Top 73 Fishing Tattoo Ideas [2020 Inspiration Guide]
Just about every man enjoys casting a line out into the water and heading home with the big catch of the day. It’s a good reason why more than 44 Americans fish at least once every year.
Few things can top the recreation of a good day spent out on the boat or by the dock.
Even if you fish for sport or competition, there’s always a reward in store at the end of the line. From tuna to marlin, shark, sailfish, mackerel, bass and more.
However, you might be surprised to know that it comes at a cost. The truth is non-commercial fishers spend on average a jaw-dropping $1 billion per year on bait alone!
Remember, that doesn’t even include the rod, sinker, line, hooks, etc.
Yet, if curious to know how they did it back in the Stone Age you might also be a little shocked to know they used fish hooks made from bones.
Regardless if you fly fish or just hope to get a nibble down at the local pond, these top 75 best fishing tattoos for men are sure to reel you on in. From cool bait designs to realistic fishermen out on the seas, every popular idea you can imagine has been included in this manly collection!
Fishing Tattoo Ideas
This inner forearm fishing tattoo displays excellent line work and shade technique to create different sets of realistic surfaces. The artist has used a lot of white ink but has done so in a variety of ways. The twin fishing hooks look almost real and ready to toss in the water, while the coiled and looping rope creates texture and links more isolated elements of the tattoo together.
Such a great quote, and great 3D abstract tattoo. Having the anchor caught on the rod is a nice touch and the image is placed snugly in the inner bicep, however some alt color aqua/blue shading, black gray fuzzy work, or another image inside the rig would add more depth and balance to the overall piece. There’s a touch too much gap between the tip of the rod curling past and top of the anchor.
This unfinished fishing tattoo looks bad ass, and it’s not even done. The Darth Maul looking fish doesn’t look like the enjoyable eating kind, but it’s a mean tattoo image well angled in contrast to the skull captain’s still growing beard. Together they give off different planes, angles and curves to shade. The white ink hook on the Skipper’s eye patch and pipe highlights are well deployed.
This fellow looks like he was lifted from the cover of Sega Bass Fishing from way back in the day. The highlight here is the fresh line work in wave and fish. This technical style gives a good outline contrast for the light, bright color fill, particularly the gray sheen threading through the light blue water.
Enjoyable marlin tattoo in the neo traditional style. This one does a good job to take a realistic image then throw in some American traditional elements in to make a nice, clean outline for a larger than life character. From here, the classic approach is thrown out in favour of brightness, a sleek gray fish, and nicely contrasting back drop of bright red sky.
The core black ink part of the man in this fishing tattoo is an excellent image. It’s solidly done, well angled, and the crisp outline works perfectly.The shading is fine, however the supporting stylized map of south east USA needs a bit of work. It needs to be a sharper, more accurate background image to work in opposition to the fuller black shadow.
An excellent take on a difficult technical piece. The artist has shown a great eye for scale and depth in successfully incorporating an above/below water line arm sleeve tattoo. The detail is great; below water fish are kept clean and clear in their lines despite the water dark view. The boat above the water looks fantastic standing out in white ink amongst the bright, streaking sunlight colors behind and on the water’s surface.
Love seeing all those shark teeth! It’s reminiscent of trips to the local aquarium or watching Jaws when you were a kid and almost passing out holding your breath when the music played. This is an enjoyable fishing tattoo – the mastery of black and gray shading to keep such great detail in the boat is masterful technique. Keeping the action within the unique border allows the artist to have fun with negative space and white ink alt fill.
A beautiful animal realism tattoo of a marlin breaking the water – if you get to ever see this in nature is exceptionally cool. The detail and color is clean and crisp, while the fill does a great job of bringing the salt water and sea spray to life around the big fish.
Another marlin, this time with Japanese Irezumi overtones in the bold shading and rich pattern of fill surrounding the main image. Once the new ink settles from red raw into alternating gray and negative space it will contrast better against the big fish and the man in the small boat trying to haul it in.
Big Mouth Billy Bass! This fishing tattoo is a homage to both bass fishing video games and singing fish curios. It’s wicked. The blue color is bright and fresh throughout which allows the other colors – green fish, red sky, negative space belly – to work in relief. There are some great traditional tattoo elements such as clean, fat black outline work and minimal shading – in other styles there would be a lot more on the fish itself and in the water.
Love this lure. It’s only a very small tattoo yet loaded with great color and detail. The tiny bits of dot work along the flank to help ‘scale up’ the blue ink is a fantastic touch. The artist has also done brilliantly in making the multi-point hooks look realistic against the subject’s skin with deft use of white ink.
This fishing tattoo is spectacular. It’s simple technique that sometimes gets lost amongst bells and whistles, shades, flair, and flourishes. This artwork is: clean lines, contrasting colors, and cool shape working together across a full image. The artist has nailed this squid tattoo without doing anything outlandish.
A killer fishing scene mixing realism with a sketch style to create an epic upper arm sleeve. The artist has developed different shapes and patterns in order to create shade effects such as water splashing from the breaching fish, or light glancing off the logs to contrast with the otherwise flat water surface.
Groupers always look like someone stole from them. The tattooist in this piece has created excellent realism, from the disappointed fish right through to nasty looking hook sitting tantalisingly at the ocean floor. The creation of plant life with dirty sea green and off yellow is a unique color complement to the rest of this solid lower leg tattoo.
What a cool fish tattoo! The alternating gray and black colors work on their own, however the artist opting to thread in small scales as a point of difference in the gray kicks up the technical prowess a notch. Also like the etching of fins and tail – fresh black lines are well augmented by touches of white ink.
A nice tattoo symbolizing the hunter gatherer. The juxtaposition of old school arrow and fishing rod form a great circular border for the internal fish image. It’s a fun, cool tattoo etched from a unique idea, although shooting at a fish seems quite rude.
Now, this is top quality work. The brilliant technical shade elements in this fishing tattoo work from the illusion of movement from the central black fisherman image. It’s the focus for the cool ripple effects, alternating gray mountains behind, and the forest on the river’s other side. This is an outstanding tattoo displaying flawless shadow and negative space awareness.
Wow, this is a unique tattoo – a mother watching on as her partner and children fish. Being able to display this scene in the reflection of an eye is impressive from both a design and execution perspective. The white ink and negative space usage to create individual shapes in the iris is a stand out, while the eye is drawn flawlessly too. Check out the detail in each eyelash as they connect to skin below the eye.