23 Fishing Struggles That All Anglers Will Understand

Fishing is an Addiction.

And just like any kind of “addict” has highs and lows, struggles and frustrations, good days and bad days… fishing is no different.

So in this post, I wanted to reflect back on all of the struggles and frustrations that us anglers have battled over the years…

The struggles that keep us coming back for more fish…

The struggles that make the bad days seem bad, and the good days even better…

The struggles that make us proud to be ANGLERS!

Hope you enjoy and can relate with these 23 Fishing Struggles.

1. Bass Thumb | Snook Thumb | Fish Thumb

If you have ever lipped any kind of fish (freshwater or saltwater), then you know what I mean when I say “Fish Thumb”.

And although there is nothing more manly or rewarding than having proof on your thumb that you caught a lot of fish, it can be a bit embarrassing when shaking hands with business associates or doing a presentation at work where you need your hands.

Or even worse, when your non-fishing co-workers think you must be at home gardening and working on your green thumb… if only.

Here are some perfect examples of Bass thumbs and Snook thumbs from some tough anglers.

fishing angler struggles

fishing angler struggles

2. You Pull Up To Your Favorite Fishing Spot and Someone Else Is Already There!

Nothing worse than getting a hall pass to go fishing (if you are married), heading out to your favorite fishing honey hole, and seeing another boat in your spot!

Same goes for fishing from the beach or a pier.


fishing struggles

3. A Bird’s Nest In Your Fishing Reel!

This one doesn’t need much explaining… talk about frustration!

And of course it always happens when you are casting at a big fish or have a big fish nearby.

fishing struggles

fishing struggles

4. Jet Skis

FACT: Jet Skis can ruin just about any fishing spot.

Down here in Florida we call them “Googans”.

Googans Jet Ski Drivers do the following:

  • Blow right by you at 60mph while you are fishing
  • Suck up your fishing line in their jets from going so close
  • Have no idea what a “No Wake Zone” is
  • Scare off all of the fish in an area

fishing struggles

5. The Suburban Dad That Feels He Must Sling His Kids In An Inner Tube Behind His Pontoon Boat As Close To You As He Can.

Piggy-back from #4 = Googan move

Aka Googan dad move.

fishing struggles

6. Your Anchor or Powerpole Won’t Hold No Matter How Hard You Try!

Nothing worse than finally getting settled in your fishing spot and the anchor or power pole won’t hold.

Sometimes an anchor or power pole failing to set is due to wind, sometimes it’s due current, sometimes it’s just to deep, and sometimes it’s due to a “loose bottom” that just won’t hold anything!

fishing struggles

7. You Blanked.

Blanking: /blaNGk-ing/ verb – defeated and coming home after a long day of fishing without catching a single fish.

fishing struggles

8. Sunburn

fishing struggles

No matter how well you try to apply sunscreen, every angler has suffered from a sunburn at least once.

It usually seems to be one of these main causes:

  1. You forgot to put sunscreen on your ears, nose, or feet
  2. You were fishing with your guy friends and there was no way you were going to have them lube up your back with sunscreen. It would be less painful to just burn…
  3. You get a nice pair of “Raccoon Eyes” because you never took your sunglasses off all day
  4. You just flat out forgot sunscreen

fishing struggles

fishing struggles

fishing struggles

9. Your Have That “One Friend” That Is Always Bad Luck Fishing

fishing struggles

10. A Tree Jumps In Front Of Your Fishing Lure Out Of Nowhere!

Has this ever happened to you?

You make the perfect cast under a tree or mangrove line only to quickly realize that the tree or mangrove must have somehow moved closer all of a sudden?

At least, that is what you tell your fishing buddies…

fishing struggles

11. A Shark, Gator, or Crocodile Steals Your Fish Before You Can Get It In The Boat

Nothing worse than having a nice fish on the line and then all of a sudden everything goes slack…

It’s then you realize that the “Fishing Tax Man” just paid a visit…

And of course, it always seems to happen right before you are about to land the fish!

Lazy sharks and crocs!

fishing struggles

12. Some Knucklehead Brings A Banana On Your Boat!

In terms of bad luck while fishing, there is nothing worse than bringing a banana on your boat.

Even if you don’t believe in superstitions, this “Bad Luck Banana” myth has impacted more anglers across the globe than any other fishing superstition out there.

And if you ever want to know the real reasons behind the “Bad Luck Banana” fishing superstition, this post called, “The Top 5 Myths About No Bananas On Board Your Fishing Boat” spells it out all (read it here).

fishing struggles

13. Your Boat Hits a Sandbar or Some Other Structure…

Possible Cause of boat getting stuck on a sandbar is a banana on board (see #12 bananas on board)

Another cause is you have no freaking idea where the sandbars are or how to read tide charts…

Either way, it can happen to the best of us…

fishing struggles

fishing struggles

fishing struggles

fishing struggles

14. Your Boat Is In The Shop

Boats always seem to have issues and break down at the worst times!

And anyone that has ever had the pleasure of owning a boat, has also had the displeasure of taking your boat into the shop.

It’s one of the ultimate fishing struggles, and it will always come with the territory if you do your fishing from a boat.

fishing struggles

fishing struggles

15. You Reel Up A Bent Hook That Has You Forever Wondering What World Record Fish You “Almost” Caught.

Have you ever fought a huge fish, but then felt the line go slack only to reel up a hook that had been bent straight!

You know it was a monster, and for the rest of the day (if not years), you can’t get this mystery monster out of your mind.

fishing struggles

16. A Fishing Hook Somehow Finds Its Way In Your Skin

If you fish long enough, there will certainly come an unfortunate day where you find yourself with a hook going through your skin.

It could be your fault, it could be the fish’s fault, and it could be your drunk buddy’s fault who can’t cast…

But either way, it is not fun.

fishing struggles

fishing struggles

17. You Drop Your Cell Phone In The Water

Some days are just better than others out on the water…

For those of you that have had this happen, then you know first-hand that nothing can ruin a fishing trip faster than a cell phone taking a dip in the water.

Even if you catch a ton of fish, it’s tough to take your mind of your water-logged, no-working phone.

And if your phone falls in saltwater, you might as well just flush it down the toilet as it is toast…

fishing struggles

fishing struggles

18. You Had A “Run In” With The Bottom

We’ve all done it…

You feel a bite on your line, you set the hook like a champ, you holler to your fishing buddies that you have a big one on the line, and then you quickly realize you are hooked on the bottom…

That is of course after fighting it for a few seconds…

fishing struggles

19. Your Fishing Line Breaks While Fighting A Nice Fish

Let’s be honest with each other, when your fishing line breaks, even if it wasn’t a big fish, it quickly becomes one after your line pops…

I mean, what else besides a monster fish could break a line, right!

Either way, line breaks are one of the saddest fishing struggles since man invented fishing…

fishing struggle

20. A Catfish Eats Your Best Live Bait

You finally have some amazing live bait after a tough morning of throwing the cast net.

And now you grab one of the largest, most liveliest baits in the live well… you toss it out… and Boom!

The rod tip goes down…

You put a fight…

You yell at your fishing buddies that “This one feels like a beast!”

Only to reel in a catfish…

Embarrassment and friendly harassment follows shortly after…

Hint: The only solution I have found is wearing one of these “No Cats On Board” fishing shirts

fishing struggles


21. You Back Your Boat Down The Ramp Or Lower Your Boat Off The Lift And Realize The Boat Plug Is Out…

Or even worse, your boat sinks because you left the plug out..

Hopefully if you ever had this fishing struggle, you realized that your boat plug was out way before these boaters did…

fishing struggles

fishing struggles

fishing struggles

22. You Have Friends & Family That Just Don’t Quite Understand Why You Like Fishing So Much?

Some people will just never get fishing.

And it really stinks when it is your close friends and family.

The sad news is that no matter how hard you try to explain the joy and peace that fishing gives you, it will never really sink in with them.

fishing struggles

fishing struggles

23. The Days When You Catch Nothing But an Old Shoe

Whoever said a bad day of fishing is still better than a good day at work was probably the same angler that only caught old shoes and boots!

I mean, let’s be honest, catching a boot, shoe, underwear, branch, bra, or any of the other random thing that we hook onto is not fun.

But it still keeps us coming back for more…

Fish On!

fishing angler struggles

Did I leave any of the main fishing frustrations off?

Any other fishing struggles you have dealt with recently?

I would love to hear your best stories.

Leave a comment and let me know which one is your most frustrating fishing moment or any unbelievable fishing story you have.

P.S. – If you think your friends or fishing network would like this, please Tag them or Share this with them. You Rock! Pa-POW!


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  • Posted 9 years ago

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