Fishing Spider


Actual Size: Females:15 mm to 26 mm; Males: 7 mm to 13 mm

Characteristics: Large; brownish-gray in color with black and light brown markings.

Legs: 8

Habitat: Prefers wooded areas. Lives in and around swimming pools, entering homes through cracks in damaged foundations.


  • Similar to wolf spiders, but have the ability to swim.
  • Can dive to deter predators and remain underwater for a short time.
  • Attract attention as they can walk across the surface of a pool or stream.

Fishing Spiders in Mid-South TN

Fishing spiders are large spiders and are similar to wolf spiders in size, shape, and coloration. These spiders get their name as they live near water and have been reported to catch small fish and aquatic insects. Fishing spiders are commonly found in wooded areas and may enter homes near waterfronts or wooded areas, wandering into garages, basements, and storage sheds. These spiders attract attention because they can walk across the surface of a pool or stream and when chased, will dive and remain underwater for a short while.

Fishing Spider Habitat

Fishing spiders are typically found near bodies of water, primarily around lakeside vegetation, boat docks, and other structures. In residential areas, they commonly live in and around pools and can infiltrate homes. Living close to wooded areas increases the chances of seeing or otherwise encountering fishing spiders. These spiders can climb trees, making their way onto roofs where they slip through crevices and unsealed windows. Fishing spiders may also enter through cracks in damaged foundations. Though they prefer to live outdoors, they may head inside seeking a place to hibernate over the winter.

Fishing Spider Behaviors, Threats, or Dangers

Fishing spiders may be large and look menacing, however, their venom is not toxic to humans. They are not household pests, but for those who suffer from arachnophobia, the sight of one of these robust pests can be cause for alarm. If a fishing spider accidentally wanders into the garage or gets into the basement, it can be safely corralled into a jar or other container and released outside. They can damage ornamental plants due to the nursery webs and the debris that may accumulate in them. Always contact a professional spider exterminator for help with fishing spiders.