29 Fishing Movies: A List of the Best Films About Fishing


We list the 29 best fishing movies that you should watch if you love fishing, the ocean and the beauty of nature.

best fishing movies

Fishing is more than just a hobby or a sport. It is a way of connecting with nature, with yourself, and with others.

Fishing can also inspire great stories, as many movies have shown. Whether you are a fishing enthusiast or just a fan of good cinema, you will enjoy this list of the best films about fishing or that feature fishing in some way.

These movies capture the essence and the excitement of fishing in different ways. Each movie will make you appreciate the beauty and the challenge of fishing.

Checkout these 29 fishing movies if you love fishing, the ocean and the beauty of nature.

There is a FREE movie checklist you can download to keep track of what you want to see.

Links included below to the where the movies are streaming FREE (where available).

Read to the end for BONUS movies streaming FREE

What information is provided about each Fishing movie in this selection?

  • The movie title and release year of the movie
  • Image of movie
  • Director
  • A list of actors in the movie
  • Genre
  • The MPAA rating
  • Link to the movie in IMDb – For movie reviews, where to stream, ratings, trailers and lots more.
  • Link to where movie is streaming for FREE (if available)
  • A movie summary

Best Fishing Movies for Movie Night

1. The River Wild (1994)

  • Director: Curtis Hanson
  • Actors: Meryl Streep, Kevin Bacon, David Strathairn
  • Genre: Adventure, Crime, Thriller
  • Rating: PG-13
  • IMDb: The River Wild on IMDb

A thrilling and suspenseful movie about a family of rafters who encounter two armed fugitives on a wild river. Meryl Streep plays Gail, a former river guide who must use her skills and courage to save her husband and son from the dangerous criminals. The movie features stunning scenery and exciting rapids, as well as some fishing scenes where Gail teaches her son how to fly fish.

2. A River Runs Through It (1992)

A beautiful and touching movie based on the semi autobiographical novella by Norman Maclean, about two brothers who grow up in Montana under the strict guidance of their father, a Presbyterian minister. The movie explores their different personalities and life choices, as well as their shared passion for fly fishing on the Big Blackfoot River. The movie showcases the art and spirituality of fly fishing, as well as the stunning landscapes of Montana.

3. The Old Man and the Sea (1958)

  • Director: John Sturges
  • Actors: Spencer Tracy, Felipe Pazos Jr., Harry Bellaver
  • Genre: Adventure, Drama
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • IMDb: The Old Man and the Sea on IMDb

A classic and inspiring movie based on the novel by Ernest Hemingway, about an old Cuban fisherman who goes 84 days without a catch. He decides to venture far out into the sea, where he hooks a huge marlin that tests his strength and endurance. The movie follows his epic struggle to bring the fish home, as well as his memories and reflections on his life. The movie is a tribute to the dignity and courage of the old man, and his love for the sea and fishing.

4. The Perfect Storm (2000)

  • Director: Wolfgang Petersen
  • Actors: George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, John C. Reilly
  • Genre: Action, Adventure, Drama
  • Rating: PG-13
  • IMDb: The Perfect Storm on IMDb

A gripping and tragic movie based on the true story of the Andrea Gail, a swordfishing boat that was caught in the Perfect Storm of 1991. The movie follows the crew of the Andrea Gail, who decide to risk everything for a big catch, despite the warnings of a massive storm. The movie depicts the harsh realities and dangers of commercial fishing, as well as the bravery and camaraderie of the fishermen.

5. Salmon Fishing in the Yemen (2011)

A charming and quirky movie based on the novel by Paul Torday, about a fisheries expert who is hired by a consultant to help a Yemeni sheikh realize his dream of bringing salmon fishing to the desert. The movie follows the unlikely romance between the expert and the consultant, as they embark on a journey of faith and fish to make the impossible possible. The movie is a humorous and heartwarming tale of how fishing can bring people together and change their lives.

6. Grumpy Old Men (1993)

  • Director: Donald Petrie
  • Actors: Jack Lemmon, Walter Matthau, Ann-Margret
  • Genre: Comedy, Romance
  • Rating: PG-13
  • IMDb: Grumpy Old Men on IMDb

A hilarious and heartwarming movie about two elderly men who have been feuding and insulting each other for over 50 years. Their rivalry intensifies when a new female neighbor moves in across the street and catches their attention. The movie features witty dialogue, slapstick humor, and a touching friendship.

7. On Golden Pond (1981)

  • Director: Mark Rydell
  • Actors: Katharine Hepburn, Henry Fonda, Jane Fonda
  • Genre: Drama
  • Rating: PG
  • IMDb: On Golden Pond on IMDb
  • Streaming FREE on Tubi

A beautiful and touching movie based on the play by Ernest Thompson, about an aging couple who spend each summer at their cottage on a lake called Golden Pond. The movie explores their relationship, their struggles with aging and mortality, and their reconciliation with their estranged daughter. The movie features superb performances by Hepburn and Fonda, who both won Oscars for their roles.

8. Gone Fishin’ (1997)

  • Director: Christopher Cain
  • Actors: Joe Pesci, Danny Glover, Rosanna Arquette
  • Genre: Comedy, Crime
  • Rating: PG
  • IMDb: Gone Fishin’ on IMDb

A silly and slapstick movie about two bumbling fishing buddies who win a contest and get a free fishing trip. However, the fishing trip doesn’t go as smoothly as planned. Their car gets stolen, there’s a hurricane, and many other catastrophes plague them while they’re supposed to be fishing. The movie features a lot of physical comedy and mishaps.

9. Cast Away (2000)

  • Director: Robert Zemeckis
  • Actors: Tom Hanks, Helen Hunt, Nick Searcy
  • Genre: Adventure, Drama
  • Rating: PG-13
  • IMDb: Cast Away on IMDb

A gripping and tragic movie about a FedEx executive who is stranded on an uninhabited island after his plane crashes in the South Pacific. The movie follows his desperate attempts to survive and return home, as well as his emotional journey and transformation. The movie features a remarkable performance by Hanks, who carries most of the film by himself.

10. Fishing with John (1991)

  • Director: John Lurie
  • Actors: John Lurie, Jim Jarmusch, Tom Waits
  • Genre: Documentary, Comedy
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • IMDb: Fishing with John on IMDb

A quirky and surreal series that resembles a travel or fishing show, but with a twist. In each episode, musician and actor John Lurie takes a famous guest on a fishing expedition in exotic and dangerous locations. However, Lurie knows nothing about fishing, and the show is edited and narrated in a way to suggest that they are involved in dramatic and even supernatural adventures. The series features guests such as Jim Jarmusch, Tom Waits, Willem Dafoe, and Dennis Hopper.

11. The Beach (2000)

  • Director: Danny Boyle
  • Actors: Leonardo DiCaprio, Tilda Swinton, Virginie Ledoyen
  • Genre: Adventure, Drama
  • Rating: R
  • IMDb: The Beach on IMDb

A movie based on the novel by Alex Garland, about a young American backpacker who finds a map to a hidden island paradise in Thailand, where a secret community of travelers lives. He joins them, but soon discovers that the island has a dark side and a price to pay for staying there.

12. CODA (2021)

  • Director: Sian Heder
  • Actors: Emilia Jones, Marlee Matlin, Troy Kotsur
  • Genre: Comedy, Drama
  • Rating: PG-13
  • IMDb: Coda on IMDb

A movie inspired by the French film La Famille Bélier, about a teenage girl who is the only hearing member of her deaf family. She helps them with their fishing business, but also has a talent for singing. She faces a dilemma when she gets a chance to pursue her musical dreams, but also feels responsible for her family.

13. Spencer’s Mountain (1963)

  • Director: Delmer Daves
  • Actors: Henry Fonda, Maureen O’Hara, James MacArthur
  • Genre: Drama, Family
  • Rating: Approved
  • IMDb: Spencer’s Mountain on IMDb

A movie based on the novel by Earl Hamner Jr., about a large and poor family living in the Grand Teton Mountains of Wyoming in the 1960s. The father, a hard working sawmill worker, dreams of building a new house for his wife and nine children, while the eldest son, a bright student, hopes to go to college and become a writer.

14. The Isle (2018)

  • Director: Matthew Butler-Hart
  • Actors: Conleth Hill, Alex Hassell, Fisayo Akinade
  • Genre: Fantasy, Mystery, Thriller
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • IMDb: The Isle on IMDb
  • Streaming FREE on Tubi

A movie set in 1841 on a remote island off the coast of Scotland, where a heavy storm causes a merchant ship to sink. The three survivors row to the island, where they find four mysterious inhabitants, who seem to have a secret. The movie blends folklore, horror, and mystery.

15. The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019)

  • Director: Tyler Nilson, Michael Schwartz
  • Actors: Zack Gottsagen, Shia LaBeouf, Dakota Johnson
  • Genre: Adventure, Comedy, Drama
  • Rating: PG-13
  • IMDb: The Peanut Butter Falcon on IMDb

A movie that follows the story of a young man with Down syndrome, who escapes from a nursing home to pursue his dream of becoming a professional wrestler. He meets a small time outlaw, who becomes his coach and friend, and a social worker, who tries to bring him back. The movie is a modern Mark Twain style adventure.

16. Catch and Release (2006)

  • Director: Susannah Grant
  • Actors: Jennifer Garner, Timothy Olyphant, Kevin Smith
  • Genre: Comedy, Drama, Romance
  • Rating: PG-13
  • IMDb: Catch and Release on IMDb

A movie about a woman who struggles to cope with the death of her fiancé and the secrets he kept from her. She finds comfort and love in his friends, especially his best friend who reveals that her fiancé had a son with another woman.

17. Ondine (2009)

  • Director: Neil Jordan
  • Actors: Colin Farrell, Alicja Bachleda, Stephen Rea
  • Genre: Drama, Mystery, Romance
  • Rating: PG-13
  • IMDb: Ondine on IMDb
  • Streaming FREE on Tubi

A movie inspired by the myth of the selkie, a seal that can turn into a human. It follows an Irish fisherman who rescues a mysterious woman from his net and falls in love with her, while his daughter believes she is a magical creature.

18. Big Fish (2003)

  • Director: Tim Burton
  • Actors: Ewan McGregor, Albert Finney, Billy Crudup
  • Genre: Adventure, Drama, Fantasy
  • Rating: PG-13
  • IMDb: Big Fish on IMDb

A movie based on the novel by Daniel Wallace, about a son who tries to reconcile with his dying father, a storyteller who tells fantastical tales about his life. The movie blends reality and fiction, as the son explores his father’s colorful past and his own identity.

19. Out of the Past (1947)

  • Director: Jacques Tourneur
  • Actors: Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, Kirk Douglas
  • Genre: Crime, Drama, Film-Noir
  • Rating: Approved
  • IMDb: Out of the Past on IMDb

A classic film noir about a private eye who escapes his past to run a gas station in a small town, but his past catches up with him. He is forced to return to the big city and face his former employer, a gambler who wants him to do one last job, and his former lover, a femme fatale who betrayed him.

20. The River Why (2010)

  • Director: Matthew Leutwyler
  • Actors: Zach Gilford, Amber Heard, William Hurt
  • Genre: Drama, Romance
  • Rating: PG-13
  • IMDb: The River Why on IMDb
  • Streaming FREE on Tubi

A movie based on the novel by David James Duncan, about a young man who abandons his family and his city life for a solitary life of fly fishing. He hopes to find his own way in the fishing world and discover himself and love. He meets a tomboy fly fisher who challenges his views and changes his life.

21. Whitewater Summer (1987)

  • Director: Jeff Bleckner
  • Actors: Kevin Bacon, Sean Astin, Jonathan Ward
  • Genre: Adventure, Crime, Thriller
  • Rating: PG
  • IMDb: Whitewater Summer on IMDb
  • Streaming FREE on Tubi

A movie about a teenage boy who joins a group of other boys for a wilderness adventure led by a charismatic but ruthless guide. The movie shows how the guide pushes the boys to their limits and puts them in danger, while the boy tries to stand up to him and survive. The movie features stunning scenery and exciting rapids, as well as some fishing scenes.

22. Kiss the Water (2013)

  • Director: Eric Steel
  • Actors: Richard Poe, Gerda Stevenson
  • Genre: Documentary, Animation
  • Rating: Not Rated
  • IMDb: Kiss the Water on IMDb

A documentary inspired by the life and work of Megan Boyd, a legendary Scottish maker of salmon flies. The film combines interviews, animations, and images to create a poetic portrait of a woman who devoted her life to a craft that was both art and magic. The film also explores the beauty and mystery of fly fishing and the salmon.

23. Life of Pi (2012)

  • Director: Ang Lee
  • Actors: Suraj Sharma, Irrfan Khan, Tabu
  • Genre: Adventure, Drama
  • Rating: PG
  • IMDb: Life of Pi on IMDb

A movie based on the novel by Yann Martel, about a young man who survives a shipwreck and finds himself stranded on a lifeboat with a Bengal tiger. The movie follows his epic journey of survival and discovery, as he faces the challenges of nature and his own faith. The movie is a visual masterpiece that blends reality and fantasy, and won four Oscars, including Best Director.

24. Blue Miracle (2021)

  • Director: Julio Quintana
  • Actors: Dennis Quaid, Jimmy Gonzales, Anthony Gonzalez
  • Genre: Drama
  • Rating: TV-PG
  • IMDb: Blue Miracle on IMDb

A movie based on a true story, about an orphanage in Mexico that teams up with a washed up boat captain to enter a fishing tournament and win a cash prize that could save their home. The movie follows their unlikely friendship and their quest to catch a marlin, while facing obstacles and rivals. The movie is a heartwarming tale of hope and courage.

25. Alamo Bay (1985)

  • Director: Louis Malle
  • Actors: Amy Madigan, Ed Harris, Ho Nguyen
  • Genre: Drama
  • Rating: R
  • IMDb: Alamo Bay on IMDb
  • Streaming FREE on Tubi

A movie about a Vietnam veteran who clashes with Vietnamese immigrants who move to his Texas bay town and work in the fishing industry. The movie depicts the racism and violence that erupts between the locals and the newcomers, as well as the personal conflicts of the veteran and his former girlfriend. The movie is based on historical events that took place in Texas in the late 1970s and early 1980s.

26. Blue Fin (1978)

  • Director: Carl Schultz
  • Actors: Hardy Krüger, Greg Rowe, Elspeth Ballantyne
  • Genre: Drama, Family
  • Rating: PG
  • IMDb: Blue Fin on IMDb
  • Streaming FREE on Tubi

A movie based on the novel by Colin Thiele, about a father and son who work as tuna fishermen in South Australia. The son, nicknamed Snook, is clumsy and often makes mistakes, while the father, Bill, is strict and demanding. When a storm hits their boat and puts their lives in danger, Snook has to prove himself and save his father. The movie shows the challenges and dangers of tuna fishing, as well as the bond between father and son.

27. The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou (2004)

A movie that parodies and pays homage to the French oceanographer Jacques Cousteau, who is also the film’s dedicatee. The movie follows Steve Zissou, a quirky and eccentric oceanographer who sets out to avenge his partner, who was killed by a mythical shark called the “jaguar shark”. Along the way, he meets his estranged wife, a journalist, and a man who claims to be his son. The movie is a mix of humor, adventure, and drama, with a colorful and stylized aesthetic.

28. Blood Hook (1986)

  • Director: Jim Mallon
  • Actors: Mark Jacobs, Lisa Jane Todd, Patrick Danz, Sara Hauser, Christopher Whiting
  • Genre: Comedy, Horror
  • Rating: R
  • IMDb: Blood Hook on IMDb
  • Streaming FREE on Tubi

A movie that combines fishing and slasher elements, about a fishing contest that turns deadly when a killer uses a giant hook to drag people into the lake. The movie follows Peter, a young man who returns to his grandfather’s lodge after 17 years, and his friends, who become the targets of the hook wielding maniac. The movie features a lot of fishing scenes, as well as some fishing related humor and trivia. The movie is also known as Death Canoe 4.

29. Serenity (2019)

  • Director: Steven Knight
  • Actors: Matthew McConaughey, Anne Hathaway, Diane Lane, Jason Clarke, Djimon Hounsou
  • Genre: Mystery, Thriller
  • Rating: R
  • IMDB: Serenity on IMDb
  • Streaming FREE on Tubi

Serenity is a movie that will keep you guessing until the end. It follows a fishing boat captain named Baker Dill, who lives a quiet life on a tropical island. His ex-wife Karen shows up one day and asks him to kill her abusive husband Frank by throwing him overboard during a fishing trip. But things are not as they seem. It is a neo-noir thriller with a twist that you won’t see coming.

BONUS Fishing Movies All Streaming for FREE on Tubi

Sport Fishing with Dan Hernandez

Fishing With Ladin

Epic Fishing With the Best in the West

Fish Bait

Thanks for reading this article for fishing movie inspiration!

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