Skip to main content

15 Fishing Compliments That Are Actually Insults [PICS]

Sometimes fishing buddies can be downright cruel when their fishing compliments mean they are actually making fun of you.

Wikimedia Commons

Perhaps the worst cruelty experienced by anglers comes in the form of positive remark, but in reality is a statement pointing out the negative.

Check out the slideshow to see 15 fishing complements that are actually insults.

1. “Not bad for a bottom feeder.”

Will Cook

Okay so you’ve landed a decent sized fish. Problem is that your haul is not largemouth, striper, or pike. For some reason folks just don’t toss out the same level of respect for species like channel cat.

Although bottom feeders are vital components to all bodies of water, they still rank near the “bottom” of trophy fish. Just how many times do you see a carp mounted over the mantle anyway?

2. “Other than distance and direction, that was a pretty good cast.”

Pinterest/Family Fresh Cooking

What they are really saying is that your cast could use some work. You got your bait in the general vicinity, but your marksmanship is off, way off. Maybe you’re breaking in a new reel or lost your balance, either way you need to spend some time practicing your cast.

This is especially true if you are fly fishing.

3. “Nice bass, for a beginner”

Facebook/ Trophy Bass Fishing in Mexico

This comment is chock-full of insult. You may as well have been punched in the gut. Your so-called “friend” might as well have chopped up your catch of the day and used it for bait. While you’re grinning from ear to ear over your six-pound largemouth, your partner is pulling up pics of her nine-pound catch from last month.

Don’t worry though, with enough practice you’re sure to catch bigger bass.

4. “Everyone starts with soft plastics.”

A ripple tail worm might be everyone’s favorite lure when it comes to presentation and versatility, but is that all you know how to fish? This little verbal jab is the same as saying, “Hey, when are you going to learn how to use a more sophisticated lure?”

This is one insult that is about as meaningful as a politician’s promise. Who cares what kind of lure you are using so long as it’s successful!

5. “You’ve got great perseverance.”

Pinterest/Red Bubble

All this means is that you couldn’t catch a cold if you spent a week at the walk-in doctor’s office, but you don’t give up easily. While still complimentary, your fellow fishermen is sort of saying that he’s surprised you haven’t given up yet due to your lack of success.

Nonetheless, it is vital for every outdoorsman to have a good measure of persistence. Heck, even the pros have bad days on the water. That’s why they call it fishing and not catching, right?!

6. “At least you didn’t get skunked.”

Pinterest/Nan Biggins

I can still hear my favorite fishing buddy laughing all the home. I caught one fish. Just one. Meanwhile the cooler was full of a dozen or more fish that he had reeled in. We were in the same boat and, for the most part, using the same lures and methods, but luck was not on my side that day.

Yes, it could have been worse, at least I didn’t get skunked. Sometimes there is just no better feeling than ending your day with a stringer of fish.

7. “The smaller ones eat better.”

Have you ever been told this humiliating phrase? Usually it comes from someone who just hauled in a lunker. Either that or your sympathetic mom. What they are really saying is, “That sure is a tiny fish. Good thing we don’t have to survive off your fishing skills.”

Even though they are trying to make you feel better since you had a rough day on the fishing banks, you’d rather crawl under a rock.

8. “Looks like a boy scout knot.”

Will Cook

Being able to tie an adequate fishing knot in a short amount of time can earn you a lot of respect among other fishers. Knots should be strong, minimally involved, and suitable for your bait and fishing method.

This little comment suggests that your favorite fishing knot is too big, takes too long, or simply will not work. Remember: you’re fishing, not rock climbing.

9) “You’ve got a great boat for pond fishing.”

Wikimedia Commons

If you have ever heard someone say this about your fishing vessel, you can bet it is not a compliment. Chances are they think your boat is puny, your outboard (if you have one) does not measure up, and your trolling motor lacks thrust. They would never set foot in your boat if you were on a lake or in rough water.

Just remember to leave them on the river bank next time you take a fishing trip.

10. “My grandpa used the same kind of pole.”


This comment sounds endearing and sentimental. In reality, the sentiment behind this comment might be more closely linked to, “Sheesh, just how old is that rod anyway?” And it is not just rods either, people will make the same jabs about your reels, boats, life vests, and even lures.

But don’t be discouraged. The bottom line with fishing, and almost anything really, is that the results speak for themselves.

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.

11. “You barely even set the hook.”

Will Cook

The phrase might as well have been, “How in world did you even land that fish? The hook should have popped out!” Essentially this means your fishing skills are not up to par and you were fortunate to get your fish in the boat.

I’ve even seen fish reeled in after being hooked in their tails and dorsal fins. Just remind the naysayers that either way, you were the one who had the hook in the water.

12. “That’s almost good enough for a tournament.”

Except it’s not. This loaded compliment comes from a person who is jealous of the fish you just caught, but wants to remind you that you are not a professional angler. Even though you’ve landed a respectable fish, by tournament standards it falls short and your peer wants to make sure you know it.

13. “It’s not a keeper, but at least you got him in the boat.”

Pinterest/Orange Beach Fishing Association

Similar as the last one our list, when this phrase is directed at you it means that you better just throw your catch back in the water. You don’t want to take any photo with the fish and you certainly do not want to ask if it goes in the live well. It will probably take you longer to clean the poor little flipper than it will to eat. 

14. “Hold the fish in front of you and it will look bigger.”

Will Cook

Although this is a common tactic when posing with fish, this statement is a jab at the size of your fish. After all, if your fish was a whopper there would be no need to pose strategically.

We all know people who hold their catch out as far away from their body as possible to create the illusion that the fish is huge, but when another person is advising you to do this, you can rest assured they have disguised their insult.

15. “You are the luckiest person I know”

Will Cook

The person who utters this phrase thinks you have the least amount of fishing skill on the planet. While they acknowledge that you have made some impressive catches over the years, they are dumbfounded as to how it is even possible.

Admittedly, it is sometimes better to be lucky than talented and this rings true with fishing as much as anything else. One thing you can be sure of is this, if you keep putting big fish in the boat they will stop their snide remarks and start asking you how you do it.

That’s when you know you’ve passed the lucky phase and into the skilled phase.

Fantastic Fishing Fails

Liked this slideshow? Check this one out.

you might also like

15 Fishing Compliments That Are Actually Insults [PICS]