11 fishing horror stories that will make you want to stay on land

Rocksweeper / ShutterstockSome wild things can happen when you are fishing.
  • Sharks, barracuda, eels, and other creepy ocean dwellers can freak out fishers.
  • Even pro fishers get unnerved by the behaviour of sharks in the deep.
  • Amateur fishers easily get into trouble with unknown creatures, too.
  • Basically, fishing can be a dangerous and spooky past time.

Fishing is a favourite pastime for many people, but sometimes the creatures of the deep can spook even the most experienced of fishers. Hey, it’s difficult to face a live shark without some fear.

And as these manyReddit threads prove, expert fishers and novices alike love to share their scariest fishing stories.

Of course, this is just for fun, as INSIDER cannot independently authenticate these stories.

A “barracuda brushing against my legs” creeped out this fisher.

“When I was younger, my dad and I went deep sea fishing all the time. The creepiest thing that ever happened to me was when we decided to do a little more surface fishing further out on the open ocean, rather than fish for grouper and whatnot.

“So I’m sitting with my feet off the edge of the boat, and my dad hooks a fish. It seems pretty big, based on the way it was pulling, so I look over to see if he needs help.

“Then something slowly brushes my legs. I looked down and there was a 4-5′ barracuda brushing against my legs. I froze, and seconds later it shot off.

“When my dad felt the line go slack, he started reeling in faster. The Barracuda had bitten off most of the fish. It was only a mouth on a hook, really. Pretty creepy.” – Reddit user Your_Monarch

“Something large down there” spooked a shark fishing crew.

David McNew/Getty‘For fun, my dad made this large hook to use, possibly from steel alloy and described it as being incredibly durable. They attached a large chunk of meat to it and threw it off the back.’

“But the creepiest story was a simple one, the crew was shark fishing off the bank of a smaller tanker ship, basically attaching meat chunks to hooks and throwing them off the back to trawl in the ocean (they were in Southeast Asia or Australia area).

“For fun, my dad made this large hook to use, possibly from steel alloy and described it as being incredibly durable. They attached a large chunk of meat to it and threw it off the back. A while later they hauled it back in, only to find the meat was gone and the hook bent completely straight.

“There was nothing it could have snagged on in the deep ocean as the boat was driving through. My dad and the crew were sufficiently unnerved, to think that something large down there could bend a large hook like that.” – Reddit user _TheBgrey

“Sharks circling” underwater startled this fisher.

Zoe Sopena/ShutterstockSharks.

“Former commercial fisherman here. The amount of sharks circling oil rigs is pretty harrowing. Mostly hammerheads, but the sheer volume makes you plant your feet.” – Reddit user John_Don_Bama_Bond

“Lack of sleep” on long fishing trips makes for weird times.

Farizun Amrod Saad/ShutterstockFishing boat.

“I’ve been fishing in Alaska for the last six summers with my dad. I’ve never seen anything ‘un-explainable,’ but I have been creeped out a few times. A lot of it comes from lack of sleep, because we are out there for up to sixty hours at a time, with no more than four hours between every time we put the net out.

“Really, the weirdest things are in my own head. I’ll have waking dreams where I can’t move or something very dangerous is happening. I sometimes wake up completely disoriented and nervous, which makes working hard. I should probably stop fishing.” – Reddit user groovingupslowly

A “wall of bull sharks” sent these fishers home.

“One day while we were off the coast of North Carolina doing some grouper and snapper fishing, the bite suddenly fell off and everything disappeared off the scope. It went silent.

“Everyone’s rods bend over at the same time, and we all had something enormous on our lines. After about 15 minutes of slowly bringing our lines up, we all had 15-foot long bull sharks on. They were completely calm, no thrashing or anything.

“The creepy part was right below them in the water was a wall of bull sharks, and there had to be hundreds of them. They were just swimming in circles. We de-hooked them and they slowly swam back with the giant school.

“We left.”- Reddit user hosdan

A fisher just avoided a trip to the emergency room

Wikimedia/NabokovLesser Weaver.

“The first time I went fishing with my dad and brother, we stood at the end of the pier, looking like dolts, not knowing what the f— we were doing. A nice guy on the opposite end of the pier came over and gave us a hand setting up. He also gave us some tips on casting off and then left us to it.

“After a while, my brother realised he had a bite and reeled it in. He pulled up a really ugly looking fish and was about to grab it off the line when the guy who had been helping us previously shouted across: ‘DON’T TOUCH THAT!!’

“He came over and explained to us that it was a Lesser Weever which has poisonous spines on it. He just cut the line and kicked it back alive before explaining that you can’t kill them in case they wash up on the beach.

“So if that guy is reading this, thanks for saving us a trip to A&E!” – Reddit user crundy

An “absolute giant” swam under the kayak.

“I looked behind and below me and there was the biggest freaking bull shark I’d ever seen just undulating along under my kayak. It was the size of a fridge, over 10 feet. It was an absolute giant and it was gliding along silently under my kayak in eight feet of water.

“I pulled up my paddle and coasted to a stop. It glided out under the nose and did a full circle and made another pass under my yak before gliding off back to the deep channel.

“I radioed my bro and warned him of the monster that was around.” – Reddit user jivarie

A “dead fish” surprised this person.

kaesan/iStockThis fish had glasses on.

“I once caught a fishing rod. I also came across a dead fish wearing glasses.” – Reddit user Thinc_Ng_Kap

An eel in “blind fury mode” scared this Redditor.

Wikimedia commonsEel.

“Creepiest thing was when I was about 12, I was spearfishing on the reef near my house. Basically just being a s—head kid, trying to poke holes in things.

“Out of the corner of my eye, I see about a 3-foot moray eel swimming above the reef. I decided to try to spear it, and succeeded, sort of. Basically, I speared the very end of its tail.

“I panicked a little because the thing was long enough to swing around and bite me. But instead of doing that, it kind of thrashed around a little, and then seemed to collect its senses, turn toward the point of the spear, bite down, and then pull its own tail off of the points.

“It then beat a hasty retreat to the nearest cover, while I swam at top speed to the shore.

“You kind of had to be there to see this snake-like creature switch from blind fury mode to thinking mode to get the creepy bit. And the sheer bad—ery of pulling itself off of the spear that had impaled it.” – Reddit user THSSFC

“A cemetery nearby” made fishing eerie.

“This is my brother’s story. He was fishing, and there was a cemetery nearby. He said he was whistling a song, and every time he would whistle, he would hear somebody running behind him. If he didn’t whistle, he wouldn’t hear them. I have had experiences with this cemetery being creepy too.” – Reddit user BowieReference

Large boat was “towed by a fish.”

“I worked as a commercial sailor for about 10 years, and charter boats as a kid.

“A captain I know was anchored amongst some other boats with lines out when he started moving forward into the tide. He ended up having another boat go look, and it turned out a manta ray had slid along his anchor line and gotten the anchor stuck on its head.

“I believe he ended up having to cut the anchor free, but this was a 30-foot inboard fishing boat, so the fact that he was being towed by a fish was pretty remarkable.” – Reddit user mercury-ballistic

A “run-of-the-mill rogue wave” terrified this Redditor.


“The scariest thing that ever happened to me was probably a run-of-the-mill rogue wave.

“It happened while commercial snapper fishing off Florida. Conditions were well within the safe range for the twenty-five-foot boat, with probably three to five-foot waves – nothing unusual for Florida during wintertime.

“All of the sudden I get sucked back in my seat as we passed into a very large wave’s trough. I was then thrown upward violently upward and nearly into the air and out of my seat.

“I had to grab the stern gunwale so that I wouldn’t fall the seven to 8-foot drop that separated me and the guy I was just sitting next to.

“His chair had been thrown to the opposite side of the boat when the wave’s crest hit us, and I was basically looking down at him.

“If the wave had been any bigger he would have gone overboard into the nighttime swells, and there is a very good chance we would have lost him since we were anchored up.

“It’s not supernatural, but it really is creepy to know that on any day of the year the ocean can try to kill you even though you’re doing nothing unsafe.” – Reddit user tishmaster

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