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I have a vague recollection that it is a sport in the Silly Olympics (place of action: The Bundes Absurd Pool). On the other hand, I may be confusing it with the Fish Slapping Dance. Which may have it's origins in Rome, since apparently the ancients Romans did hit fish. Very enlightening, this course. Perhaps all will be unveiled once I get my owl.
Beating fish is also a way to fish, called "fish beating".
The fish slapping is not really a way to fish, though.
"Origin" of fish slapping:
Just for your pleasure: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qgSzGIkFq2A
It's perfectly natural, and very many people use it. Jane Austen: "I return to you, with very many thanks, the books you have so obligingly supplied me with." (1815) / Charles Dickens: "Madeline and he sat down, very many times, jointly to produce a letter..." (1838) / Charles Darwin: "Fitz-Roy's character was a singular one, with very many noble features." (1887) / H.G. Wells: "After this glimpse of a skull, the record for very many centuries gives nothing but flint implements." (1920) / Bertrand Russell: "Very many people spend money in ways quite different from those that their natural tastes would enjoin." (1930) / F.D. Roosevelt: "I regret to tell you that very many American lives have been lost." (1941) / Milton Friedman: "There are very many cases where one must choose the least evil among bad alternatives." (1975)