Seven reasons why fishing is good for you

Read our top seven health benefits of fishing to learn why, whether you're a match angler or a weekend hobbyist, it's a great way to improve your mental and physical wellbeing.

Fishing at Bootle, Leeds & Liverpool Canal

You'll find a huge range of fish species in our canals and rivers. It's the hard work and constant care by the Canal & River Trust's team of fishieries experts that keep it that way, and this is why:

1. Fishing keeps you fit

By going fishing your main muscle groups, heart and lungs are all getting a good work out. Choosing a fishing spot that's a 10 to 15 minute walk from your car is an obvious boost to aerobic exercise. But setting up, casting off and then winding in hundreds of small fish calls for a bit of strength. Let alone some of the huge carp or pike you can find in our waters. It engages the shoulders, back, arms, core and legs in an active workout. 

Gone fishingIt’s a whole body work out without the drama of going to the gym. You might not have even noticed it!

2. Fishing increases your vitamin D

Even when skies are grey – which they often are – being outside means your body can top up on critical Vitamin D reserves. Vitamin D helps regulate the amount of calcium and phosphate in your body, keeping your bones and teeth healthy. It boosts your immune system and has been linked to fighting depression.

3. Fishing improves your concentration

Being outside and taking notice of the environment around you improve your ability to concentrate, according to research in the British Journal of Sports Medicine. Walking in nature or simply spending time under leafy trees leads to changes in the brain, which improve levels of concentration.

Angling on the canals4. Fishing reduces stress

40% of adults lie awake at night through stress but just being near water lowers anxiety and instills a sense of calm. More and more charities are realising this and starting to use the therapeutic benefits of fishing to treat post-traumatic-stress-disorder and other illnesses.

5. Fishing with friends

No matter what age you are, when you join an angling club you become part of a community, whether you take part in competitions or just nod a greeting to the angler on the next peg. You can join in as much, or as little as you want to, but being around like-minded people, sharing an interest and connecting with new friends is a great way to spend the day.

6. Fishing improves your self esteem

Fishing is all about personal goals, and attaining those goals is a sure fire way to improve self-esteem. It’s also a lifelong skill that you can enjoy at any age. Every angler remembers their first catch. Just look at the way their eyes light up when they talk about it. Fishing is also the perfect skill to pass on. With grandfathers taking grandchildren out to a local canal and showing them how to hook a maggot. Spending time with your family also promotes feelings of security and wellbeing, making fishing a worthwhile activity to learn.

7. Fishing lets you unplug

While most people go fishing at the weekend, we see plenty of after work anglers too along our canals. So leave your computer and emails behind, get away from the games console or tablet, and let your eyes rest on the gently sparkling water.

Our canals and rivers are open for everyone to enjoy the sights and sounds of nature so you can relax every day.

Last date edited: 17 May 2018