Becoming hooked? Angling, gambling, and “fishing addiction”

Griffiths, M.D. ORCID: 0000-0001-8880-6524 and Auer, M., 2019. Becoming hooked? Angling, gambling, and “fishing addiction”. Archives of Behavioral Addictions, 1 (1).

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Fishing and gambling are two activities that do not appear to have much in common with each other but a few scholars have argued both are potentially addictive behaviours that share psychological and behavioural similarities.

Material and methods:

Academic literature, populist literature, and anecdotal evidence collected from online fishing discussion forums was used to ascertain whether excessive fishing could be considered as a behaviour that could be potentially addictive, and whether it had similarities with other potentially addictive behaviours (most notably gambling addiction).


A review of the relevant literature both in academic journals and more populist literature suggest fishing addiction may theoretically exist. Self-reports by fishers on online discussion forums suggest many of the core components of addiction were specifically described in relation to their fishing experiences including salience, withdrawal symptoms, conflict with job and/or relationships, relapse, and tolerance.


Fishing - when taken to excess - does appear to have addiction-like properties akin to problematic drug use and/or gambling. However, the present paper does not argue that fishing addiction exists, just that some people (including fishers themselves) conceptualise their excessive behaviour as an addiction.

Item Type: Journal article
Publication Title: Archives of Behavioral Addictions
Creators: Griffiths, M.D. and Auer, M.
Publisher: Edra S.p.A.
Date: February 2019
Volume: 1
Number: 1
Rights: © 2017 Edra S.p.A. Open Access e-Journal.
Divisions: Schools > School of Social Sciences
Record created by: Jill Tomkinson
Date Added: 08 Apr 2019 10:49
Last Modified: 08 Apr 2019 10:49

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