Fishing as a sport is when you catch fish but release them back into the water after.

Fishing idioms and expressions

Many idioms originated from fishing and here is a list of them with examples.

fishing idioms and expressions list in English

drop someone a line

meaning – contact someone by phone or writing
example – Alex said drop him a line if you want to do something this weekend.

fishing idioms - drop someone a line

fish for compliments

meaning – try and elicit compliments from someone
example – Kirsty always fishes for compliments; she is so annoying.

fishing idioms - fish for compliments

off the hook

meaning – safe from trouble, blame, difficulty etc.
example – Jenny has offered to sit in on the meeting, so I’m off the hook.

fishing expressions - off the hook

open a can of worms

meaning – do/say something that will cause more trouble than it’s worth
example – If the owner’s unqualified daughter gets the promotion, it will open a can of worms.

common fishing idioms and sayings - open a can of worms meaning

plenty more fish in the sea

meaning – when a relationship fails, there are more people to have relationships with
example – Everyone is telling me there’s plenty more fish in the sea, but I only want Hugh.

fishing expressions - plenty more fish in the sea

reel in

meaning – catch a fish and pull it to land
example – Let’s go to a club and reel in the ladies.

fishing sayings - reel in

You can download a table of fishing idioms and expressions below.

If you’ve enjoyed this page, don’t forget to check out some more sports idioms by clicking on the links below.