fish in troubled waters

Idioms & Phrases

fish in troubled waters

Try to take advantage of a confused situation. For example, He often buys up stock in companies declaring bankruptcy; fishing in troubled waters generally pays off. This term, first recorded in 1568, expresses the even older notion that fish bite more readily when seas are rough.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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