The fishermen are humans who appear as antagonists of the episode "Hooky."
They are live-action humans. In the opening scene, they appear as photos edited onto the image of Bikini Atoll. Later in the episode, they appear in stock footage from the cult television show Fishing with John.
Role in episode
Mr. Krabs is one of the few sea creatures who understands the fishermen's intentions. In the episode, he warns everyone that "the hooks" have returned to Bikini Bottom. He explains that the fishermen are using them to reel sea creatures out of the ocean and into land, followed by selling them at a gift shop or trapping them inside a tuna can. After finishing his speech, he strongly urges everyone to stay away from them.
Patrick sees no harm in the hooks and indulges in the free cheese attached to them. SpongeBob tells him that Mr. Krabs warned him about the hooks, but Patrick encourages him by saying that Krabs didn't say he couldn't "ride on them like a horsey." Conforming to peer pressure, SpongeBob eventually joins Patrick in playing on the hooks. The fishermen reel in their lines every time they feel a pull, but SpongeBob and Patrick jump off every time, much to the fishermen's disappointment.