"Early to bed, early to rise, fish all day, make up lies” has been printed on many gift items, sometimes given as the “Fisherman’s Creed.” “Early to bed and early to rise makes and man healthy, wealthy and wise” was printed in Benjamin Franklin’s Poor Richard’s Almanack in 1735.
“Sign seen in a bait shop in East Texas: Early to bed, early to rise. Fish all day, make up lies” was cited in print in 1989. Variations include “late to bed, early to rise” and “fish all day, tell big lies.”
The Phrase Finder
Early to bed and early to rise makes and man healthy, wealthy and wise
The earliest record of it that I can find of it in print is in Poor Richard’s Almanack, which was an annual journal published by Benjamin Franklin under the pseudonym of Poor Richard between 1732 and 1758. It included the usual almanac fare of maxims, poetry, weather predictions and astrological ravings.
Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy wealthy and wise is found in the 1735 edition. There’s good reason to believe that Franklin coined the expression himself; it is certainly in keeping with the numerous uplifting proverbs that were published in Poor Richard before they were seen elsewhere.
Texas Wit & Wisdom
By Wallace O. Chariton
Plano, TX: Wordware Pub.
Sign seen in a bait shop in East Texas: Early to bed, early to rise. Fish all day, make up lies.
10 November 1997, Daily Herald (Chicago, IL),"7 Cool web sites about Lake County” by Russell Lissau, Neighbor section, pg. 1:
You know what you’re getting at this site from the get-go, thanks to the fisherman’s code that tops the page: “Early to Bed, Early to Rise, Fish All Day, Make Up Lies.”
1 June 1998, The Morning Call (Allentown, PA), “Young East Allen angler hooks national honors for marketing” by Christian D. Berg, Bethlehem sec., pg. B3:
[Tim] Cahill loves fishing, and his philosophy is pretty well summed up by a pillow on his bed, which reads: “Early to bed, early to rise. Fish all day. Make up lies. “
23 April 1999, Aberdeen (SD) American News, pg. 131 (?) advertising section:
“Late to bed, early to rise, fish all day, make up lies.”—Anonymous
Firefly Island (The Shores of Moses Lake Book #3)
By Lisa Wingate
Bloomington, MN: Bethany House Publishers
Amid the graffiti hung handmade wooden plaques with quotes like Good things come to those who bait and Early to bed, Early to rise, Fish all day, Tell big lies.