Animal Symbols | Dream Symbols

Fish Dream Meaning

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Fish in our dreams are symbols of prosperity and abundance, flow and movement, duality, fertility and change and transformation. Let’s take a look at what your dream about a fish means in detail!

What it Means to Dream About a Fish

Beautiful fish swims in the aquarium, the sea, the ocean
Beautiful Fish Swims In The Aquarium, The Sea, The Ocean

We can see fish in our dreams in a lot of different ways – it could be a large school of fish swimming around a coral reef in the ocean, catching a fish in the river or maybe even fish on your dinner plate!

As you might guess, these different ways we see fish all mean different things – eating in dreams has different symbolism than the dream meaning of an ocean. For this reason, it’s a good idea to look at your dream as a whole and pay attention to the details to interpret what it means.

Here are some questions to ask yourself about this dream:

  • What kind of fish did I see in the dream?
  • Were there many fish or just one fish?
  • What was the size of the fish?
  • What people were in the dream?
  • What other events happened?
  • Where did the dream take place?
  • What was my overall mood/feeling about the dream?

And of course, don’t forget to take into consideration what things are going on in your everyday waking life also! Also consider how you feel about fish in general – if you love fishing or have an aquarium your dream is going to have a different meaning than someone who doesn’t see fish in their life everyday.

Common Symbol Meanings for Fish

fish dream symbol meaning

Here are some common symbolic meanings we can associate with fish:


We often associate fish with abundance. Think of a large fishing boat which captures an abundant amount of fish to feed a crowd of people. Fish can be a symbol of financial security, wealth, and achieving success in pursuing your goals.

Spiritual Connection:

Fish often symbolize a spiritual connection, especially if you are of a Christian faith. Dreaming of a fish could be a way of connecting to a higher level of Christ consciousness.

Depending on the context of the dream, dreaming of fish could be a call for you to wake to a higher level of awareness and spiritual connection.

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It is not uncommon for women to dream about fish when they are trying to conceive or if they are currently pregnant. Many types of fish lay thousands of eggs when they reproduce, and so this is why they are often considered to be such a powerful symbol for fertility.

Change and Transformation:

Fish are often a symbol of change and transformation in our lives. There is a reason why there are so many legends and fairy tales of people turning into fish to escape oppression. Water is a powerful symbol which can reflect many things, such as emotions, change, abundance, and transformation. Since fish are natural inhabitants of water, they are frequently associated with many of the same symbolic meanings.

Flow and Movement:

Fish live in the water, and as such they are often associated with being able to move with the flow. A fish often goes with the direction of the tides and currents – seeing a fish struggling to swim in a dream may indicate you are not necessarily doing what aligns with your natural soul instincts.

fish dream meaning

Cleanliness and Purity:

Fish are often sometimes also associated with cleanliness and purity. In order to a eat a fish as food, the fish must be properly cleaned.

Many species of fish are also the natural cleaners of the environment, such as bottom feeders which eat the algae to ensure the environment remains a viable one for all living creatures in the water.

Many of our waters in today’s society are polluted, so sometimes a fish can call attention to our own environments and lives to ensure we are doing our best to reduce pollution and environmental interference.

As you can see, these different scenarios can greatly influence what the meaning would be for your specific situation in your own personal life! By studying the different cultural symbols as well as looking at specific details in context, we will be able to better understand what your dream may mean.

Cultural and Historic Influences on the Meaning of a Fish Symbol

The way you feel about fish in your waking life likely has a lot to do with where you grew up and what role fish play in your life. Maybe you grew up in a family that often goes fishing for recreation or for survival. Maybe you have pet fish in an aquarium in your home.

In addition to our own personal feelings and associations with fish, there are many cultural symbolic meanings for fish. For example, Chinese cultures often associate a fish with fortune and wealth.

In Christianity, the Ichthys is a symbol which represents a fish and is often used as a symbol for Jesus Christ. The Bible mentions many instances of fish, and many people are familiar with the parable of the fishermen and the loaves.

Fish are also part of the zodiac symbol of the Pisces astrological sign. The Pisces astrological zodiac symbol is often depicted with two fish swimming in opposite directions but connected. Pisces is a water sign and often deals with much emotion and balance in duality.

There are also a number of fairy tales, folk lore legends, and other instances of fish throughout history. Stories such as The Golden Fish {also sometimes known as The Fisherman and His Wife} often use the fish as a symbol for understanding a balance between abundance and greed.

Another way we see fish as a symbol is in duality – this is when the world seems to be only two sides. There often seems to be opposing forces: good vs. evil or dark vs. light.

Often times we are faced with choices which seem to be completely paradoxical and opposites, yet everything is also connected at the same time. With dualistic thinking, we see big vs. little fish or top of the food chain vs. bottom of the food chain.

It is always a good idea when learning how to interpret dreams to take some time to write down what happened in the dream in your dream journal. This will give you a great starting place to start coming up with your personal associations and symbols.

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Common Dreams About Fish and What They Mean

If you have a dream about a fish, it may be helpful to look at some different examples of ways fish can present themselves in a dream.

By exploring these common scenarios, you may be better able to understand how to interpret your dreams and relate the different symbol meanings to different aspects in your own waking life.

Dreaming of Fish in Clear Water: Clear water means that you are feeling clarity about a situation in your life. Conversely, if you dream of a fish in murky or muddy water, this could symbolize that you are feeling uncertainty or are overwhelmed by current circumstances in your life. For more details about water and what it may mean in your dream, visit water dream meanings.

To dream of a school of fish indicates abundance and the way you may feel like you fit in with others. If the school of fish is swimming along peacefully and happily, this could mean you are feeling content with the way your current life situations are working. School of fish could also be translated quite literally, and can mean that you are seeking knowledge or experience in some subject.

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Dreaming of fish jumping out of water can mean that you are experiencing unexpected events in your life. You may feel as if you do not belong, or you may feel like things are happening which surprise you. It is important to think of other aspects of the dream, such as the overall mood and the way the water presents itself. Is it a rough and stormy sea, or is it a calm and peaceful lake?

Dreaming of fish in an aquarium could mean you somehow feel confined with the current events in your life. You may be feeling as if you are being judged or if you are somehow on display for others’ enjoyment. You may feel as if you are trapped in the dream or feel that you are unable to progress towards your goals. See what it means to dream of an aquarium for further details.

Dreaming of large, threatening fish: If you dream of a shark or whale, it could be the fish is a sign of fear or worry. Sharks are predatory, and it could be a sign that you are feeling out of control in your life.

Dreaming of Dead Fish: If you see dead fish washed up on shore, this could signify that you are feeling disappointment or regret in relation to events happening in your current life. You may feel as if opportunities have been wasted or ignored.

Dreaming of Dolphins: Dolphins are not actually fish, but they are mammals who live underwater. Dolphins swimming with fish could be a symbol for you to look for better ways to communicate your feelings with others or to tap into your own divine spiritual knowledge to better understand a situation in your waking life.

Dreaming of Fishing: If you dream of fishing, this could mean that you are in need of some sort of fulfillment in your life. You may have worries about your financial situation, or you may be thinking of ways to get ahead in order to fill your needs. If you dream of fishing purely for recreation and sport, it could mean that you are looking to find ways to relax and reconnect with nature.

Dreaming of Eating Fish: If you dream of eating a fish, it could mean that you are looking for a means to supply yourself with nourishment and nurturing. See meaning of food and eating in dreams for more details.

Dreaming of Swimming With Fish, Or Riding With Fish: If you dream you are swimming with the fish, or you are even perhaps riding on the back of a fish can mean that you are exploring where you belong in the world. You may be going through the flow of life and finding ways to be more aware of yours spiritual and emotional needs.

Dreaming of Someone or Something Turning Into a Fish: If you dream of someone turning into a fish, or an object transforming into a fish, this often reflects the symbol of change and transformation in your own life. You may be suspicious of these changes, or you may be comfortable and welcoming of new beginnings. Think carefully about the overall mood of the dream to better understand what this may mean for you and your personal life.

Common Sayings and Phrases for Fish – Literal Meanings

Often times our brains will use literal translations for common expressions, sayings and idioms. Understanding these common expressions may also give you further insight into what the dream may mean if none of the above resonates with you yet.

A Fish Out of Water: This means you may feel like you do not belong, or that you are being expected to do something you are not physically capable of doing.

Fishing for Something: There are many expressions in which someone says “fishing” as a way for looking or seeking for something. He fished in his pockets to find his keys means someone is looking for something, perhaps unsuccessfully or with great effort. She is fishing for compliments means a person is looking for others to build up one’s ego. In many cases, fishing can be synonymous with looking or finding.

Fish Tales: Many fishermen tell tall tales about the giant fish they caught or of course, “the one that got away”. Often times this is an expression used which means something is greatly exaggerated from the truth.

Seems Fishy: We often use the word fishy to describe a scenario which seems suspicious. If we do not trust someone, we may think they are acting “fishy”. If your dream seems to reflect feelings of suspicion or distrust, it is likely you have some scenario in your daily waking life that is making your feel uncomfortable or as if someone may be taking advantage of you.

Plenty of Fish in the Sea: This is often related to romantic reference or business opportunities, and is frequently used as a condolence or means of coping and remaining positive after failure. For example, someone, after breaking up with a boyfriend may know they may meet another boyfriend because there are “plenty of other fish in the sea” – and one of those people is bound to be a better and more suitable match. This can often sometimes be used in reference to business opportunities after a failed prospect does not work out.

Shooting Fish in a Barrel: This expression is often used to imply something is extremely easy to do. It would be much easier to get a fish in a barrel than if you were trying to catch fish in a large river or even the ocean.

Bigger Fish to Fry: This saying often means you have larger problems to deal with which demand your attention. You may not be worried about the smaller details or issues until after the larger problems are prioritized.

Big Fish in a Small Pond: This often means someone has an advantage over others, or that they feel more powerful over others, but they have a very small influence in the greater schematics of life. This expression is often used negatively to suggest a person only has power or influence because they are part of a very small group.

Teach a Man to Fish: There is a proverb which states, “Give a man a fish, and you will feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish, and you will feed him for a lifetime.” This expression is often used to suggest it is better we teach others skills to be independent rather than they stay dependent on others always providing for them.

More questions to ask for fish dream interpretation:

  • What type of environment is its native habitat?
  • Is the fish gentle or aggressive?
  • Does the fish represent any of the common themes mentioned above? {ie:fertility, abundance, cleanliness, transformation, flow}
  • What colors are associated with the fish? This could be a sign of the corresponding chakra which needs work or other color symbolism meanings.

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Now that we’ve covered all the different meanings for fish symbolism, I hope you are closer to understanding what your dream about fish might mean.

Did you have a dream about a fish? Tell us about your fish dream and what you think it means for you in the comments section below!

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  1. I dreamt that I was catching fish with someone and I catch more than them including a lot of big fish, with a fishing rod. Then I saw a beast creature come out out of the sea and stared at me only, and the people that I was with all went into a boat and we followed it but it disappear. In the dream, the people were talking about the Bermuda triangle that’s where the beast went.

  2. My dream was about myself and x2 People at a big table an old friend’s mum plus her brother, the brother was eating crackers with pate and we were discussing thier job and what they are doing with themselves, next a shiny massive blue popeyed gold fish came flying very slowly from the sea and hit the glass windown then very slow motion was thrown back into the sea… what does this mean?

  3. just had a dream about finding 2 beautiful fish swimming in my bathtub. One was what looked like a little plump goldfish and the other one was a bit bigger and looked like a white koi fish. They were centered perfectly in the middle of the bathtub with crystal clear water. They were on their side when I walked up and I remember thinking to myself how absolutely gorgeous and vivid in color these fish were. Then they started swimming around in a circle. Just beautiful, but what could it mean?!

  4. In my dream was a glass fish tank over-crowded with large grayish/white fish, all the same size. There were too many fish in the tank and not enough water for the number of fish, therefore some were struggling to breathe.

  5. In my dream was a glass fish tank over-crowded with large grayish/white fish, all the same size. There were too many fish in the tank and not enough water for the number of fish, therefore some were struggling to breathe.

  6. Had a dream of plenty of fishes in clear water but in the toilet bowl, there was water as full as to the rim of the toilet bowl with very clean water in it. when on my first attempt to use the toilet there they were in the toilet so I flush the toilet so that I can use it, right after using it there the fishes were again in the toilet swimming around in the water. the fishes were also very pretty in color

  7. My dream was me witnessing a woman was in a house with an underwater room and it was bright in there. she had a window underwater and you could see her dancing with fish gracefully(not literally dancing). A narrator voice told me if a woman is pregnant the fish will swim with her. I got happy and wanting the fish to dance and swim with me. and she looked at me if im remembering correctly. The fish were medium to small and light blue with a shiny coat. the water was clear. I believe the dream is telling me something because i had a dream about a baby drowning in the 8 foot side of the pool and i saved it. Few days later a person told me that their baby passed at 8 weeks. And the dream was i kept having over and over. CAN SOME ONE HELP ME UNDERSTAND PLEASE?!

  8. My dream was about being in a hotel or office block, with a lot of floors/levels. I was pretty high up in this building trying to get out but there were sharks that would jump out of the floor and eat people if they stepped on ground or made a noise… I couldn’t see the sharks in the floor, but I knew they were there and saw people in front and behind me being snatched and dragged away by them. I was jumping from a table top onto the top of wardrobes, then filing cabinets, onto window ledges etc trying not to make a noise or touch the ground…. still never managed to get out though… very strange

  9. My dream was very vivid a fish with long thing body and huge spiky teeth circling around a parcel a gift parcel with a bow around it

  10. Hi there, I dreamt of waiting to a pail full of turtle eggs to hatch, then after the eggs were hatched I saw two blue fishes inside of the pail, I get them out of the pail and found myself giving the two fishes to my deceased dad. What is the interpretation?

  11. I had a dream my leg had scales and there were fish swimming upward
    inside and the biggest carp jumped right out at me in my dream not scary but clear as day a friend and I were trying to contact someone to help me then I awoke

  12. I dreamt many small golden fish coming out of my nose and am struggling to clean them out of my nose and put in a water bowl. The more I remove the more I get in my nose!! Was little irritated towards end of it. But managed to get a clean fish free nose all in fish bowl. What could it mean?

  13. I dreamt of a party happening over a covered swimming pool.the water was clear and there were lot of fishes big and small fishes flaoting in the water..
    I saw a lot of people in the party, all seemed happy.
    By mistake i had put the jacket in the water and a fish refuse to give it back..
    I was just scared that what if the shed of the pool breaks..

  14. i had a dream that i’m looking for a person. and the place surrounded with aquarium and a lot of fishes

    is like fish trapped me

    what does it mean

  15. I had a dream and in the dream i was rearing fish and someone pushed the place i kept them and pour them away and i ask my mother she talk like it was my father that did that so i started crying and told them that they will give me four thousand naira for the fish but two fishes remain inside the drone

  16. I had a dream my girl asked me to go swimming with her but she was talking about my bed I still put on trunks n got in the bed with her it was blood and a lot of fish what does this mean?

  17. Awww…this is really helpful..though my dream is about big_medium sized cat fishes mating in black bowls… (black catfishes in some bowls ),(brown in some bowls)

  18. I had a dream my hand was bothering me a lot. Realised I had a splinter in my left hand palm (left seemed to be important) and as I tried to squeeze it out, a small fish slowly appeared and popped out onto the floor, a very small fish, the size of an anchovy or smaller. It seemed to be dead on the floor and my hand was bleeding. I´m quite shocked by this dream as I cannot imagine having a fish in my hand! Any ideas what this could mean please?

  19. Had a dream a orange fresh water marina fish jumper out a tank onto the floor(thought it died) wasnt moving where i was scared to touch it knowing fish are fragile it was picked up not by me and put into a different tank and just started swimming.

  20. I dream of large fishes in the sky. One of the fishes caught me staring at it then that fish gave me a stone or marble. I think the stone or marble is made up of stars. The fish does not really hand it over to me, the stone or marble just fell on the ground where I stand.

  21. I dream of see fish in a round water and four green snake surround it and be eating the fish and it remain only the head of the fish and all those snake waiting for whosoever that will come after the fish to them to attack the person and i happen to be there and i have nothing to kill those snake.

  22. In my dream i saw my male betta which is died before 2 weeks laid thousands of eggs. This betta fish and some other fishes which are out of water, i mean bowl. I dreamed i put that fishes back into bowl and collecting those eggs into different boxes. But i cant collect fully it was thousand and thousands of eggs and tiny fishes. I dreamed in the morng around 10 am. It was my off day. I was collecting the eggs in so many Boxes but still it was more there.

  23. In my dream that i need to get the Two Fishes swimming in circles but instead that i got 2 lizard fighting each other and one died then it crawled to the female lizard and let his head eaten by the female lizard and died. What is the meaning of my dream?

  24. I had a dream that me and my cousin owned a fish store and that me and him were arguing while he was selling me a goldfish and the goldfish fell out of the tongs he was holding it with and he didn’t care to look for the goldfish he said he would just give me another one and to just let that one be even tho it was under a counter out of water so I tryed to find it and rescue it but when I went to look for it it was gone and all there was was a dusty floor I would like to know the possible meaning behind this dream.

  25. I dreamt about big golden fish mixed with blue color swimming inside home(i guess not our home) but without water, it seems like wandering around home like swimming in air, i was being happy watching that big golden mixed with blue colored fish and im being aware that im only dreaming.

  26. had a dream of very mangled fish jumping towards me from the water and i caught them. There was no other negative influence in the dream. The water was peaceful and clear. But the fish were almost headless and still alive. There has been a lot of water in my dreams lately too. Clear water but on the bottom you could see bad things written into the mud. Like bad words and stuff. Totally bizarre. Not understanding what these dreams are telling me. In waking life I am in a lot of pain and will be having gallbladder in a week.

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