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Fishing for Fitness: The Health Benefits of Casting a Line

Published By: Jonathan Lee

By Sarah McMichael
Catch Fishing and Keep Canada Fishing

According to the Canadian Sportfishing Industry Association’s report, Keep Canada Fishing: The Economic Facts, approximately nine million Canadians fish every year. That’s 25 per cent of our total population. In fact, more adult Canadians fish than play golf and hockey combined.

Clearly Canadians are passionate about casting lines and catching fish. Together anglers spend over $8 billion annually on supporting their passion.

So why are so many Canadians excited about fishing? Well, it turns out that it’s good for you, plain and simple.

To start, fishing is a great way to relieve stress. Any angler will tell you being outdoors away from the business of everyday life is an excellent form of relaxation. Picture it: you’re on a calm lake in the early morning, the sun is rising, and the only sound you hear is the splash of your lure. What could be more peaceful?

Fishing has even been used as a form of therapy for veterans with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). Organizations like Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing Canada and Wounded Warriors Canada have programs that take veterans fly fishing as a way to promote physical and mental rehabilitation.

While fishing may not be the most strenuous activity, it can still provide a number of benefits to your physical health. A day of casting lines and netting fish can add up to great exercise. Simply being outdoors all day promotes a more active lifestyle. Plus, fishing often involves other outdoor activities like hiking, wading, or paddling. Altogether this makes fishing an activity that is great for your body.

Recreational fishing provides an opportunity to get outdoors and spend time enjoying our Canadian landscape. According to a study by Trent University in Peterborough, Ontario, simply being outdoors can do wonders for your mental health. Professor Lisa Nesbitt found that being outside for just 15 minutes a day can improve your overall mood and energy levels.

While the act of fishing has a multitude of benefits, eating your catch can be good for you too. Fish are high in Omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential to your health, according to a study released by the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics in 2014. Eating fish can be good for your heart, brain, and eyesight.

In today's fast-paced and hectic world, fishing offers a multitude of opportunities to de-stress, become more active, and enjoy the serenity of our country's landscape. So grab your rod and reel and let’s get healthy, Canada... by going fishing!

Catch Fishing is supported by the Canadian National Sportfishing Foundation (CNSF), an organization dedicated to preserving and promoting Canada’s angling heritage. Through National Fishing Week (July 2 to 10) and Keep Canada Fishing, the CNSF works hard to ensure that Canadians have ample recreational fishing opportunities and that fish populations are managed to sustainable levels. To learn more visit and