Whether you love fishing or hate it, there’s no denying that it makes for great cinema. There are few things more peaceful than spending a day out on the open water, and few things more suspenseful than reeling in a big one.
In honor of the sport—and the art of film—we’ve compiled a list of the five best fishing movies of all time.
So, pull up a chair, grab some popcorn, and get ready to enjoy some of the greatest fishing scenes ever captured on film.
1. River Wild (1994)
Starring Meryl Streep and Kevin Bacon, River Wild follows a family on a whitewater rafting trip gone wrong. When they encounter two armed men who threaten their lives, they must use all their ingenuity and strength to survive.
While not technically a “fishing” movie, River Wild features one of the most intense river rafting sequences ever filmed. If you’re looking for heart-pounding thrills, this is the movie for you.
2. A River Runs Through It (1992)
Based on the novel by Norman Maclean, A River Runs Through It is a classic coming-of-age story set against the backdrop of early 20th-century Montana.
The film follows two brothers as they grow up and learn to fly fish from their father. While fly fishing may not be everyone’s cup of tea, the breathtaking scenery and heartwarming story make A River Runs Through It a must-see for any fan of cinema.
3. The Old Man and the Sea (1958)
The Old Man and the Sea is considered one of Ernest Hemingway’s greatest works and with good reason. This short novel tells the story of an old Cuban fisherman who goes 84 days without catching a fish. When he finally hooks a giant marlin, he must battle tooth and nail to bring it in.
The novel was adapted into a film in 1958, starring Spencer Tracy as the titular old man. While Tracy delivers a great performance, it’s really the story that shines through in this classic tale of triumph over adversity.
4. For Your Eyes Only (1981)
The fifth installment in the James Bond series, For Your Eyes Only sees 007 travel to Greece in search of a missing British encryption device.
Along the way, he teams up with Melina Havelock, an attractive young woman with a vendetta against Pablo Escobar- type character Aristotle Kristatos (played by Julian Glover).
While Bond movies are known more for action than aquatic sports, For Your Eyes Only features one of the most thrilling yacht chase sequences in cinematic history.
If you’re looking for edge-of-your-seat excitement, look no further than this underrated gem from the Bond franchise.
5. Jaws (1975)
No list of fishing movies would be complete without mention of Jaws—arguably the greatest horror movie ever made.
Based on Peter Benchley’s novel of the same name, Jaws tells the story of a massive shark that terrorizes Amity Island during its summer tourist season.
Starring Roy Scheider as police chief Martin Brody and Robert Shaw as shark hunter. Jaws is a suspenseful thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat from start to finish…and maybe thinking twice about going swimming in open water anytime soon!
So, there you have it—our list of the five best fishing movies of all time! Whether you’re looking for exciting action scenes or heartwarming stories, these films have something for everyone.
So, grab some popcorn and settle in for some great cinema. And if you’re feeling extra brave after watching Jaws, maybe even go try your hand at fishing!