Best Fishing Shows On TV – Updated 2023

    Were you aimlessly flicking through the channels on your TV, trying to find something decent to watch, when you stumbled on a fishing tournament? Or was it a documentary examining the denizens of the ocean? Did the show pique your interest, and now you want more? Well, you’re in luck because we’ve pulled together some of the best fishing shows on TV, but where do you start?

    Fishing shows offer a unique mix of drama, fascinating facts, different fishing techniques, spectacular locations, real-life challenges anglers face, and nature’s incredible, destructive power. Our pick of top shows includes River Monsters, Deadliest Catch, Wicked Tuna, Lunkerville, and Battlefish.

    Fishing has invaded the media in a big way. Movies, TV series, documentaries, televised competitions, and entire channels are dedicated to anglers and their sport. Below we’ll look at some prevalent fishing shows on TV, what they entail, and where you can watch them.

    The Best Fishing Shows On TV

    While singling out the best fishing shows is challenging, some stand head and shoulders above the rest. These shows receive the highest ratings and are worth sinking hours into, thanks to gripping stories, fantastic filmography, spectacular soundtracks, and exceptional editing.

    1. River Monsters

    River Monsters is a British and American documentary-type show that follows Jeremy Wade, a British biologist, and extreme angler who travels around the globe exploring lakes, rivers, and other water bodies to discover the resident “monster” that inspired folklore in the area.

    This series showcases interesting, unique, and occasionally terrifying (yet intriguing) fresh and saltwater fish species.

    IMDB score: 8.1

    Number of seasons: 9

    Number of Episodes: 89 to 103 (specials)

    Running period: 2009 to 2017

    Where To Watch

    2. The Deadliest Catch

    If you can circumnavigate the fact that they’re catching crabs that look like giant spiders, the Deadliest Catch is one of the top-rated American reality series. This series follows several fishing vessels operating in the Bering Sea of Alaska as they try to fill their quota of Alaskan crabs.

    The show highlights the dangers of sudden storms, working on a deep-sea fishing vessel, and the competitive nature of the industry (not to mention the various antagonistic personalities on the boats).

    The show has won 29 of its 80 Primetime Emmy nominations.

    IMDB score: 7.8

    Number of seasons: 18

    Number of Episodes: 320

    Running period: 2005 to present (2023)

    Where To Watch

    3. Battlefish

    Battlefish is another reality series following various American fishing vessels as they hunt Albacore tuna in the Pacific Ocean. This Netflix exclusive focuses on this industry’s hardships (personal and environmental issues) and competitive nature as five vessels patrol the Oregon coast.

    IMDB score: 7.1

    Number of seasons: 1

    Number of Episodes: 8

    Running period: 2018 to present

    Where To Watch

    4. Major League Fishing

    If watching fishing tournaments and leagues are more your speed, then the Major League Fishing show is perfect. There are two separate competitions, the Selects and the Cup (which lead to the world championships).

    The series is a partnership between Professional Bass Tour Anglers’ Association and Outdoor Channel that hosts bass tournaments. This series showcases the personalities of the anglers and their challenges/struggles during the tournament, helping viewers connect with the contestants.

    An interesting feature of the series is that each boat in the competition has a referee (and an iPad) on board to weigh the fish quickly so they can be released almost immediately and update the other competitors.

    IMDB score: 7.1

    Number of seasons: n/a

    Number of Episodes: n/a

    Running period: 2012 (from the 2011 tournament) to present

    Where To Watch

    5. Addictive Fishing

    Many anglers and fishing enthusiasts agree that Addictive Fishing is a fantastic show. The series follows Captain Blair Wiggins on his fishing adventures around the US, catching unique and interesting fish.

    Most of the exciting fishing expeditions are saltwater-related and feature Wiggins’ charismatic personality.

    IMDB score: 7

    Number of seasons: 21

    Number of Episodes: approximately 270 (13 episodes per season)

    Running period: 1999 to 2021

    Where To Watch

    6. Wicked Tuna

    Akin to the Deadliest Catch, Wicked Tuna is an American reality series that follows the fishing endeavors of Atlantic bluefin tuna anglers competing for the largest catch.

    The show focuses on the anglers’ challenges in hunting these elusive fish, the internal strife, and the victory of hauling in 500 lb monsters.

    National Geographic produces this series, and these commercial anglers operate out of Gloucester, Massachusetts.

    IMDB score: 6.5

    Number of seasons: 11

    Number of Episodes: 170

    Running period: 2012 to present (2023)

    Where To Watch

    7. Top Hooker

    This reality-series-meets-gameshow takes an interesting spin on fishing competitions. Drawing global interest, the competitors compete against each other for the grand prize of $30 000.

    During the series, contestants have specific challenges they need to complete. While the successful candidates move on to the next round, the losers go home empty-handed. The series also has a strong catch-and-release theme.

    There are 24 challenges over 8 weeks in different fishing spots across the US.

    Although casting for season 2 began in 2013, only 1 season is available.

    IMDB score: 6

    Number of seasons: 1

    Number of Episodes: 8

    Running period: 2013 to present

    Where To Watch

    8. Lunkerville

    If you’re tired of over-the-top drama or watching professional anglers expertly ply their trade, Lunkerville is your breath of fresh air.

    The series follows host Michael de Avila as he embarks on a bass fishing adventure that showcases recreational anglers around the US and Canada and their favorite fishing spots.

    The series is a laid-back take on the genre and does not feature the host as a “super-angler,” but rather allows audiences to connect with the regular people who occur on the show.

    IMDB score: Unrated

    Number of seasons: 14

    Number of Episodes: 182

    Running period: 2004 to present

    Where To Watch

    9. Bill Dance Outdoors

    No Fishing show list is complete without highlighting Bill Dance Outdoors. This series is the longest-running fishing show and features legendary host Bill Dance as he educates the audience on various fishing techniques for recreational fishing and other technical aspects.

    Over the last 40-plus years, Bill has won the hearts of anglers across the US with some notable “bloopers” from his shows.

    Although he “specializes” in large and smallmouth bass, Bill offers techniques that extend to other fishing forms and types.

    IMDB score: Unrated

    Number of seasons: n/a

    Number of Episodes: approximately 900

    Running period: 1968 to present

    Where To Watch

    Other Fishing Shows On TV

    Many other wonderful fishing shows are available on various streaming services, cable/satellite TV, and online.

    The table below briefly lists some prominent shows.

    Fishing Show Nature of the content Streaming services Year released
    Bassmaster Fishing Elite Series Tournaments FOX 2010
    Catching Monsters Reality Amazon instant video, iTunes, Google Play, and VUDU 2015
    A Fishing Story With Ronnie Green Reality World Fishing Network 2015
    Keyes Outdoors Information Prime Video 2006
    Lindner’s Fishing Edge Educational Apple TV, Disney+, HBO Max, Paramount+, and Prime Video 2003
    Lobster Wars Reality Discovery Channel 2007
    Minnesota Bound Information Prime Video 1995
    Monster Fish Educational Apple TV, Disney+, HBO Max, Paramount+, and Prime Video 2009
    The New Fly Fisher Educational World Fishing Network 2001
    Saltwater Experience Educational Discovery Channel 2005
    Scott Martin Challenge Reality/tournament Discovery +, ESPN, YouTube TV 2005
    Sport Fishing With Dan Hernandez Information/Educational Roku 2000
    Uncharted Waters With Peter Miller Information Amazon Prime, Discovery GO, Pluto TV, and Waypoint Streaming 2018

    Movies Which Feature Fishing As A Prominent Theme

    Fishing is not limited to TV shows. Many movies in the wilderness survival and outdoor genre (and subgenres) feature fishing as a major plot point or as part of the main character(s) story arc.

    Some pertinent movies include:

    • Jaws (1975)
    • Alamo Bay (1985)
    • The Old Man And The Sea (1990)
    • A River Runs Through It (1992)
    • Waterworld (1995)
    • Gone Fishin’ (1997)
    • Castaway (2000)
    • The Perfect Storm (2000)

    Channels Devoted To Fishing Shows

    If catching a show periodically on regular TV or streaming episodes of a particular show from a dedicated service does not provide enough viewing variety, you might enjoy the designated fishing platforms that broadcast various fishing shows without changing the topic (like the Discovery Channel or National Geographic).

    Fishing TV

    Fishing TV is a subscription-based fishing network with hundreds of fishing shows. Some are produced in-house, while other content is acquired from external sources.

    The prominent channels on fishing TV include:

    • Carp channel
    • Coarse and match fishing channel
    • Fly fishing channel
    • Planet fish channel
    • Predators channel
    • Saltwater channel
    • World fishing day channel

    The platform began in 2009, and you can access it with a Smart TV.

    World Fishing Network

    The second dedicated platform that hosts various fishing shows is the World Fishing Network. The vast content includes fishing tips, tournaments, boating, and outdoor lifestyle.

    Shows on this network include:

    • Backwoods Backstage
    • Big Water Adventures
    • Bill Dance Outdoors/ Saltwater
    • CFN Fish Off
    • Extreme Angler
    • Facts Of Fishing

    The platform began in 2005, and several of the shows mentioned in this article are accessible through this platform. The Outdoor Channel is closely associated with the World Fishing Network.

    This network is available to cable and satellite users, and mobile and online options are also available.


    There are many TV fishing shows in different genres. Some are reality series, others educational, and some are tournament related. While choosing the best show is taste related, some popular shows include River Monsters, Deadliest Catch, Bill Dance Outdoors, and Addictive Fishing.

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