a fishing expedition

fishing expedition

An attempt to discover information without knowing what it may be. The term implies that the search does not have a specific subject but is rather performed in the hopes that some new information will be found that will be beneficial to the searcher. Primarily heard in US. The defense attorney objected to the vague line of questioning, accusing the prosecutor of engaging in a fishing expedition.
See also: expedition, fishing

a fishing expedition

mainly AMERICAN
If you are on a fishing expedition, you are trying to find out facts about something, often secretly. I know why you're here. You're on a fishing expedition. You're hunting for material. He was asked whether Wilkey was engaged in a fishing expedition aimed at politically embarrassing the House.
See also: expedition, fishing

a fishing expedition

a search or investigation undertaken with the hope, though not the stated purpose, of discovering information.
1998 High Country News Agency insiders describe the inquiry as a fishing expedition to uncover evidence that Dombeck may have been a party to illegal lobbying.
See also: expedition, fishing
References in classic literature ?
Hell was very far off, and the delights of a fishing expedition with the Cottons were very near.
London, July 29 (ANI): Sarah Palin had an encounter with a brown bear while she was on a fishing expedition in Alaska.
The ex-prez finally consented - with an invite for Zahn and her crew to join him on a fishing expedition in Newfoundland, complete with helicopter transportation from fishing hole to fishing hole.
The American Center for Law and Justice (ACLJ), specializing in constitutional law, said today that releasing documents pertaining to Supreme Court nominee John Roberts when he served in the Solicitor General's office would set a dangerous precedent and would violate the attorney-client privilege to satisfy those who are on a fishing expedition in the weeks leading up to the confirmation hearings.
Benchley said he became interested in the giant squid after going on a fishing expedition for the creatures in 1979.
com and enter a drawing to win a new 1999 Ford Expedition or a fishing expedition at one of a number of select Silverleaf resort locations.