Fishing in the Dark – Meaning, Origin and Usage

Are you looking for a way to tell your partner you want an intimate evening alone with them? You could use the phrase 'fishing in the dark.'

This post unpacks the meaning and origin of this expression.


The expression 'fishing in the dark' doesn't have anything to do with fishing. It refers to making love outdoors under the moonlight. While the original song responsible for coining the phrase uses a fishing analogy, it doesn't apply to the current use of the expression.

If you're going 'fishing in the dark' with your partner, you're taking them to the lake or the park to make love, not to fish. It's a way of saying that you want to spend intimate time alone with your partner to enjoy their company and body.

If you go fishing after dark, you're not usually bringing fishing gear with you, just a blanket and maybe a good bottle of wine or champagne to enjoy. The phrase doesn't always have to apply to sex. It can mean you're enjoying the company of your partner under the moonlight.

Example Usage

“Hey babe, let’s head out for some fishing in the dark. What do you think? Are you ready to get out of here and head home?”

“We’re going fishing in the dark. No, I’m not talking about fishing, and no boats or angling gear is involved.”

“I was with my girl last night, fishing in the dark. No, you moron, we weren’t out on the lake fishing. The only fishing we were doing was in the bedroom.”

“My boyfriend told me he wants to take me fishing in the dark. I told him I don’t know how to fish and I don’t like fishing at all. He told me not to worry. He’ll show me how.”

“I love going fishing in the dark with my partner. I always leave the fishing gear at home and take an air mattress.”


The expression ‘fishing in the dark’ originates from Californian songwriters Jim Photoglo and Wendy Waldman. The duo used it as the title of a track featured on their 1987 studio album ‘Hold On.’ The song experienced incredible success, with country legend Garth Brooks covering it in 2005.

The song features a vibrant melody, with lyrics describing the perfect evening to go fishing. The phrase appears in the track as ‘baby, get ready because we’re going fishin’ in the dark.’

However, the theme of the song describes the lovers enjoying each other bodies more than the fishing.

Phrases Similar to Fishing in the Dark

  • Sex under the stars.
  • Make love under moonlight.

Phrases Opposite to Fishing in the Dark

  • N/A.

What is the Correct Saying?

  • Fishing in the dark.

Ways People May Say Fishing in the Dark Incorrectly

The song and saying 'fishing in the dark' don't actually refer to the act of fishing. The 'fishing' is an excuse for lovemaking. Using the phrase to describe how you're going fishing in the dark with friends would be the incorrect use of the expression.

Acceptable Ways to Phrase Fishing in the Dark

You can use the phrase 'fishing in the dark' when referring to a late-night encounter with a loved one. It's the name of a popular song and a reference to making love under the moonlight with your partner. You can use the phrase in social situations with your partner to tell them you want to have sex.

It's a romantic saying, and your partner will usually understand you when using the phrase. You could use it as a euphemism around others to avoid the need to say you're going off to have sex with your partner. The expression suits lighthearted conversations and occasions where you want to tell your partner you want to have sex.

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