Fishy Films: Why is Fishing Used So Much in Entertainment? Image

When you go fishing, you really have no idea what you’re going to reel in once you’ve cast that line. It could be a tin can, a boot, a shopping trolley, or the biggest carp the world has ever seen. This versatility in the outcomes and experiences of fishing itself has been successfully translated to the world of entertainment. But how exactly is fishing used in entertainment to show this versatility?

Gone Filmin’

Fishing films have no set genre. They can be romantic in nature – such as 2009’s Irish romantic drama Ondine, which saw Colin Farrell star as a man who believed he caught a mythical creature in his net while fishing. 2011’s Salmon Fishing in the Yemen also uses fishing as a metaphor for love between Emily Blunt and Ewan McGregor.

1992’s A River Runs Through It is an Oscar-winning drama that uses fishing as a metaphor for the Montana family’s life and faith. Similarly, 1958’s adaptation of a Hemingway novel, titled The Old Man and the Sea, used the act of fishing as a metaphor for life. 1991’s The Perfect Storm with George Clooney was based on a fishing vessel’s sinking during a freak weather incident, showing that fishing can also be a prelude to a serious biopic-cum-disaster flick.

Sometimes fishing is played for laughs. 1964’s Man’s Favorite Sport sees Rock Hudson – author of a book on fishing – entered into a competition. The trouble is he has never actually gone fishing before. 1997’s Gone Fishin’ is a buddy comedy starring Danny Glover and Joe Pesci that centered around fishing.

Casting a Wide Net Across Entertainment

It’s not just films that have focused on fishing. There are countless documentaries and reality shows about fishing and catching fish – from the dangerous fishing expeditions in Deadliest Catch to the tamer ones in Extreme Fishing with Robson Green. Fishing translates well to these kinds of TV documentaries because of the inherent possibility and tension that is imbued within the pastime. Catching fish is a will-they-won’t-they experience and these potentially dangerous encounters are infused with the same kind of tension.

Fishing has even found its way to the world of online casinos. As the Fishin’ Frenzy slot game shows, the excitement that can be generated when fishing translates well from fishing reels to spinning slot reels. By using fishing as a theme, potential players will automatically understand what the game is trying to achieve and how the excitement and anticipation are being used. Along with wilds and free spins, the video gameplay features various angling-related equipment and types of fish as motifs throughout the game.

Mobile and console gaming has also hooked onto fishing as a topic. For example, the most intensive fishing game is Fishing Sim World Pro Tour, which sees players facing off against world-class anglers to catch carp, bass, and predatory fish. The game’s career mode features 100 famous fishers while the multiplayer options help create a community around fishing in the game. Even games such as Animal Crossing feature fishing as a mini-game of sorts to augment the restful life gameplay.

Fishing is a useful topic to be used across entertainment because most people understand it, so it can be used to create metaphors about life and love. It is also imbued with anticipation, which makes it useful for games where tension needs to be generated. Ultimately the versatility of fishing helps add a new flavor to whatever medium of entertainment it is used for.

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