Where Do Fishing Spiders Live?

Also called dock or wharf spiders, fishing spiders are classified as generalist predators and employ ambush tactics to catch many types of prey unsuspected. If you’re an angler, chances are that you’ve seen a fair share of fishing spiders during fishing trips.

But where do fishing spiders live? Fishing spiders live close to the water, where they catch aquatic insects and small fish. Most species of fishing spiders can be found close to lakes and ponds, but some inhabit wooded areas. Nine species of fishing spider exist in North America, including the six-spotted fishing spider.

Keep reading to learn exciting fishing spider facts. This article will tell you how to detect a fishing spider infestation and how to get rid of fishing spiders.

How to Detect Fishing Spider Infestation?

It’s very rare for a large number of fishing spiders to infiltrate a home. Nevertheless, if you live close to the water, you should know how to detect a fishing spider infestation.

Fishing spiders are large in size, growing from 7 to 26 mm long, not including the legs. Females are typically larger than males and grow between 15 and 26 mm in length. 

A fishing spider is usually brown and can exhibit black or light-brown markings, with black and brown banded rings on the legs. Fishing spiders are often confused with wolf spiders but are distinguished by their large size and the position of their eyes. The fishing spider’s eyes are set in two horizontal rows of four. 

Some species of fishing spiders have white abdominal markings, ranging from spotted, speckled, W-shaped, or chevron patterns. 

Fishing spiders are commonly found near water. Living close to wooded areas and waterbodies increases the chances of encountering a fishing spider infestation.

Possible signs of fishing spider infestation include:

  • Sightings: Fishing spiders are naturally shy and will move quickly out of the way. But, catching a fishing spider as it runs for cover can be a sign of an infestation.
  • Molted exoskeletons: Young fishing spiders molt several times as they grow. If you come across a large piece of shedding skin, chances are that fishing spiders are near.
  • Movement on the water: Fishing spiders have water-resistant legs which allow them to glide and walk on top of the water. A sign of fishing spider infestation is noticing these spiders walking on the surface of the water near your home. 

How to Get Rid of Fishing Spider Infestation

How to Get Rid of Fishing Spider Infestation

Fishing spiders are relatively harmless and mostly hide from people and other predators, especially indoors. However, these water spiders may bite if they feel trapped.

The fishing spider bite is rarely dangerous and is milder than a bee sting. But people sensitive to fishing spider’s venom may experience an allergic reaction.

To prevent this from happening, it’s best to be proactive and eliminate fishing spiders as soon as you realize they have infiltrated your home. 

Getting rid of fishing spider infestation requires cleaning the areas that were previously occupied by these pests. Vacuuming live spiders or using a jar to catch and release them away from home is a good way to deal with a spider infestation.

Removing all woodpiles stacked around the house eliminates places where the spiders can take cover. Check the basement, shed, or other crawl spaces that might seem like a good hiding place for fishing spiders. 

Contact local pest control services if you’re dealing with a big infestation, are allergic to spider venom, or suffer from arachnophobia. With modern pest control methods, pest control professionals can help you eliminate a severe fishing spider infestation and prevent future infestations.

How to Prevent Fishing Spiders from Coming Back

Taking preventative steps is the best way to prevent fishing spiders from returning and infesting your home. 

The first thing you need to do to keep fishing spiders out is to close and repair any exterior holes. Seal all the cracks in the walls, doors, and windows to reduce the risk of fishing spiders entering your home again.

Limit the amount of standing water around the home to reduce the availability of fishing spiders’ preferred food choices. Fishing spiders also like to hide in vegetation near standing bodies of water. Limiting these hiding places can reduce the population of fishing spiders and prevent them from returning. 

If you come across a fishing spider, scoop it gently with a jar and take it away from your house and property. 

Do Fishing Spiders Live in Michigan?

Yes, fishing spiders live in Michigan. Fishing spiders are among the larger spider species found in Michigan, with some spiders growing 1 ½ inch long. 

These spiders hunt prey on top or just below the water’s surface and even dive beneath water, where they catch small fish and tadpoles. 

Do Fishing Spiders Live in Florida?

Yes, fishing spiders live in Florida and are one of the largest species found in Florida. There are several species of fishing spiders in Florida, and they are the most active during the summer months.

If you live in Florida, you will likely encounter fishing spiders on or near boat docks, marinas, or shorelines. 


Fishing spiders live across the United States, near natural or manmade bodies of water. Some species of fishing spiders prefer residing in wooded areas away from lakes, rivers, and pools. 

Although large in size, fishing spiders aren’t dangerous to people. People sensitive to fishing spider’s venom can experience a severe allergic reaction. But luckily, those cases are rare.

Getting rid of fishing spiders isn’t challenging but requires some work. Clean all areas of your home that were previously occupied by fishing spiders and eliminate all potential hiding places.

Remove all woodpiles stacked around your home or basement, and limit the amount of standing water around your home. This will eliminate the fishing spider’s food supply and hunting ground.