Gone Fishin’: The 1997 Fishing Buddy Flick Starring Joe Pesci, Danny Glover

If you've never seen the film Gone Fishin' you're in for a treat.

As with many films we know and love, this is another one of those that may not be an overall smash hit, but it has its moments. For those of us that understand what it means to plan a fishing trip, and everything that goes wrong when we do, it can really strike a chord.

Gone Fishin' may not be a fishing-specific movie, but there are enough moments involved that include some of the mishaps and foibles that we go through, and we can all relate to as lifelong anglers.

In case you've never seen it or need a brush up, here's the basic plot, the characters, and a few good reasons to sit down and put the DVD back in to amuse yourself for an hour or so.


The film features two hard-working guys from New Jersey. They have known each other their entire lives, love to fish together, and it's seemingly all they can think about. As luck would have it, Joe and Gus (what better names for a couple of fishermen, right?) are fortunate enough to win a free fishing vacation down in the Florida Everglades. But that is the last stroke of good fortune that they would have in the film.

After loading their gear, attaching the boat to the vehicle, and setting off to the Sunshine State, their adventures would only get more outrageous. At one point they meet a con man who discreetly steals their car keys and makes off with the vehicle.

With everything going wrong—hurricanes, blow-ups, the aforementioned stolen car, and other catastrophes that follow them endlessly—the pair ultimately end up saving the day, catching the bad guy, and meeting their angling idol Billy "Catch" Pooler.

The Cast

  • Joe Pesci - Joe Waters
  • Danny Glover - Gus Green
  • Rosanna Arquette - Rita
  • Lynn Whitfield - Angie
  • Willie Nelson - Billy "Catch" Pooler
  • Nick Brimble - Dekker
  • Carol Kane - Donna Waters
  • Gary Grubbs - Phil Beasly
  • Edythe Davis - Cookie Green

The Last Word

The film Gone Fishin' was released in 1997 by Hollywood and Buena Vista Pictures and was directed by Christopher Cain. It was written by both Jill Mazursky and J.J. Abrams (of Star Trek and Star Wars fame, among others).

Joe Pesci and Danny Glover seem to have a great time pretending to be a couple of lifelong fishermen that just want what we all want: a little peace and quiet on any lake to go fishin'. Sure, the script is silly, and the plot is obviously worked up, but the movie itself shows the innocent fun that we all strive for and enjoy as fishermen just trying to go.

If you're looking for a comedy that set records for the most laughs, or the one that made the most money, then Gone Fishin' might not be the one for you. But it is silly and has a lot of high jinks. I wouldn't say it's appropriate for kids, and it's probably best 

These two actors may be more well known for their work together in the Lethal Weapon movies, but this film is worth watching at least once.

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