As a retired musician and avid fisherman it can be hard for some people to understand how I can combine my two passions together. Fishing is generally thought to be a sport that requires silence and concentration, and most anglers insist that music simply doesn’t belong. Some experienced fishermen can even become irritated when they hear loud music drifting across the water.
Over the years I’ve learned that the fish might not be as affected by noise as we think they are. This is not to say that I blast my favorite tunes at an ear deafening level, but I do enjoy listening to my music when I’m waiting for a bite.
Recent studies are showing that while a sudden loud noise will cause nearby fish to immediately scatter, it also results in drawing them back in. It seems that fish are curious, and frequently swim back to the area to investigate the loud noise. While this usually applies to a rock being tossed in or a loud anchor and chain hitting the bottom, it might indicate that music isn’t as bothersome as it was previously thought.
Since these studies are still largely inconclusive I’m not recommending that anglers start holding outdoor concerts by their favorite fishing holes, but if you enjoy listening to music there might not be a good reason for you to stop. Just remember the person casting nearby might not share the same taste in music. This is actually where I think a lot of the problems concerning music and fishing occur.
Fishing is largely considered a relaxing sport, and for the majority of anglers this means silence. It is a time to reflect and let go of some of your worries and concerns, and for some people this is difficult if there is music playing nearby. Even if the music is at a decent level where the vibrations from the bass are not being felt it can still be disruptive to some anglers, and this is why I recommend investing in a good pair of waterproof headphones or earbuds.
This also comes with disadvantages, the main one being that you won’t be able to hear what is going on around you. For some anglers this can be inconvenient, but it might still be the best way for you to listen to music without disturbing others. However if you are fishing in a truly secluded location away from everyone else, chances are you can simply turn on your portable radio and enjoy your favorite playlists while you are waiting for a bite.