons, coming together to make a fishing scene.

Because there are so many aspects to fishing, one can have a large-scale piece with a collage of ideas in relation to fishing. From full-back piece fishing collages to a simple hook, fishing tattoos can be a great way to express your affection for this skillful sport.

Fishing Hook and Lures Tattoos

Hooks and lures are often imaged on their own, indicating a clear affiliation with fishing. Two hooks are sometimes placed together to create a heart shape with or without lures and a fishing line added. The line work, made to appear like a fishing line, often curls or wraps around the hooks, adding more visual appeal to a smaller image.

Just like the anchor is considered a good luck charm for the sailor, the fish hook is a good luck symbol for the fisherman. It is a symbol of the harvest they earn each time they go out on the water hunting for food or even if they’re only doing it for sport. It can also be a symbol of endurance, strength, a no-quit attitude or persistence.

It can be a waiting game when you are fishing and some might get discouraged if they sit on the water all day without catching anything. It says a lot about a person who can keep their patience and wait for their opportunity.

Fishing Boat and Rod Tattoo

Boats, usually with the silhouette of a fisher and fishing rod, placed on a lakefront are a representation of the serenity many people find while fishing. If you have ever been fishing, you could either look at it as boring or a chance to clear your mind of all the stress that you deal with.

People choose to relax and clear their minds in different ways. Some choose yoga, some choose meditation and others choose to sit on a boat or on a peer and cast a line into the water. The fishing tattoo is a representation of that feeling and if they are ever feeling stressed out, they can refer to that tattoo as a way to bring them back to that peaceful state.

These larger designs can be rendered in any style, most often realistically, but can be rendered smaller with simple and minimal lines. Contour lines can be used as well, sometimes filled with a camouflage pattern, pointing to a love of hunting as well.

Fishing Memorial Tattoo

Fishing designs are also used as memorial tattoos, often a tribute to a deceased loved one who has imparted their knowledge of fishing to the individual. Names or relationships, such as grandfather or mother, are imaged along with lures, fish, or hooks in order to serve as a memorial. These are great tattoos to remember someone because of the feelings associated with those moments that you spent with your loved one.

In addition to helping you keep those lost in your memories, this memorial tattoo is a creative way to send the message that you remember someone. We often see dates and crosses that symbolize the loss of someone.

These aren’t bad ways to do it because everyone has their own style but the fishing boat is a cool way to remember someone by tattooing an image of something you both enjoyed doing.

Setting the Hook Tattoo

Setting the hook when you are fishing is the process of pulling the rod up when you get a bite so the fishing hook punctures the lip of the fish and you can reel them in. This is a symbolic image outside of just being a representation of the love of fishing. One might say this tattoo represents the idea of holding on to what you want. This is not always an easy task and you need to work for it if you really want it.

Just like when you set the hook, there is a chance the fish gets away or the line breaks. As is with any dream or ambition, once you have it in sight you need to strive to keep it and work hard for it. It is a reminder that the things you love are just a blink away from being gone so don’t take it for granted.

Gone Fishing Tattoo

This phrase is one that has been used for years by many different people and it can be looked at a few different ways. One way to think about this phrase is that someone isn’t present. They might be talking to you but you can see in their eyes that they are thinking about something else. However, someone might also consider this kind of person a dreamer.

This is someone who is thinking about what is possible and always thinking about the next step. They might have big ambitions as well so this phrase is a reminder to keep dreaming or to stay in the happy place that you were at. For many, the happy place is fishing, but it can be many other things too.

Catfish Tattoo

One popular fish that gets tattooed in a fishing-themed piece is the catfish. The catfish can symbolize different things depending on what you believe. The Japanese believe that catfish is a symbol that brings chaos and destruction by causing natural disasters like earthquakes. It is even closely connected to the early warning system for earthquakes in Japan.

It is said in Japanese lore that the catfish is named Namazu and it lives in the mud under Japan with the islands sitting on the back of the fish. Whenever Namazu moves, it is said they have earthquakes so in order to stop this from happening, Kashima the demigod holds a rock over Namazu’s head.

There are a lot of different ways that you can get a fishing tattoo and we’re sure there are some variations that we’ve missed. We hope that by going through some of these examples you will have a good idea about the possibilities that are available when you choose to get your own fishing tattoo.

Leave a Comment