110 Debunked Theories in Fishing: Myths We Once Believed and Why They're Busted

Fishing, like many other disciplines, has its fair share of myths, legends, and misconceptions. Over the years, countless theories have been floated around, only to be debunked by science, experience, or a combination of both. Let's dive into the 110 most popular fishing myths and understand why they were proven wrong.

1. "Bananas on a Boat Bring Bad Luck"

Old Belief: Many fishermen believed that bringing bananas on a fishing trip was bad luck and would result in a poor catch.
Debunked: This superstition likely originated from old shipping tales where boats carrying bananas had to move quickly, preventing them from fishing. In reality, bananas have no impact on your fishing luck.

2. "Fish Only Bite at Dawn and Dusk"

Old Belief: The best times to fish are during the early morning and late evening.
Debunked: While it's true that many fish are more active during these times, it's not a hard and fast rule. Fish activity varies based on species, weather, water temperature, and other factors. Some fish even prefer the heat of midday!

3. "Loud Noises Scare Fish Away"

Old Belief: Making noise on a boat or by the shoreline would scare fish away.
Debunked: Fish don't have ears like humans. They detect vibrations through their lateral lines. While excessive noise might disturb them, normal talking or moving around on a boat won't necessarily scare them off.

4. "The Bigger the Bait, the Bigger the Fish"

Old Belief: Using larger bait will always result in catching larger fish.
Debunked: While larger predators might be attracted to bigger prey, it's not a guarantee. Often, big fish will go after smaller bait if it's easier to catch or more abundant.

5. "Fish Can't See Color"

Old Belief: Fish are colorblind and can't distinguish between different colored lures.
Debunked: Many studies have shown that fish can indeed see color. Some species even rely on color vision for mating rituals and finding food. The effectiveness of a lure's color might vary based on water clarity and depth, but color does play a role in fishing.

6. "All Fish Taste the Same"

Old Belief: All fish have a similar taste, regardless of species.
Debunked: Anyone who's sampled a variety of fish knows this isn't true. The taste of fish can vary widely based on species, diet, habitat, and how it's prepared.

7. "Frozen Bait is Just as Good as Fresh Bait"

Old Belief: Freezing bait doesn't impact its effectiveness.
Debunked: While frozen bait can still be effective, fresh bait often outperforms its frozen counterpart. Fresh bait emits a stronger scent and has a more natural movement in the water, making it more appealing to fish.

8. "Full Moon Nights are the Best for Fishing"

Old Belief: A full moon night is the most productive time to fish.
Debunked: While lunar cycles can influence fish behavior, it's not solely the full moon that dictates their activity. Tides, water temperature, and feeding patterns play a more significant role. Some anglers even find fishing tougher during a full moon due to increased brightness at night.

9. "Fish Don't Feed After a Rainstorm"

Old Belief: After a rainstorm, the fish won't bite because they've already fed on insects washed into the water.
Debunked: Rain can stir up the water, bringing nutrients and small organisms to the surface, which can attract baitfish and, subsequently, larger fish. While it's true that some fish might feed on the influx of insects, others might become even more active post-rain.

10. "Catching a Bird with Your Cast is Bad Luck"

Old Belief: If you accidentally hook a bird with your cast, you won't catch any fish that day.
Debunked: While it's unfortunate and essential to avoid harming wildlife, hooking a bird has no bearing on your fishing success. It's more about the angler's skill and the conditions of the day.

11. "Fish Won't Bite if the Wind is from the East"

Old Belief: An east wind is bad for fishing.
Debunked: The adage "Wind from the East, fish bite the least; Wind from the West, fish bite the best" is more folklore than fact. Fish activity is influenced by a myriad of factors, and while wind direction can affect wave action and currents, it's not the sole determinant of fish behavior.

12. "You Shouldn't Fish During a Cold Front"

Old Belief: Fish won't bite during or after a cold front.
Debunked: While it's true that a sudden drop in temperature can make fish less active, it doesn't mean they won't bite at all. Adapting your techniques, like fishing deeper or using slower presentations, can still yield results.

13. "Saltwater Fish are Tougher Fighters than Freshwater Fish"

Old Belief: Fish from the ocean are inherently stronger and more challenging to catch than those from lakes or rivers.
Debunked: The fight a fish puts up is more about its species, size, and environment than whether it's from saltwater or freshwater. Some freshwater fish, like the peacock bass or freshwater stingray, are renowned for their fierce battles.

14. "Fish Can't Hear You Talking Above Water"

Old Belief: Conversations and noises above the water surface don't affect fish.
Debunked: Fish can detect sound waves and vibrations through their lateral lines and inner ears. While they might not "hear" conversations as we do, loud noises or sudden vibrations can alert them to potential danger.

15. "Catfish Sting with Their Whiskers"

Old Belief: The whiskers (or barbels) of a catfish can sting or inject venom.
Debunked: Catfish use their barbels for sensing their environment and searching for food. They don't have any venom or stinging capability in their whiskers. However, some catfish species have sharp spines on their fins that can cause injury.

16. "Fish Bite More When It's Raining"

Old Belief: Rain makes fish more active and eager to bite.
Debunked: While rain can increase the movement of baitfish and stir up the water, it doesn't necessarily mean fish will bite more. The water's oxygen levels, temperature, and the fish's feeding patterns play a more significant role in their activity.

17. "Sharks Can't Survive in Freshwater"

Old Belief: Sharks are strictly saltwater creatures.
Debunked: While most shark species live in saltwater, some, like the bull shark, can thrive in both salt and freshwater. Bull sharks have been found far up rivers, including the Mississippi River in the U.S.

18. "Fish Have Short Memory Spans"

Old Belief: Fish only have a memory span of a few seconds.
Debunked: Studies have shown that fish, like goldfish, can remember information for months. This ability helps them recognize predators, locate food sources, and navigate their environment.

19. "All Bottom-Feeding Fish are Trash Fish"

Old Belief: Fish that feed at the bottom are undesirable and not worth catching.
Debunked: Many bottom feeders, like catfish, flounder, and halibut, are sought after for their taste and sport. They play essential roles in their ecosystems by cleaning up detritus and controlling populations of other organisms.

20. "Fish Can't Feel Pain"

Old Belief: Fish don't experience pain due to their simple nervous systems.
Debunked: Recent studies suggest that fish can perceive harm and potentially feel pain. While their experience of pain might differ from mammals, it's essential to handle fish with care and respect.

21. "Fish Can't See Line, So Any Type Will Do"

Old Belief: Fish can't distinguish fishing lines, so the type or color doesn't matter.
Debunked: Different water conditions and fish species can indeed detect lines, especially if they're thick or brightly colored. That's why many anglers opt for clear or fluorocarbon lines in clear water conditions.

22. "You Need Expensive Gear to Catch Big Fish"

Old Belief: Only the priciest rods, reels, and tackle can land you a trophy fish.
Debunked: While quality gear can make the fishing experience more enjoyable and efficient, it's the angler's skill, knowledge, and sometimes luck that play a more significant role in catching big fish.

23. "Fish Won't Bite if You Touch Bait with Sunscreen or Bug Spray on Your Hands"

Old Belief: Residue from sunscreen or insect repellent will deter fish from biting.
Debunked: While it's always a good idea to handle bait with clean hands, there's no concrete evidence to suggest that traces of these products will always deter fish. However, some anglers still prefer to rinse their hands after applying such products, just in case.

24. "All Fish Spawn in the Spring"

Old Belief: Fish reproduction is limited to the spring season.
Debunked: Different fish species have varied spawning schedules. While many freshwater fish spawn in the spring, others, like fall-spawning salmon, have entirely different reproductive timelines.

25. "Muddy Water Means No Fishing"

Old Belief: Fish won't bite in turbid or muddy water.
Debunked: While muddy waters can present challenges, they don't make fishing impossible. In fact, some species become more active as they feel safer from predators in such conditions. Adjusting tactics, like using brightly colored or noisy lures, can yield success.

26. "Fishermen Exaggerate; There's No Such Thing as 'The One That Got Away'"

Old Belief: Stories of massive fish escaping at the last moment are just tall tales.
Debunked: Every angler, regardless of experience, has had a big fish escape. These stories are often true and are a testament to the unpredictability and excitement of the sport.

27. "Frozen Fish is Inferior to Fresh Fish"

Old Belief: Frozen fish is of lower quality than fresh fish.
Debunked: If properly frozen shortly after being caught, fish can retain its freshness and flavor. In some cases, "fresh" fish at markets has been previously frozen and then thawed, while frozen fish packets might have been processed more recently.

28. "Only Deep Waters House the Big Fish"

Old Belief: The largest fish are always found in the deepest parts of the water.
Debunked: Big fish can be found in various water depths, depending on factors like food availability, water temperature, and breeding habits. Sometimes, trophy-sized fish are caught in surprisingly shallow waters.

29. "Overcast Days are Always the Best for Fishing"

Old Belief: Cloudy days are universally the best times to fish.
Debunked: While overcast conditions can be favorable for certain species or situations, it's not a universal rule. Factors like water temperature, wind conditions, and the specific habits of target fish play a more significant role.

30. "Fish Don't Feed in Winter"

Old Belief: Fish go dormant in cold months and don't feed.
Debunked: While fish metabolism slows down in colder temperatures, they still need to eat. Ice fishing wouldn't be a popular activity if fish stopped feeding in winter!

31. "All Fish are Either Freshwater or Saltwater Species"

Old Belief: Fish are strictly either freshwater or saltwater creatures.
Debunked: Some species, like salmon and eels, are anadromous, meaning they migrate from the sea into freshwater to spawn. Others, like bull sharks, can switch between both environments.

32. "More Bait Equals More Fish"

Old Belief: Doubling up on bait will attract more fish.
Debunked: Using excessive bait can sometimes deter fish, making them suspicious. It's more about the presentation and appropriateness of the bait to the target species.

33. "Static Lures are Less Effective than Moving Ones"

Old Belief: Lures need to be constantly moving to attract fish.
Debunked: While movement can be enticing, sometimes a paused or slowly retrieved lure can be just as, if not more, effective, mimicking injured or vulnerable prey.

34. "You Can't Catch Fish in the Middle of the Day"

Old Belief: Fish only feed during the morning and evening.
Debunked: Fish feeding habits vary. While some might be more active during dawn and dusk, others can be caught throughout the day, especially if conditions are favorable.

35. "Fish Can't Smell"

Old Belief: Fish rely solely on sight and vibration to find food.
Debunked: Many fish have a keen sense of smell, which they use to locate food, avoid predators, and even find spawning areas. This is why scented baits and lures can be so effective.

36. "Catching a First Fish Early Dooms the Rest of the Day"

Old Belief: If you catch a fish early in your trip, it's a sign of bad luck for the rest of the day.
Debunked: Fishing success depends on various factors, including technique, location, and conditions. An early catch is often a sign of favorable conditions and should be seen as a positive omen.

37. "Fish Can't See in the Dark"

Old Belief: Nighttime fishing is ineffective because fish can't see in the dark.
Debunked: Many fish species have adapted to low-light conditions and can feed actively at night. This is why nighttime fishing can be so productive for species like catfish and bass.

38. "All Fish Feed at the Same Depth"

Old Belief: Fish of all species generally feed at the same water depth.
Debunked: Different species have varied feeding habits and preferred depths. While some might feed near the surface, others might prefer the bottom or mid-water depths.

39. "Lures Need to Resemble Prey Perfectly"

Old Belief: For a lure to be effective, it must be a perfect replica of the fish's natural prey.
Debunked: While realistic lures can be effective, many successful lures don't resemble any natural prey. It's often about the lure's movement, vibration, and color that attracts fish.

40. "Fish Always Face Upstream in a River"

Old Belief: In flowing waters, fish always position themselves facing upstream.
Debunked: While many fish do face upstream to catch food brought by the current, they can and do swim in all directions, especially when hunting or avoiding predators.

41. "You Should Always Fish Upwind"

Old Belief: Casting into the wind increases your chances of a catch.
Debunked: Wind direction can influence where baitfish and, subsequently, predatory fish might be. However, it's not a strict rule. Often, fishing downwind can be just as, if not more, productive.

42. "Fish Don't Feed When Water is Too Clear"

Old Belief: In crystal clear waters, fish become too wary to feed.
Debunked: While clear water can make fish more cautious due to increased visibility, they still need to eat. Adapting techniques, like using lighter lines or more natural lures, can yield success.

43. "The Tug is the Drug"

Old Belief: The only enjoyable part of fishing is when the fish is fighting on the line.
Debunked: While the thrill of a fish tugging on the line is undeniable, many anglers find joy in the serenity of nature, the challenge of finding fish, and the camaraderie among fellow fishermen.

44. "Only Rough Waters Have Big Fish"

Old Belief: Calm waters don't house big fish.
Debunked: Big fish can be found in both calm and rough waters. Their presence depends more on habitat, food availability, and other environmental factors than the water's roughness.

45. "Only Calm Days are Good for Fishing"

Old Belief: Windy or stormy days are bad for fishing.
Debunked: While calm days can be productive, many anglers find that a bit of wind can actually improve fishing as it stirs up the water, making fish less wary and more likely to bite.

46. "Saltwater Tackle Can't be Used in Freshwater (and vice versa)"

Old Belief: Gear designed for saltwater fishing is unsuitable for freshwater fishing.
Debunked: While there are specific tools tailored for each environment, many rods, reels, and lures can be used in both salt and freshwater. The key is to ensure proper cleaning and maintenance, especially when using freshwater gear in saltwater to prevent corrosion.

47. "Fish Won't Bite When It's Too Hot"

Old Belief: During the hottest parts of the day or season, fish become inactive.
Debunked: While fish might seek deeper, cooler waters when it's hot, they still feed. Adapting techniques, like fishing at different depths or using different lures, can still lead to successful catches.

48. "All 'Rough' Fish are Worthless"

Old Belief: Non-game fish, often referred to as "rough" or "trash" fish, have no value.
Debunked: Species like carp, gar, and drum might not be the primary target for many anglers, but they offer unique challenges and can be quite tasty when prepared correctly.

49. "You Need a Boat to Catch Big Fish"

Old Belief: Shore anglers can't catch large fish.
Debunked: Many trophy-sized fish have been caught by shore anglers. With the right location, bait, and technique, you don't always need a boat to land a big one.

50. "More Expensive Lures Always Work Better"

Old Belief: The pricier the lure, the more effective it is.
Debunked: While some expensive lures offer unique designs or features, many affordable lures work just as effectively. It's more about how and when you use the lure than its price tag.

51. "Fish Can't See Above the Water"

Old Belief: Fish can't see anything above the water surface.
Debunked: Fish can indeed see objects above the water due to the refraction of light. This is why silhouettes and shadows can either attract or spook fish.

52. "Braided Line is Always the Best Choice"

Old Belief: Braided line is superior to monofilament or fluorocarbon lines in all situations.
Debunked: While braided line offers high sensitivity and strength, there are situations where monofilament or fluorocarbon lines, with their stretch and invisibility, might be more advantageous.

53. "Fishing Near Birds Always Guarantees a Catch"

Old Belief: If birds are diving in an area, there are definitely fish there.
Debunked: While diving birds can indicate the presence of baitfish, it doesn't always mean that larger fish are around or biting. It's a good sign, but not a guarantee.

54. "Fish Only Bite When Water is Moving"

Old Belief: Stationary water means inactive fish.
Debunked: While many fish are more active during water movement, such as tides or currents, they can and do feed in still waters. Lakes and ponds, which often have minimal water movement, are teeming with fish activity.

55. "Bright Lures are Only for Murky Water"

Old Belief: Lures with bright colors should only be used in cloudy or murky waters.
Debunked: Bright lures can be effective in clear waters, especially during certain times of the day or for specific species. It's all about the presentation and the behavior of the target fish.

56. "Fish Can't See Hooks"

Old Belief: Fish don't notice hooks, so their size and color don't matter.
Debunked: Especially in clear waters, fish can be wary of anything unnatural. Using appropriately sized and colored hooks can make a difference in such conditions.

57. "You Should Always Wet Your Hands Before Handling Fish"

Old Belief: Wetting your hands is always necessary before handling fish.
Debunked: While wetting hands can reduce the removal of a fish's protective slime, in cold conditions, it's better to have dry hands as wet hands can remove more slime and harm the fish.

58. "All Fish Feed Off the Bottom"

Old Belief: The majority of fish species feed from the bottom.
Debunked: While many species are bottom feeders, numerous fish feed in mid-water or near the surface, depending on their diet and habits.

59. "The Best Fishermen Always Catch Fish"

Old Belief: A skilled angler never returns empty-handed.
Debunked: Fishing is unpredictable. Even the most experienced anglers have days when they don't catch anything. It's part of the sport's charm and challenge.

60. "Using Live Bait is Cheating"

Old Belief: True skill in fishing is demonstrated only when using artificial lures.
Debunked: Using live bait is a traditional method that requires its own set of skills and knowledge. Both bait fishing and lure fishing have their challenges and merits.

61. "Fish Always Swim Against the Current"

Old Belief: In rivers and streams, fish always face and swim against the current.
Debunked: While many fish do position themselves facing upstream, they often use eddies and other structures to rest and can swim in any direction as needed.

62. "Bigger Lures Always Catch Bigger Fish"

Old Belief: To catch a big fish, you need to use a big lure.
Debunked: Large fish often prey on smaller species. A smaller lure can sometimes be more effective in mimicking the natural prey of big fish.

63. "Fishing Near Other Anglers Reduces Your Chances"

Old Belief: Crowded spots mean fewer fish to catch.
Debunked: Sometimes, a concentration of anglers can indicate a productive spot. Fish might be attracted to the area due to the increased activity and bait in the water.

64. "Fish Don't Feed After Being Released"

Old Belief: A fish that has been caught and released will be too traumatized to feed for a long time.
Debunked: While a fish might be momentarily stunned or stressed after release, most will resume their normal behaviors, including feeding, relatively quickly if handled and released properly.

65. "All Fish Spawn Only Once a Year"

Old Belief: Fish reproduce only once annually.
Debunked: While many species have a specific spawning season, others can spawn multiple times a year, depending on environmental conditions and food availability.

66. "Fish Can't See Well at Night"

Old Belief: Night fishing is effective because fish can't see the line or the angler.
Debunked: Many fish species have adapted to hunting in low light conditions and can see quite well at night. Night fishing's effectiveness often comes from the fish's increased activity levels, not their lack of vision.

67. "Only Deep Sea Fishing Yields Big Fish"

Old Belief: The biggest fish are found only in deep ocean waters.
Debunked: Large fish can be found in a variety of habitats, from shallow freshwater lakes to coastal estuaries. Depth isn't the only determinant of fish size.

68. "Fish Can't Taste"

Old Belief: Fish don't have taste buds and can't differentiate between different flavors.
Debunked: Fish do have taste buds, and some species have them not just in their mouths but all over their bodies. They can discern different tastes, which is why scented baits can be effective.

69. "All Fish are Cold-Blooded"

Old Belief: All fish have cold blood and don't regulate their body temperature.
Debunked: While most fish are ectothermic (cold-blooded), some species, like certain sharks and tuna, have adaptations that allow parts of their bodies to remain warmer than the surrounding water.

70. "Fish Don't Communicate"

Old Belief: Fish are silent creatures that don't communicate with each other.
Debunked: Fish use a variety of methods to communicate, including sounds, color changes, and body movements. They signal each other for mating, establishing territory, and warning of danger.

71. "More Casts Mean More Fish"

Old Belief: The more times you cast, the higher your chances of catching fish.
Debunked: Quality often trumps quantity in fishing. A well-placed, strategic cast can be more effective than numerous hasty ones.

72. "Fish Won't Bite When They're Spawning"

Old Belief: During spawning seasons, fish are too preoccupied to bite.
Debunked: While fish are certainly focused on reproduction during spawning, they can still be enticed to bite, especially if they perceive a threat to their eggs or territory.

73. "All Algae Blooms are Bad for Fishing"

Old Belief: Algae blooms always result in poor fishing conditions.
Debunked: While certain harmful algal blooms can negatively impact fish and their environment, some algae growth can increase food availability for small fish, attracting larger predators.

74. "Fish Can't Feel Fear"

Old Belief: Fish are simple creatures that don't experience emotions like fear.
Debunked: While fish may not experience emotions in the same way mammals do, they exhibit behaviors indicating wariness or avoidance of perceived threats, suggesting a form of fear or self-preservation.

75. "All Tackle Boxes Need a Banana"

Old Belief: Carrying a banana in your tackle box brings good luck.
Debunked: This superstition has no scientific basis. While some believe bananas are unlucky and will scare fish away, others think they bring good fortune. In reality, bananas have no effect on fishing success.

76. "Fish Can't Hear Music"

Old Belief: Playing music while fishing doesn't affect the fish.
Debunked: Fish can detect vibrations and sounds through their lateral lines. Loud music or sudden noises can potentially spook fish or alter their behavior.

77. "The Bigger the Bait, the Bigger the Fish"

Old Belief: Using large bait guarantees catching large fish.
Debunked: While big predators often go after sizable prey, they also feed on smaller organisms. Sometimes, a smaller bait can be more enticing due to its vulnerability.

78. "Fish Don't Feed in Stormy Weather"

Old Belief: Before a storm, fish become inactive and won't bite.
Debunked: Barometric pressure changes, often preceding storms, can influence fish behavior. Some species become more active and feed aggressively before a storm.

79. "All Pink Lures are for Salmon"

Old Belief: Pink lures are designed specifically for salmon fishing.
Debunked: While pink is a popular color for salmon lures, especially during certain seasons, it's also effective for other species like trout, steelhead, and even some saltwater species.

80. "Fish Can't See UV Light"

Old Belief: Ultraviolet (UV) light is invisible to fish.
Debunked: Some fish species can detect UV light, which is why UV-reflective lures and lines have become popular. They can enhance visibility under certain conditions, attracting fish from greater distances.

81. "Fishing During the Midday Heat is Pointless"

Old Belief: The heat of midday makes fish inactive, making fishing futile.
Debunked: While some fish seek deeper, cooler waters during intense heat, others, especially in shaded or structured areas, remain active. Adjusting techniques and locations can yield success even in the heat.

82. "Frozen Bait is Inferior to Live Bait"

Old Belief: Frozen bait isn't as effective as live bait.
Debunked: Quality frozen bait, if thawed and presented correctly, can be just as enticing to fish as live bait. In some situations, it's even preferred.

83. "Fish Can't See Red"

Old Belief: The color red is invisible underwater, especially at depth.
Debunked: Red light does get absorbed quickly in water, making red objects appear gray or black at depth. However, this can create a silhouette contrast, making red lures visible and even attractive to certain fish species.

84. "Full Moon Nights are the Best for Fishing"

Old Belief: The full moon guarantees a successful fishing night.
Debunked: While some anglers swear by moon phases, the full moon doesn't always guarantee a catch. Factors like water temperature, tide, and fish species play a more significant role.

85. "Fish Only Bite in Cool Waters"

Old Belief: Warm water temperatures make fish lethargic and less likely to bite.
Debunked: Different fish have different optimal temperature ranges. Some species, like bass, can be very active in warmer waters.

86. "You Should Never Fish Below Birds"

Old Belief: Birds scare away fish, making it pointless to fish beneath them.
Debunked: Diving birds often indicate the presence of baitfish, which can attract larger predatory fish. Fishing below birds can sometimes yield a good catch.

87. "Fish Can't See in Muddy Water"

Old Belief: Murky waters blind fish.
Debunked: While visibility is reduced in muddy waters, fish can still detect prey and predators using their lateral lines, which sense vibrations.

88. "All Fish are Active Feeders"

Old Belief: All fish are always on the hunt for food.
Debunked: Some fish, especially ambush predators, spend a lot of time staying still, waiting for prey to come to them rather than actively hunting.

89. "Using Gloves Protects Fish When Handling"

Old Belief: Wearing gloves is the best way to handle fish without harming them.
Debunked: Some gloves can actually remove the protective slime from a fish's skin. If you must handle a fish, wet hands or specific fish-friendly gloves are recommended.

90. "Fish Can't See Flashy Lures on Sunny Days"

Old Belief: On bright days, the sun's glare makes flashy lures invisible.
Debunked: Flashy lures can reflect sunlight, creating an attractive and noticeable display that can entice fish, especially in clear waters.

91. "Fish Don't Feed After a Cold Front"

Old Belief: A passing cold front makes fish inactive.
Debunked: While a cold front can change fish behavior, making them less aggressive, they still feed. Adjusting techniques, like using slower presentations, can still lead to bites.

92. "All Fish Sleep at Night"

Old Belief: Fish are inactive and rest during the night.
Debunked: Many fish species are nocturnal and are most active during the night, feeding and hunting under the cover of darkness.

93. "Using a Leader Line Scares Fish Away"

Old Belief: The addition of a leader line is easily detectable and deters fish.
Debunked: While some fish in clear waters might be wary of a thick leader, many species either don't notice or don't mind, especially if the leader material is thin and transparent.

94. "Rainy Days are Bad for Fishing"

Old Belief: Rain disrupts the water surface, making fish less likely to bite.
Debunked: Rain can actually stimulate fish activity, especially if it's a light to moderate rain. The rain can wash insects and other food into the water, triggering a feeding frenzy.

95. "Fish Can't Feel Pain"

Old Belief: Fish don't have pain receptors, so they don't feel pain.
Debunked: Scientific studies suggest that fish do have nociceptors (pain receptors) and can experience stress. It's essential to handle fish with care, especially if practicing catch and release.

96. "You Should Always Fish Downstream in a River"

Old Belief: Casting and retrieving your lure downstream is the most effective method in rivers.
Debunked: While this can be effective for some species or conditions, fishing upstream or cross-current can also be very productive, depending on the fish's behavior and the river's structure.

97. "Fish Won't Bite if the Water is Too Acidic or Alkaline"

Old Belief: Fish are extremely sensitive to pH levels and won't feed if the water's pH is too high or low.
Debunked: While extreme pH levels can stress fish, many species are adaptable and can feed in a range of pH conditions. However, prolonged exposure to unsuitable pH can impact fish health.

98. "Fish are Less Active in Winter Because They Hibernate"

Old Belief: Fish go into a deep sleep or hibernation during the cold winter months.
Debunked: Fish don't hibernate. While their metabolism slows down in colder temperatures, they remain active, albeit at a reduced rate. This is why ice fishing can be so productive.

99. "Using Electronics Scares Fish Away"

Old Belief: The use of sonar and other electronic devices scares fish away.
Debunked: Modern fish finders and sonar devices are designed to be unobtrusive. While they emit sound waves, these are typically beyond the range that would disturb most fish.

100. "The Best Time to Fish is Early Morning"

Old Belief: Dawn is the prime feeding time for all fish.
Debunked: While many species are active during the early morning, others might be more active at dusk, midday, or even at night. The best time often depends on the specific species, location, and current conditions.

101. "Fish Can't See Line Color"

Old Belief: The color of your fishing line doesn't matter because fish can't see it.
Debunked: Some fish can discern different colors and line visibility, especially in clear waters. This is why many anglers opt for clear or low-visibility lines in such conditions.

102. "All Catfish are Bottom Feeders"

Old Belief: Catfish only feed at the bottom of water bodies.
Debunked: While many catfish species are known to feed near the bottom, some, like the channel catfish, often feed in mid-water or near the surface.

103. "Fish Don't Feed in Murky Water"

Old Belief: After a heavy rain or during runoff, the water becomes too murky for fish to feed.
Debunked: Fish rely on various senses, not just sight. In murky waters, they can use their lateral lines to detect vibrations and locate prey.

104. "You Need Expensive Gear to Catch Big Fish"

Old Belief: Only high-end, expensive fishing gear can land trophy fish.
Debunked: While quality gear can offer advantages, many big fish have been caught on simple and affordable equipment. Skill, knowledge, and a bit of luck often matter more than the price tag.

105. "Fish Bite More on a Solunar Calendar's 'Best Days'"

Old Belief: The solunar calendar, which predicts fish activity based on moon phases, is always accurate.
Debunked: While many anglers believe in the solunar theory, fish activity can be influenced by a myriad of factors, including weather, water conditions, and food availability.

106. "Fish Can't Bite if They're Jumping"

Old Belief: If fish are jumping out of the water, they're not feeding.
Debunked: Fish jump for various reasons, including escaping predators, catching airborne prey, or shaking off parasites. They can still be feeding before or after these jumps.

107. "All Sharks are Man-Eaters"

Old Belief: All shark species pose a significant threat to humans.
Debunked: Of the 400+ shark species, only a handful have been involved in incidents with humans. Most sharks are harmless and uninterested in people.

108. "Fish Can't See at Night"

Old Belief: Once the sun sets, fish are virtually blind.
Debunked: Many fish species have adapted to low-light or nocturnal conditions and can see quite well at night, which is why night fishing can be so productive.

109. "All Freshwater Fish are Safe to Eat Raw"

Old Belief: Unlike saltwater fish, freshwater fish are always safe to consume raw.
Debunked: Freshwater fish can carry parasites and bacteria harmful to humans. It's essential to ensure they are properly treated, frozen, or cooked before consumption.

110. "Fish Don't Feed After Being Stocked"

Old Belief: Fish recently stocked in a lake or river need several days to acclimate before they start feeding.
Debunked: While some stocked fish might take time to adjust to their new environment, many start feeding within hours, especially if they were raised on commercial feed.

As we continue to debunk myths in the fishing world, it becomes evident that knowledge, experience, and continuous learning are our best tools. By dispelling these misconceptions, we can approach fishing with a clearer understanding and a deeper appreciation for the intricacies of the sport.

About The Author
Pete Danylewycz