‘I love fishing. You put that line in the water and you don’t know what’s on the other end.
Your imagination is under there.’

Robert Altman

An angler can be a surgeon who has spent a lifetime fishing for pike in the very same ditches in the Green Heart’s polder, to “see what’s underneath the water”. An angler can also be a factory worker seizing every opportunity to head for the pier of IJmuiden and fish for sea bass; for human consumption that is. Yet another passionate angler works at a day care centre and is considered one of the best female match anglers in the Netherlands. “Catching fish that belong in an entirely different world is a most fascinating experience.” She is determined to become world champion. And then we have the carp boys. “I’m carped big time,” says one of them. Welcome to the anglers’ world … welcome to F.I.S.H.I.N.G.

Anglers are everywhere, and yet to non-anglers their world seems inaccessible. You can see anglers standing or seated, wandering through the polder, hunting for predatory fish, you can see them on the pier, waiting for sea bass – you can spend hours watching them, but their thoughts and experiences remain a mystery. It is like anglers have a world of their own.

Visual artist, writer and angler Jan B. de Winter aptly described the process in his book called Karpervissen: “The angler is inside a crystal ball, which separates him from the outsider. The outsider can see him, and yet he doesn’t understand the angler (…) The outsider merely goes “back to nature”, as Jean Jacques Rousseau put it. The angler, the good angler, takes things a step further. He goes “back into nature.”

Studying anglers and their hobby meticulously, you will discover a parallel world you are unfamiliar with, although this other world is usually at your doorstep, as long as water exists.

In F.I.S.H.I.N.G they all show up: the carp anglers, pike perch anglers, predatory fish anglers, catfish anglers, codfish anglers, freshwater and saltwater anglers, match anglers, fly-fish anglers, the waiting and hunting anglers, frying pan anglers and anglers who will never eat up the fish they have captured out of respect.

F.I.S.H.I.N.G represents the anglers’ world from a very different perspective. It is not about how and whether you should be fishing, but rather about why people fish. The film is a voyage of discovery to the world of anglers and fish, a film about what drives people offering a revealing look into a mysterious world.