The Most Dangerous Spots To Fish In The Whole World

It is easy to think of fishing in a purely bucolic way. Wading into a stream and casting a fly into calm water as you gaze up into the mountain scenery surrounding you. While that's pulled straight from the ending of Robert Redford's "A River Runs Through It," fishing, when taken to extremes, can go from fun and peaceful, to dangerous in the blink of an eye.

Each year, over 100,000 people perish in fishing-related deaths (via Sport Fishing). While many of these deaths are of commercial anglers, recreational fishing also takes its share, making it actually one of the more dangerous sports you can participate in. And if you find yourself fishing at one of these 13 places, the danger only increases.

From the rocky bluffs of Narragansett Bay in Rhode Island to the dangerous creatures lurking beneath the surface of the Amazon in South America, each one of these places presents their own unique dangers that anglers should not take lightly. One wrong step on a rock, one misjudged tide, or one encounter with the wrong critter could easily turn a fishing trip into a nightmare. Here are the most dangerous places to fish in the whole world. 

Hazard Rock, Rhode Island

Given its status as the smallest U.S. state, it may be difficult for non-residents to find Rhode Island on a map. Wedged between Massachusetts and Connecticut in the northeastern region of New England, Rhode Island's shoreline has long been a haven for beach goers, robber barons, sailors, and, of course, commercial and recreational anglers. Though most of the shoreline is relatively safe, there is one spot, Hazard Rock in Narragansett, that is incredibly dangerous to fish.

The name should give you some idea of what this location is like. Basically a giant outcropping of rocks that jut out into Narragansett Bay, Hazard Rock happens to be one of the most productive areas in Rhode Island for striped bass. An incredible sport fish, the allure of catching stripers brings anglers to this rock with relative frequency. However, there is a danger that needs to be respected.

The rock face is slippery and gets hit with waves intense enough to wash even the sturdiest off of their feet and into the surf. And Hazard Rock is hardly the only rock outcropping around. Being swept into the notoriously cold, and unforgiving, northern Atlantic waters is a surefire way to drown or get your head smashed in on the surrounding rocks. So, as cool as this location might look, know that your life is the potential price to be paid for fishing off of Hazard Rock.

Devil's Hole, New York

Another one whose name should be a dead giveaway as to what is in store if you come across it, Devil's Hole in upstate New York is one of those places that's really cool to see, at a distance. Whirling pools of rapids wend their way through gorges on the Niagara River heading towards the Falls. The strength of these rapids and whirlpools are enough to devour 19-foot fishing vessels without a second thought. Located in Devil's Hole State Park in Niagara Falls, the rapids serve as something of a secondary attraction to the great falls up stream.

Though a famous area for trout and salmon, the rapids make it nearly impossible for anglers to spend time on the water safely. They are classified as Class V rapids, meaning that while they're excellent for whitewater rafting professionals, fishing out of a canoe or kayak is not recommended. Regardless of how prolific the fish zooming down the rapids are, venturing near there is a sure recipe for disaster. Your best bet is to fish from shore. 

It is not as if the waters are predictable, either. You could be well upstream of the rapids and still get caught off guard in an undercurrent. And once you're in the river's pull, it is incredibly difficult, and often impossible, to pull yourself free.

The Gulf of Alaska

Commercial fishing off the coast of Alaska is considered one of the most dangerous jobs in the entire world. The unpredictability of the waters in the Gulf of Alaska, combined with the near Arctic temperatures, and the frequency of storms make fishing out in this part of the northern Pacific ocean very tricky, and very deadly. This applies to recreational saltwater fishing as well.

Though they may not be going as far out into the waters of the Gulf of Alaska, shoreline and shallow fishing can be just as dangerous as fishing out in the open ocean if an angler isn't careful enough. Slippery rocks, rip currents, and the ice cold water make this a particularly tough spot to fish without getting into trouble. Though it is amazing what folks will do for salmon, which spawn in great numbers in June and July. 

If you are going to recreationally fish the Alaskan Gulf, make sure that you are well prepared with warm layers, grippy footwear, and an excellent guide. The last thing you need is to get lost or slip and have yourself taken away by a rip current into the frigid waters of the northern Pacific.

The Everglades, Florida

The designation as a National Park does not mask the fact that the Everglades in Florida are still one of the most dangerous places to fish in the entire world. One of the things that makes it such are the glades themselves. Everglades sawgrass is actually sharp enough to cut through your clothing, and your skin! Each blade of this grass, which grows upwards of 10 feet tall, contains sharp teeth that can slice straight into you. And seeing as they grow in abundance in the Everglades, wading is not going to be an option for anyone thinking of fishing.

Wading is also not an option for another reason: gators. Alligators are perhaps the animal Florida is most known for. And they are not ones for leaving lunch alone. Alligators will come after you if you are daft enough to get close to them. And if you're wading in their feeding grounds, then good luck to you. These strong reptiles should never, ever be crossed if it can be helped.

So, if you have a dream to fish the Everglades, only do it with a professional guide and please, please, please stay on the boat.

Puerto de la Cruz, Spain

Spain has a particularly infamous stretch of water that's hazardous. Puerto de la Cruz on Spain's Tenerife Sea has coastal waters that are incredibly strong. Though it is a prime location for fishing for all manner of marine life, the fact remains that it is a place with particularly dangerous waters. The waves and surf, in particular, while amazingly dramatic to look at, have the potential to be deadly.

Puerto de la Cruz consists of a lot of wet, jagged rocks, and breakwaters. While you can walk on all of these surfaces, be wary. Slipping off of the rocks can cause serious injury. Combine that with the potential for getting caught in the increasingly rough surf, and it's a disaster waiting to happen. And don't think you'll be safe if you simply stay on the breakwater.

Even hitting up the breakwater to fish, the surf can be pushed up and over the seawall if the tides are rough enough. You can easily lose balance as a wave hits you, fall, injure yourself, and get pulled back into the swirling ocean. So, while the fishing is good in Puerto de la Cruz, it should be done with extreme caution and examination of the weather beforehand.

Howth Cliffs, Ireland

When you think of Irish cliffs, you think either of the Cliffs of Moher on Ireland's west coast, or the Giant's Causeway in Northern Ireland. Neither can reasonably be fished thanks primarily to their height, but there is another opportunity to fish on Irish cliffs that presents itself in a fishing community just outside of Dublin on the eastern coast called Howth. 

Howth is a longstanding Irish fishing community. Boat fishing and pier fishing in the marina are relatively safe, as is surf casting on the beach. Fishing from the cliffs, however, is where you can get in trouble.

Though nowhere near as dramatic as the Cliffs of Moher, Howth's cliffs are still tall and have all the potential to be dangerous. The heavy surf of the Irish Sea can splash its way up onto the cliffs, causing the rocks there to become slick with sweater and other debris. As a result, they are often very windy and slippery. If you're not careful enough while you're casting, you could easily slip and fall into the water. And the Irish Sea is not exactly what you would call warm. That being said, if you take the proper precautions, there is no real reason why the Cliffs should do you any real harm. However, the danger is present enough for them to make this list.

The Congo River

Now we're heading into some big, big water. Africa is home to some of the most iconic rivers in the entire world. We all know the Nile, with its amazing length and history. However, it is the Congo River that takes the cake for being more dangerous. This river winds its way through central Africa and has been immortalized in such works as "Heart of Darkness" by Joseph Conrad. Though madness is the chief antagonist in the famous novella, the real river presents dangers of its own.

Though it is under constant threat from habitat degeneration, the Congo River Basin remains one of the most dangerous places to fish in the entire world. It's enormously wide and has an intense current that could easily sweep you underfoot and take you away. But there is something lurking in the waters of the Congo that's even more terrifying.

The river is home to perhaps the scariest looking and deadly freshwater fish in the entire world: the Goliath Tigerfish. One look at the teeth of this river monster and you will understand that it is not to be trifled with. These fish can grow up to 5 feet in length and reach up to 110 pounds. They are considered extremely dangerous by the natives, and should be considered so by visitors. They are incredibly predatory, and have no qualms about going after people.

Zambezi River, Zimbabwe

Another one of Africa's great rivers, the Zambezi River in Zimbabwe has long held the title of being the most dangerous river in the entire world. This is mostly thanks to its wild rapids that have caused numerous boating accidents throughout the years. However, the rapids are far from the only thing that makes the Zambezi dangerous.

The river is highly populated with an assortment of dangerous river creatures, such as crocodiles and hippos. And if you don't think hippos are cause for concern, you've never encountered one. Fishing the Zambezi river should only be done in the presence of a seasoned guide, one that knows the ins and outs of the water, where the dangerous animals are, and aren't, and how best to navigate the land areas around.

Another thing you'll want to watch out for along the Zambezi, particularly if you are fishing at night, are the mosquitoes. These annoying little insects are known the world over for their aggravating, itchy bites. However, mosquitoes are also known carriers of viral pathogens like malaria and novel viruses. So be careful and bring plenty of bug spray. 

Randwick, New South Wales, Australia

New South Wales is one of Australia's most populated and beautiful areas. Home to cities like Sydney and Canberra, the coast in New South Wales is incredibly beautiful but, like much of Australia, is teeming with incredibly dangerous marine life such as sharks, poisonous cone snails, and blue-ringed octopus. However, as far as fishing goes, Randwick is by far the most dangerous recreational fishing spot in New South Wales.

This place may be scenic to look at, with its outcroppings of rock and turquoise waters, but it is also a dramatically dangerous place to fish off of. Like the Howth Cliffs and Puerto de la Cruz, the rocks and tides at Randwick make for a particularly treacherous combination. So much so, in fact, that there have been 21 deaths reported at Randwick rocks since 2001, according to the Randwick City Council. The leading cause is people falling off of the rocks and getting caught in the rip currents below.

It is not that it is impossible to fish here, just incredibly risky. If you're visiting a place that has a death rate this high, you better make sure you're a strong swimmer before venturing out to cast your line off of these rocks.

The Arctic Ocean

Is it really a shock that the Arctic is on this list? The danger presented by fishing in the Arctic ocean is immense. First off, you have the water itself. The Arctic is not famous for its balmy springs, but rather its bone-chilling waters that will kill you from hypothermia in a matter of minutes. Plus, you have the fact that the ice is present. And ice is particularly important when it comes to knowing when and how to fish the Arctic Ocean.

Ice fishing is a long established pastime of both the Native Arctic people, European settlers, and tourists alike. It relies on the ice to be thick enough to support shelters from the exterior elements. Another thing you'll have to be cautious of on the Arctic is the winds, which can kill you just as swiftly as the waters. Of course, you should only go ice fishing when the ice is thick and solid. 

Ice fishing in the Arctic should only be done with experienced anglers who know the area and have been on the ice for their entire lives. It's important to remember that while the waters are beautiful, they are incredibly unforgiving. It doesn't matter how much Arctic char or salmon you catch, the ocean is still a dangerous place.

Yangtze River, China

Mainland Asia is filled with many great rivers. However, it's the Yangtze River in China that presents enough danger to make it on this list. One of the most heavily polluted rivers in the entire world, the Yangtze River is currently under a decades-long fishing ban. You may well wonder, if you can't even fish the river, why is it on this list? Well, the Chinese government takes law enforcement of this matter very seriously. Whether you're a local fisherman or an outsider, trying to fish where there is no fishing allowed could get you in massive amounts of trouble. That, and the waters themselves are not terribly conducive to fishing.

Aside from the pollution, the currents in the Yangtze River are incredibly strong, and only increase during the rainy season and in proximity to the many hydroelectric dams installed along the river. Whirlpools and rapids are not uncommon sights on this river, and many boats have been consumed by the waters, as have recreational swimmers and anglers before the ban. 

Another issue facing the Yangtze is regional flooding. The river is the largest in all of China, and, as a result, is a main artery for travel and trade. When the flood waters rise, communities along the banks are affected, as are the workings of the river's economy. 

The Paraná River

The second of South America's great rivers, the Paraná River runs south from Brazil, through Paraguay, and into Argentina. The river is long and wide and used primarily for power in several of the countries it runs through. Any angler will need to be cautious of water speed caused by spillways and hydroelectric dams, as they could easily take over a boat and suck anglers under. But the big thing that makes the Paraná River particularly dangerous is the specific fish that lurks in its waters.

As its name suggests, the Paraná River is home to both red-bellied and black piranha fish. Though they are not overly known to attack people out of the blue, if they are provoked, piranha will come after you, or your catch. They have razor sharp teeth that have proven to be more than enough to devour human flesh. In all likelihood, however, they will turn your catch into mincemeat before they have an opportunity to get to you. Either way, wading is not encouraged in the Paraná River.

Like the Yangtze in China, the Paraná river is also prone to flooding, especially during rainy seasons. Flash floods and rip currents caused by the rising waters can be of particular concerns to anglers. It's best to keep an eye out for the weather and stay in if it's looking like a storm. No one wants to be swept away in piranha-filled waters. 

The Amazon River

Rounding out our list is perhaps the second most famous river in the entire world: the Amazon. South America's largest river, the Amazon is known for being one of the most biologically diverse and unique areas on the globe. Home to many dangerous animals like anaconda snakes, crocodiles, piranha, payara, and arapaima, the waters of the Amazon should not be fished without a guide.

Another thing you need to be aware of on the Amazon is the possibility of a tidal bore. This is the result of a wave that comes in and moves up the river at speeds of up to 15 mph, causing the water levels to rise dramatically, and leaves a wake of destruction as a result. People have been known to surf the tidal bores, but it can cause some trouble for anglers further upstream as it can knock over boats or take the angler off of their feet. 

These are hardly the only dangerous places you can go fishing in the entire world. Honestly, the pond in your town can be considered dangerous if you're not careful enough. You need to keep caution whenever you go out fishing. While nature may be unforgiving (and it is in all of these places), your preparedness and good sense could end up saving the day.

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