In some other languages, there are interjections said to a fisherman (especially to an angler) for good luck, other than "good luck!" itself.

Is there any in English too?

I suppose, "good luck" is a common expression for this but I thought there might be a special expression for this occasion as well.

I recently read about "Tight lines!" also but never heard it before. Do you know anything about this expression?

  • are you sure such an expression exists? I've tried some new ones.
    – vickyace
    Commented Apr 23, 2014 at 15:21

5 Answers 5


I guess that a tight line is a line being pulled by a big fish.. Could a fisherman ask for more?

When said between fishermen, it means "good luck".

Tight lines means you are hooked up with a fish, i.e. the line being tight between you and the fish. When you say that to a fishing friend, it means that you wish him/her good luck and "tight lines" - i.e. catching fish.


  • So, is "Tight Lines!" a common expression between fishermen?
    – ermanen
    Commented Apr 23, 2014 at 15:25
  • It looks like it is. There is also a Facebook site called after it: "Tight Lines Fishing" is a social fishing adventure. Players compete amongst each other to catch the biggest fish to become an online fishing legend.
    – user66974
    Commented Apr 23, 2014 at 15:28
  • @Ermanen It is used by anglers, although in my experience nowhere near as much as 'Good luck' or 'Good luck, all I caught was a cold'.
    – Frank
    Commented Apr 23, 2014 at 15:37
  • 1
    I was given some (angling) books with 'Tight Lines!' written in them as an expression of best wishes, once. I've also seen it as a sign-off from column authors in angling magazines, on the rare occasion I've thumbed through one. So yes, I'd recognise it as an expression, and I only dabbled in the sport when I was a boy.
    – Tom W
    Commented Apr 23, 2014 at 17:20

If you are not sure of the existence of such a word, you are better off using others that mean good luck, such as "break a leg".

Even better would be if you make your own, like "wish you fish" or "win the fins".

  • 1
    "Break a net" ? Commented Apr 23, 2014 at 19:56

'tight lines' may be an English translation of an old Finnish saying. In Finland you can't never wish a fisherman good luck, good catch or many fish so we just wish 'kireitä siimoja' - 'tight lines' since tight lines may also mean that your lure gets stuck in the weed or get jammed between rocks. That way the gods of fishing can't be sure what exactly you have said to a fisher and deny his/her luck all together ;)


Here are some expressions:

  • Have a good time fishing!
  • Now is the time for the great catch!
  • Enjoy your fishing day!
  • I wish you a good haul.

Consider "Good fishing!" and "Good catch!."

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