Fishing Spiders


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 Spider Identification


What Do Fishing Spiders Look Like?

Fishing spiders are large, robust spiders often mistaken for wolf spiders due to their size and markings. They typically have a leg span of up to 3 inches and are brown or gray with darker markings. A key identifying feature of this spider species is their ability to walk on water and dive beneath it. Their bodies are covered with small, velvety hairs.

Signs of a Fishing Spider Infestation

While fishing spiders are typically solitary, signs of an infestation include frequent sightings of these large spiders in and around homes, particularly near water sources. Finding their large, sheet-like webs in moist areas can also indicate their presence.


Habitat, Diet, Life Cycle & Bites


Where Do Fishing Spiders Live?

Fishing Spiders typically inhabit areas near bodies of water such as ponds, streams, lakes, and wetlands. They are also found in wooded areas and are sometimes spotted in gardens or homes.

Adept at hunting near and on the water surface, Fishing Spiders often catch small fish and aquatic insects and are known for their ability to walk on water and even dive underneath to capture prey. Their presence near water bodies is a key aspect of their survival and hunting strategy, making them a common sight in aquatic or semi-aquatic environments.

Diet of a Fishing Spider

Fishing spiders primarily feed on small aquatic insects, tadpoles, and even small fish. They have the unique ability to hunt both on water surfaces and underwater, making them versatile predators.

Life Cycle of a Fishing Spider

The life cycle of fishing spiders begins with the female laying eggs and wrapping them in a silk sac. She carries the sac with her until the spiderlings hatch. The young spiders undergo several molts before reaching maturity.

Fishing Spider Bites

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.


Are Fishing Spiders Dangerous?

Fishing spiders are not considered dangerous to humans. They are non-aggressive and their venom is not harmful to humans, though a bite may cause temporary discomfort.

How to Get Rid of Fishing Spiders?

To get rid of fishing spiders, maintain cleanliness around ponds and wetlands to eliminate their favored habitats. For indoors, minimize moisture to create inhospitable conditions. Regularly clean and declutter spaces to deter fishing spiders. If this persists contact us today for our professional spider removal services

Fishing Spider Prevention Tips

To prevent fishing spiders, maintain a dry environment in and around your home. Fix leaks promptly, ensure effective drainage around your home, and use dehumidifiers in damp areas like basements. Regularly inspect and seal entry points. These preventive measures create conditions that are less favorable for fishing spiders, reducing the likelihood of their presence in your living spaces. 



Are Fishing Spider Bites Poisonous?

Fishing spider bites are not poisonous to humans. They can cause temporary pain and discomfort but are not medically significant.

What is the Difference Between a Fishing Spider and a Wolf Spider?

Fishing spiders and wolf spiders, both belonging to the Lycosidae family, have distinctions in habitat, size, and behavior. 

Fishing spiders are usually larger, dwell near water bodies, and use their long legs to skim across the surface to catch aquatic prey. In contrast, wolf spiders are ground-dwelling hunters that actively pursue prey and are generally smaller than fishing spiders.

Unsure, see our common spiders list to determine what spider you have in your premise.