Fishing Terms You Should Know By Heart

primitive survivors fishing terms

New to fishing? That’s alright because even the most avid anglers may be unfamiliar with some terms. Use this list of fishing terms to learn the most important words and phrases and what they mean before you get out on the water.

Fishing Terms You Should Know By Heart

  • Back-Cast – This is the part of the cast where the fishing rod and the line is moved from a position in front to one in back of the angler. There can be successive backcasts as the line is played out to increase the distance and accuracy of the cast.
  • Back-Trolling – A boat control procedure that uses a motor to make maneuvers in the presentation of a lure or bait. The most common back-troll method is using a front-mounted trolling motor to make the boat go backward while dragging or trolling the lure in front of the boat. Many back-troll methods, such as fishing for suspended crappies in winter or summer, involve a slow stop-and-go technique.
  • Bait – Any item that can trick the fish into eating it. This can be a live or artificial bait, like a lure.
  • Bailing – A technique like chunking.Β  but practiced while adrift, tossing bait chunks into the water along with a baited hook, to trigger a feeding frenzy.
  • Baitcasting – Fishing with a revolving-spool reel and baitcasting rod, with the reel mounted on the top side8 of the rod.
  • Bowfishing – Using a bow and arrow, typically with a reel attached to the bow, to harvest fish.
  • Bunker – A very common type of baitfish. A bunker is also known as menhaden, pogeys, fatback, and alewives.
  • Carolina RigΒ  This is a type of rig where an exposed or hidden hook is used with a soft plastic lure placed behind an egg or barrel sinker and swivel.
  • Centrifugal Brake – The braking system employed by many baitcasting reels to reduce backlash.
  • Chartplotter – An electronic navigation system combining electronic charts and a GPS positioning system.
  • Chumming – This is a technique where you put groundfish or other bait into the water to attract predators to your boat or location.
  • Cocktail – A combination of two or more baits on a hook.
  • Crankbait – A type of lure that has a swimming action of its own.
  • Crustaceans – Shrimps, lobsters, crabs, and the like.Β 
  • Downrigger –Β  A fishing term describing the cranelike device often seen on the sterns of sport-fishing boats, which lowers a planer on wireline to a pre-determined depth.
  • Eutrophic – fertile waters characterized by warm and shallow basins.
  • Fighting belt – A belt that is worn around the waist that incorporates a plastic cup to hold the butt of the fishing rod, to make the job of fighting and landing a big fish a little less painful on the angler. See also ‘Butt Pad’.
  • German Brown Trout – A native of the European continent, the brown trout has a golden sheen and black and orange speckles with white rings around them.
  • Golden Rule – Gold color aluminum measuring device used in tournaments to measure bass in order to easily determine the length of the fish.
  • Grayline – A part of the fish finder that lets you distinguish between strong and weak echoes.
  • Hard Bait – A lure made of metal, plastic, or other hard materials
  • Ice Auger – A huge drill used for making holes in the ice for ice fishing.
  • Jerkbait – A lipped plug similar to a crankbait, which has neutral buoyancy and is designed to be used with a stop-and-go retrieve, with occasional jerks during the pauses.
  • Jigging – Fishing with a jig lure.Β 
  • Livewell – A compartment in a boat that holds water and keeps fish alive.Β 
  • Muppet – A soft plastic squid imitation.
  • Natural Bait – Live or dead hook bait
  • Neoprene – A material that divers use for their wetsuits.Β 
  • Outrigger – Long metal or fiberglass poles, used for trolling baits far to the sides of a boat.
  • Patch Reef – A patch of coral reef inshore of the main reef line. For instance, most of the Florida Keys’ main reef is a half-dozen mile offshore. But the patch reefs are small, isolated, and scattered anywhere between dry land and the deeper water
  • Rattles – Glass or metal noisemakers added to lures in order to help bass find the lure easier
  • Slingshot – A method of casting and then using tension on the line and the bend of your rod to re-direct the lure or bait in a different direction.
  • Spreader Bar – A large arm or bar which drags several lines, with small teasers on each, to simulate a school of fish or squid near the water’s surface.Β 
  • Tackle – almost any gear used for fishing like hooks, lines, sinkers, floats, bobbers, rods, reels, baits, lures, spears, nets, gaffs, traps, waders, tackle bags, and tackle boxes.
  • Weedless Spoon – These are made with a fixed hook and guard for fishing weeds.
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