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10 Fishing Songs for Your Drive to the River

Julie Anderson Jackson

If you need a soundtrack on the way to the water, roll the windows down and turn the radio up: here’s a few songs to get you started.

Not all of these songs are actually about fishing, but the feeling a song evokes can really make or break a drive to the water. What do you think? Are these songs going on your gone fishin’ playlist?

“Fish On” – Primus

If you want something dark, heavy, and almost eerily evil, the bass heavy sounds of Les Claypool and Primus are right on target. The theme of the song stems from the band’s authentic love of fishing. Claypool is also good fishing buddies with Dean Ween of the band “Ween.” If you want to get weird on the way to the water, put this song on.

“Float” – Flogging Molly

Although I’m not entirely sure this song is really about fishing, or even being on a boat, don’t read too deep into the metaphors. The chords are almost as catchy as the chorus, which is extremely appropriate when you’ve got a boat in tow and you’re heading to the water:

“ah but don’t, no don’t sink the boat
that you built, you built to keep afloat”

“Lazy River Road” – The Grateful Dead

It’s tough to find a tune that creates a more mellow mood than pretty much any song by the Dead can, and Lazy River Road is the perfect drive-to-the-water song when you want some good vibes on your ride and you’re in no hurry to get to the water.

“Fisherman’s Blues” – The Waterboys

The rythm of Fisherman’s Blues will certainly grab you with the sound of a catchy, but classic tune. It’s tough to have a bad day on the water, and this anthem is a good reminder of how lucky anglers are to be able to cast their worries into the deep, hope for the best, and simply be grateful for today.

“Gone Fishin” – Bing Crosby and Louis Armstrong

A true classic that every angler should hear at least once, this duet from the early 1950s showcases two of the top artists from it’s era. It’s almost less of a song and more of two buddies talking about why nobody can ever find them because they’re fishing.

“Red River” – Alabama

Maybe I’m a little biased as an Alabama native, but this song brings back childhood memories of the red clay flowing down the Alabama river. Either way, it’s classic country with a rocking tempo, and it will definitely get you pumped for being on the water.

“The Drop” – Bro Safari

Not all great fishing songs have to be country music, and they don’t even have to be about fishing. Music is what you make of it, and this particular trap jam is my soundtrack for when the rivers rise. Not because the rivers are on the rise, but because high water is followed by the inevitable drop. When I’m clicking refresh on the NOAA website, monitoring water levels every 15 minutes, this is the song I’m blasting out of my speakers.

“Deep River Blues” – Doc Watson

It’s tough to beat this classic bluegrass tune if you’ve got a hankering to get to the water and it’s giving you the blues. Another one of my favorites when the water is on the rise, the lyrics “Let it rain, let it pour, let it rain a whole lot more,” pretty much sum up my feelings when I want ocean-fresh salmon to have enough water to get upriver to their spawning grounds.

“Take Me to the River” – Talking Heads

Although the Talking Heads didn’t write this song, they play it best. What better song to sing to your fishing buddy (or head to the river solo and sing to your boat)? It’s a beautiful melody in its simplicity.

“Fishing” – Widespread Panic

This song always gives me chills. If you want to hear a song filled with metaphors that can be applied to both life and fishing (because aren’t they pretty much the same thing, anyway?) then this is the song for you. A musical rhythm quest to keep inspiration on the line, this song will have you hooked and reel you in.

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10 Fishing Songs for Your Drive to the River