New to the scene or just heard a new fish term you thought was interesting? Here we will try our best to describe what you might have heard in simple terms. We are listing all the "fish lingo" possible so you are more informed. Are we missing any fishing lingo, have something to add to a definition, do we have incorrect information, or do you just have a better way of explaing it? If so, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the lingo and your best definition, and/or corrections and we will get it listed as soon as possible. Thank you - HTB staff
In alphabetical order:
Angler - Us fishermen by definition. In other words, one who fishes.
ex: Jimmy Houston is an amazing angler.
Artificial Baits - Lures made of materials like plastic, metal and wood.
ex: Take off that worm and slap on an artificial will ya?
Backlash - A bunch of line tangled in baitcasting reels caused by a spool overrun. AKA a birdsnest.
ex: And I thought my backlash/birdsnest was bad. Wow!
Bag Limit - See limit.
Bait Fish - A term referring to "baby fish" or the lake's abundent fish that game fish feed on.
ex: Shad, herring and shinners are amoung America's bait fish.
Birdsnest - See backlash.
Blade - Anglers use this as a short term for a spinner bait.
ex: Try that new blade I got.
Breakline - A change in water clarity, depth or structure type.
ex: Try fishing the breakline, I heard the bass like to hang there.
Bream - A small fresh water fish. See pan fish.
Brushline - An area of brush to fish inside or outside of.
ex: Fish right along the outside of the brushline. There's gotta be a bass there.
Cast Net - A circular net with lead weights all around the outside that is thrown by hand to catch bait fish.
Dead sticking - Fishing a lure and letting your line stay slack all the time and/or letting the bait stay still for long periods of time.
ex: You know in the winter time you should be dead sticking a senko.
Dink - Small bass less than 12 inches. AKA peanut.
ex: If your catching a lot of dinks you might be having a bad day.
Drag - Device on reels to adjust amount of pressure on line coming off reels to prevent line from breaking.
ex: Man! I had my drag set to tight and when the fish pulled away, it snapped the line!
Eyelet - Metal rings found on fishing rods to guide fishing line down the rod.
Gear ratio - The retrieve speed of a reel for one revolution of the reel handle.
ex: This new baitcaster has a 7.1.1 gear ratio! Way faster than my 5.3.1 spinning reel.
GPS (Global Positioning Satellite) - a device used to determine where your location is using satellite
information. This is usually accurate within feet and keeps getting better with progressing technology.
Golden Rule - A metal measuring device gold in color to determine the length of bass or other fish.
ex: I would have caught my limit today but I fell short because of the golden rule.
Hammered - A very violent strike.
ex: Man! She hammered that bait!
Hatch - In the bass fishing industry this term is refered to as "baby fish" or "bait fish".
ex: The number one thing that you need to remember when fishing ponds is to match the hatch.
Hawg - Big fish. AKA pig. See Lunker.
ex: Now that's a HAWG/PIG!
Honey Hole - The ultimate fishing spot. A large number off fish are always there and you can always catch a bass.
Hook - A curved piece of metal with an eyelet at one end and sharp point at the other used to catch fish.
ex: Lets go back to that sweet honey hole this weekend.
Hump - A raised area in the lake with nothing else around it. In other words, an underwater island.
ex: Usually I catch some bass on the left side of the hump where it drops off fast.
Hydrilla Gorilla – Huge bass that live in Hydilla grass.
ex: If you catch a big bass out of the grass it’s a hydrilla gorilla.
Jigging - Is to use a jig bait by lifting it up and down, jerking or reeling it in.
ex: Lets go around this corner and do some jigging around these stumps.
Keel - The center most part on the bottom of a boat. (It's spine or backbone).
Keeper - A fish that is of legal size.
Landing Net - A net that is attached to a circular frame and has a handle to catch a fish once it is at
Leader - A section of line that is usually attached to a swivel. It is used for strength and abrasion
resistance and generally is a higher pound test line.
Limit - The amount of fish you may legally catch in a day or tournament.
ex: KVD is on top today brining in his limit for a total weight of 25 lbs.
Line Memory - Line that stays in the same position as it was bent.
ex: I knew I should have changed my line! The memory on it is horrible.
Lunker - A trophy bass usually 5 lbs. or more.
Lure Retriever - A device with a long string that will retrieve snagged lures from the depths.
Match the Hatch - A term used by anglers to mimic what the bass are feeding on by using the same
size, shape and color lure.
Mud Line - Where stained water meats cleaner/clearer water.
ex: Bass will lay in the stained water and ambush prey in the cleaner/clearer water.
Pan fish - A non-game fish that fits in a frying pan and is caught for eating.
Point - Part of the land that sticks into the water.
ex: When you get to the lake, head for the third point on the left. That's where they'll be.
Re-spool - To remove old fishing line from a reel and replacing it with new line.
School - A group of fish that swim together.
Setting the hook - A quick tug on the fishing rod to ensure the hook gets caught in the fishes mouth.
Sinker - A weight designed to sink the bait/lure or hold it in position.
Skirt - A rubber material that is found on spinnerbaits and buzzbaits.
Slow Rolling - Fishing any kind of bait very slow so that it bounces off the bottom. Usually referring to
ex: Just slow roll the spinner bait right along the timber.
- To have one's lure/bait "hung-up" or "stuck" on the bottom.
- *ing* - The intent or accidental hooking of a fish other than in its mouth.
Strike - When bass attempt to eat your bait. Also known as a hit.
ex: Come on baby..... strike/hit that thing.
Thermocline - The depth of the lake where the lowest level of oxygen meets with cooler water
Verticle Jigging - A fishing technique used in deeper waters by lifting the jig up and down in one area.
Walk The Dog - When your fishing a top water lure and you twitch the rod to make the lure walk side to side on top of the water
ex: Try throwin' on a spook and walk the dog.