swear while fishing
Justin Hoffman

Curse Like a Sailor to Land That Big Fish You're Battling (Science Says So)

Toss out a few expletives the next time you fight a fish to put the odds in your favor.

Swearing. We all do it. Ok, my Mom doesn't, but she's in the minority. And swearing while out in the boat, either over a snagged lure, a collision with a submerged stump, or a fish that comes unpinned is certainly commonplace for anglers. But here's something new: have you ever contemplated tossing out a curse word or two while fighting a fish?

A study, conducted by Dr. Richard Stephens and his team out of Keele University, has concluded that swearing aloud can make you stronger. Yes, you read that right. Stronger. During two experiments, the first with participants riding exercise bikes and the second an isometric handgrip test, subjects competed the tasks both while swearing and not swearing. Results show that the group riding bikes had more power when swearing, and a stronger handgrip while cussing in the second experiment.

"We know from our earlier research that swearing makes people more able to tolerate pain. A possible reason for this is that it stimulates the body's sympathetic nervous system — that's the system that makes your heart pound when you are in danger. If that is the reason, we would expect swearing to make people stronger too — and that is just what we found in these experiments, said Dr. Stephens."

So how can we apply this to fishing you ask? Simple. Next time you do battle with a fish, curse away. Scream bloody murder. Make your grandmother blush. Let out some pent-up anger. Because if Dr. Stephens research is any indication, running your trucker mouth should increase your chances of successfully landing that fish.

Now, if you have a crappie or perch on the end of your line, perhaps some decorum would be best. But if you're waging war with a line-screaming tarpon or muskie, then curse like a sailor to your heart's content.

Fine Print: Wide Open Spaces is not responsible for any unsavory glances from cottagers or passing boats, nor interactions with law enforcement, while taking part in the above-stated practice.

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