Fishing Glossary

We have assembled definitions on common and not so common words, phrases and terms used in written fishing reports, articles, publications as well as online fishing discussion forums.


Active Fish
Fish that are striking and feeding actively.

Biological adjustments to the fish environment.

Adipose Fin
A small fleshy fin on a salmon’s back between the dorsal fin and the tail. All members of the salmon family have them.

A aquatic plant organism.

Measurement of the percentage of acid neutralizing bases.

Area’s in weed beds that lack weed growth.

Fish that live most of their adult life in saltwater but spawn in freshwater.

Anal Fin
A single fin located beneath the tail near the vent.

Any person who fishes with a rod and reel or cane pole.

Sport fishing for enjoyment, catching one fish at a time using a hook.

Anti -Reverse
Reel locking system that prevents back reeling.

Powered air infusion pump adding oxygen to water.

Used for ice fishing to drill holes through the ice. Augers come in gas powered or manual back power.


Overrun of fishing line from reel spool when casting.

Backing Line
Baitcasting / Trolling /Reels

Monofilament line tied between dacron or the new super braided lines to prevent line slippage.

Fly Reels
Nylon or dacron line tied between the fly line and the reel to act as additional line if a longer length than the flyline is required to play a fish.

Bag Limit
State Natural Resource Department set limit on number of game fish caught daily.

The metal semi circular bar located on a open faced spinning reel that retrieves fishing line.

Bait Casting
A type of reel mounted on the top of the rod with a level wind revolving spool.

Bait Fish
Main forage feed for game fish.

Bait restrictions
Limitations to the type of bait sport anglers may use.

The weight attached to a downrigger cable for depth controlled trolling.

A lake structure consisting of a long hump or ridge.

The spur found on the point of fish hooks.

Basic Fish Needs
Security, food and reproduction area’s.

A shoreline major indentation on any type of water system.

Belly Roll
A action using minnow or glider type lure by rolling exposing the belly flash.

When a fish strikes or takes your bait / lure also known as a hit and strike.

Main fish attracting component found on inline spinners, spinner baits, buzz baits, tail spinners.

Blade Baits
Weighted flat metal lures used for vertical jigging.

Description for a unfinished fishing rod with out guides or handle.

The bobber also known as a slip, cork or float serves two angling functions:
A surface strike indicator and a controlled depth presentation using live bait or lure.

Tool for holding a spool of thread while tying flies, inline spinner and spinner bait tails which allows the thread to be dispensed with a controlled tension.

Boga Grip
Trade name for a fish landing, handling and weighting tool.

Bottom Bouncer
A fishing rig made of stiff metal wire with a weight and formed as a number 7. Used to present live bait or artificial lures on the bottom minimizing snagging on structure.

Break / Break Line
Description of abrupt change in depth, bottom type, weeds, or water clarity.

Term used for Bluegill / Sunfish.

Term for Small Mouth Bass.

The inside/outside edge of a brushpile.

Structure either manmade or by nature consists of downed trees, limbs and brush.

Bucket mouth
Term for Large Mouth Bass.

A inline spinner tied with Deer, Squirrel hair or Synthetic dressings on hook.

Inline spinner with two blades also referred as twin blade and double blade.

Bullet Weight
A lead or steel slip sinker shaped as a bullet. Mainly used in front of soft plastic lures: worms, lizards and crawfish for bass.

The act of making contact using artificial lures such as crank baits or jigs on lake structure (logs/rocks) or the lake bottom to entice a strike.

Similar to the spinner bait used on the surface with a propeller replacing the blade.

A type of fast or quick straight line retrieve, also called ripping, burning and bulging. Lures used buzz baits, spinner baits, inline spinners and surface lures.


A common name for the submerged aquatic plant from the Potamogeton species.

Carolina Rig
A fishing rig used to present the lure on the bottom. The set-up is first a barrel slip weight typically ½ oz or more is threaded on the line then a swivel is tied as a weight stop, on the other end of the swivel a leader is tied from 16” to 34” to the lure. To add sound place a glass bead behind the weight before the swivel this will click upon the weight hitting the bead.

Carrying capacity:
The number of species a specific areas habitat can support.

Catch and release:
Sport angling for fish and releasing them back immediately. Some areas allow sport angling, but require release of fish, in these areas, specific types of tackle is required.

Caudal Fin
The tail fin.

The bed of a river or stream also found on flowages and impoundment lakes.

Term used for steelhead or a rainbow trout.

Surface lure with a cupped mouth creating a splash when pulled.

Refers to the amount of visibility of viewing underwater objects or your lure.

Cold Front
Refers to a weather condition when a high clear sky front moves in dropping the temperature.

Contact Point
A term used to regarding any lake structure that provides fishing action. Such as a bar, rock pile or weed edge.

Controlled Drift
Known also as drift fishing, when a trolling motor, oars or drift sock is used to control a drift along structure or direction.

Term used for number of color segments of lead core line.

A common name for submerged aquatic plant from the Hornwort species.

Count Down
A fishing technique by counting down a lure to fish a specific depth.

Count Down Lures
Weighted lures than sink approximately one foot per second.

A small indentation on a shoreline.

General term used describing any type of lake structure natural or manmade that game fish relate too.

Refers to a minnow imitating lure with a diving lip or lipless.

General term used for fishing with soft plastics imitating: Lizards, Crawfish, Water Dogs, Frogs and Tadpoles.

Fish basket or personal fish carrier used to carry fish when fishing on or near shore.

Surface lure straight or jointed with metal wings mounted on sides that provides a unique plopping sound. Used on calm water.

A manmade underwater fish shelter, constructed from logs 6’ x 6’ square with brush inside. Placed on ice in winter for positioning.

Crimp On
Fastening sleeve used on steel and nylon leaders.

Cross Lock
A type of snap tied directly to fishing line or as a component on a leader.

Crustacean ( Crayfish )
A aquatic animal with a segmented body and outer shell.

Crystal Flash
Trade name for a synthetic stringy material used in many streamer, fly and inline spinner hook dressing to add flash and color.


A fishing technique in which the angler works the lure up and down “Dabbling” in the same spot for a period of time.

Daily catch and possession limits
Daily catch limits is the amount of fish, by species, that can be caught in one day. Possession limits refer to how many an angler may have in possession while in the field or during transport.

Deer Hair
Body hair from deer which is used in many fly, inline spinner dressings to supply body and floatation.

A electronic device using sonar that measures the depth of water, shows bottom type, structure. weeds, and suspended fish. Also known as a Fish finder, Graph, Flasher or LCD (Liquid Crystal Display).

Used specifically for constant trolling depth. The downrigger is a winch-type mechanism that feeds cable off a rotating reel through a guide system along an extension arm. A weight is attached to the end of the cable and the line release is attached to the weight. The fishing line from an independent rod is attached to the release mechanisms on the downrigger cable. By lowering the weight (ball), you can drop the line down to the desired depth. A footage counter is connected to the reel unit to indicate the specific amount of cable that has been released. At the desired depth the reel is locked into place.

A hook removing device that removes deeply embedded hooks from fish.

Dipsy Diver
The dipsy diver is a circular trolling diving device attached to the fishing line that will enable to send lures down to a set depth and out to the side of your boat.

A fishing rig component for trolling made from metal or plastic in numerous colors. The dodger is flat attractor with bent edges that sways back and forth to mimic a feeding salmon. Tied directly on the fishing line above a trolling fly or squid.

Dorsal Fin
The large single fin located along the back of fish.

A braking device on fishing reels that allow line to feed out preventing breakage when the reel is engaged playing a fish.

Drop Off
A sudden vertical drop in water depth.

Drop Shot
A fishing rig used primarily for bass fishing. A hook tied directly to the line using a palomar knot leaving a tag end for the bell weight attachment. The hook is usually 16 to 24 inches above the weight and hangs at 90 degrees with the hook point up rigged with soft plastic worms or grubs.

Drift Sock
Used for controlled drifting or trolling is in effect a underwater parachute when deployed slows the boat drift rate or trolling speed. Also known as boat brakes, wind fighters, boat-positioners, current-compensators, and sea anchors.


Ecosystem A complex ecological community or environment that contains organisms (eg, plants, animals, bacteria) interacting with one another forming a functioning whole.

Edge effect Where two habitat types join together resulting in increased diversity for vegetation and wildlife.

The upper, wind-mixed layer of a thermally stratified lake. This water is turbulently mixed throughout at least some portion of the day and because of its exposure, can freely exchange dissolved gases such as Oxygen, Carbon Dioxide with the atmosphere.

Erie Dearie
A trade name for a weight forward spinner blade with single hook using a night crawler. Mainly used on Lake Erie.

Term used for describing a Muskie / Musky.

Personal code of conduct based on respect for one’s self, others, and your surroundings.

The mouth of a river where fresh water meets and mixes with salt water.

The process by which lakes and streams are enriched by nutrients, and the resulting increase in plant and algae. The extent to which this process has occurred is reflected in a lake’s trophic classification: oligotrophic (nutrient poor), mesotrophic (moderately productive), and eutrophic (very productive and fertile).

Term used for describing a Walleye.


Fan Cast
Systematic series of casts covering a specific area.

Farm Pond
Manmade body of water.

A commercially sold minnow as live bait used for most gamefish.

Feeder Creek
Tributary to a stream or river.

Feeding Cycles / Times
Best fishing times of the day or night associated with the positioning of the sun and moon and are related to a solunar chart for major and minor feeding periods; Sunrise, Sunset.

Removal of bones and skin from flesh of fish to prepare for cooking.

Figure 8
Technique used on triggering fish to bite upon the completion of a cast. The figure eight is drawing a sideways eight in the water with your rod tip.

Finesse Fishing
A fishing technique by using very light tackle.

Fish Hair
Synthetic hair used in tying streamers and flies.

Underwater area with lack of structure.

Flat Lining
A trolling presentation by releasing line and lure off the back of the boat.

A fishing rig component for trolling made from metal or plastic in numerous colors. The flasher is flat attractor with bent edges that rotates 360 degrees to mimic a feeding salmon. Tied directly on the fishing line above a trolling fly or squid.

A underhand casting technique placing a lure to a precise spot in a quite manner.

Flipping Stick
A type of rod designed and used for flipping, 7-8 feet long

A term also for bobber, used as a strike indicator for live bait fishing.

Material applied to flies and leaders in order to cause them to float on the surface of the water. Typically sold in liquid or paste form, although dry shake crystals have recently been found on the market.

Floating Jig
A jig hook wrapped with a floating material of hollow plastic or foam. Used with a weight to present live bait off the bottom.

Florida Rig
Similar to a Texas rig for Bass with the weight attached (screwed on) to the lure

Commercial name for a colorful synthetic filament material used in fly tying for adding flash to streamers, inline spinners as well spinner baits.


Material for tying flies.

A water system developed by the use of a dam for flood control. Low lying area’s, existing lakes and rivers are generally used to develop a flowage.

Great Lakes Fly’s
Tied using synthetic materials for color and flash. Used behind flashers and dodgers to represent salmon and trout forage.

Fly Fishing Fly’s and Streamers
An artificial lure hand tied using natural animal hair and feathers to mimic insects, larva and other stream forage.

Fly Casting
The process of casting a fly line out onto the water.

Fly Line
A weighted line which is cast out onto the water to deliver the fly to the desired location. Can be found in many densities and tapers.

Floating Line
A fly line design to float on the surface of the water along its entire length. Typically used for dry fly fishing and shallow water nymphing.

A surgical tool used to remove hooks from fish.

A type on monofilament (clear) fishing line or leader material.

Any type of indigenous food for game fish, minnows, crawfish, frogs, mayfly larve nymphs and zooplankton.

Abbreviation for “feet of water.”

Any weather system that has a effect in changing temperature, rain, wind and barometric pressure.

Life stage of fish still very young.

Full Core
Ten colors or a full, standard 100-yard spool of lead core line.

Game fish
Fish that are fished for as sport and subject to regulations of take.

Gear Ratio
Measurement of number of times a reel spool revolves for each turn of the handle.

The lungs of a fish, as water flows across the gills the oxygen within them diffuses into the fishes blood and is carried though out of the body.

Gill Net
A net either pulled behind a boat or set from shore with floats on top and weights on the bottom to make it hold it upright in the water. As fish swim into the net they are caught on there gill plates.

Gill Plate
A bony protective flap that covers the gills.

Term used to describe a Muskie / Northern Pike type minnow lipless lure. A glider travels through the water on a horizontal plane moving side to side by using a cadence pull retrieve.

(GPS) Global Positioning System is a satellite-based navigation system made up of a network of 24 satellites placed into orbit by the U.S. Department of Defense. The GPS system make it possible for people with ground receivers to pinpoint their geographic location in any weather conditions, anywhere in the world, 24 hours a day. There are no subscription fees or setup charges to use GPS.

Term used to describe a paper recorded depth finder.

A depth finder feature that allows the angler to distinguish between hard and soft bottom content, also helps separate fish and important structures on or near the bottom from the actual bottom.

A term used for a Lake Trout.

A short soft plastic worm with a swimming/curlytail used on jigs, or plain hooks. Grubs comes in hundreds of colors and shapes.


The area where organisms live. Must provide adequate food, water, shelter and space.

Hard Mono
A type of leader material made from monofilament line.

A facility where fish and raised for stocking.

Half Core
Five colors or “half” of a standard 100-yard spool of lead core trolling line.

Term used for large fish.

Head Lamps
A battery powered flashlight type attachment on your hat or headgear for night fishing.

Holding Area
Term used for structure that habitually holds game fish.

Type of flash finish on lures in manufacturing or added by using lure finish tape.

Honey Hole
Term used for area that constantly produces fish.

Hard wire formed into semi circle with sharpened point and barbed.

Hook Cutters
Tool used to cut hooks from fish for releasing. Also called bolt cutters.

Horizontal Movement
Distance of migrating fish movements remaining at the same depth.

Underwater area higher than the surrounding area.

The bottom, and most dense layer of a stratified lake. It is typically the coldest layer in the summer and warmest in the winter. It is isolated from wind mixing and typically too dark for much plant photosynthesis to occur.

The rapid and abnormal chilling of the body.


Study of fish, their classification, structures, habits and history.

Inactive Fish
Game fish that are non feeding caused by weather / temperature changes, or fluctuations in water levels.

Inline Spinner
Straight wire lure with blade (s) a weighted body and hook dressed or undressed.

Inside Bend
Term for the inside curve of structure also called inside turn.

Invasive species
A species is regarded as invasive if it has been introduced by human action to a location, area, or region where it did not previously occur naturally.

An animal without a backbone, such as insects.

Isolated Structure
Stand alone fish attracting structure can be a hump, downed tree, brush pile or crib.


Jaw Spreaders

A catch and release tool made from hard wire coiled to hold the mouth of a fish open in removing lures or hooks. Mainly used for large game fish Muskie, Northern Pike.

Jerk Bait
The name jerk bait refers to the retrieve the angler uses by short pulls or jerks. There are two categories of jerk baits soft plastic’s jerks and hard minnow type jerks. Soft plastic’s jerks are used primarily for bass. Hard jerks are used for most all species including the larger jerk baits for Muskie.

A hook with molded weight attached in lead or steel. Jigs come plain undressed or dressed with hair, marabou, rubber skirts and soft plastic’s.

A bass lure using a jig dressed with a rubber skirt and a pork rind or plastic trailer attached to the hook to mimic a crayfish.

Jointed Lures
Any lure that has a single or multiple pieces that are joined together.

Term used for game fish that exceeds the minimum set size limit.

Lake Modifications
Environmental elements on water systems that causes changes. Ice and wave erosion, droughts and flooding.

Lake Zones
Categories used to describing water zones: Shallow, Deep, Open Water, First and Second Break lines and Basin.

A log or tree that has fallen into the water caused from beavers, erosion or wind.

Lateral line:
A system of sense organs in fish: a series of pores or canals running along a line on each side of the body and on the head; detects pressure changes, including vibrations, in the water.

Sub surface stage of development of an aquatic insect.

The leader is the connection between the main fishing line and the lure. Made from steel wire, nylon or heavy monofilament the purpose is to minimize bite off’s from game fish. The components of a leader is a snap – wire/nylon/mono and a swivel.

Fly Fishing
Section of line used between the flyline and the tippet. Often purchased as a tapered section, but can be assembled by tying successively smaller diameter sections of monofilament.

Lead Core Line
Lead covered braided line colored every ten yards for metering purposes. Comes in 100 yard spools used for depth controlled trolling.

A commercially sold live bait known as ribbon leech not the blood sucking variety. Used for most game fish when available during the fishing season.

Still water systems such as lakes and reservoirs

Life vest
Personal floatation devices (PFD) to be worn while boating to keep person afloat if overboard.

Limiting factor
A biological limitation to a self-sustaining fish population.

Light Intensity
Refers to the amount of sunlight that can be measured at certain depths of the water column.

Line Guides
Rod rings in which the line is held on a fishing rod.

Line Releases
Used on planer boards and downrigger weights, releases hold the fishing line until a strike from a fish. Clip on and tension held are the most popular.

Lindy Rig
Trade name for a popular live bait bottom rig using a walking sinker a line stop with a length of line attached to a hook or floating jig head.

Lipless Crankbaits
Minnow or shad type lures, fishing line is attached directly to the lure. Action is a tight vibrating wobble, some have internal rattles.

Live well
Aerated storage compartments found on boats for keeping the caught fish alive.

Moving water systems such as streams and rivers.

A collection of downed trees usually found by shore, bays or backwaters on rivers caused by current.

Term used for large fish caught.

Any artificial bait used to attract and catch fish.

Used for hook dressing on fly’s, inline spinners and spinner baits. Marabou used today comes from young turkey feathers dyed in many colors.

Maximum size limit
A fishing regulation which protects larger fish. Fish at or above stated size must be released.

The middle or transitional zone between the well mixed epilimnion and the colder hypolimnion layers in a stratified lake. This layer contains the thermocline but is loosely defined depending on the shape of the temperature profile.

Minimum size limit:
A fishing regulation which protect smaller fish. Fish not meeting the minimum size must be released.

Migration Patterns
Established patterns or paths that game fish use moving one area to another

Minnow Bucket
A metal or plastic live bait container for minnows. Perforated floating bait buckets can be dropped over the side of a boat or dock to allow a constant flow of fresh water. For solid bait buckets, a battery-powered aerator will keep bait alive all day.

Minnow Trap
Minnow traps are cylindrical, double-ended wire or plastic mesh funnels that narrow in the middle. They work on the principle that a small fish will swim into the trap to find food and is unable to find the way out. Minnow traps are baited with a sticky mix of oatmeal or cornmeal rolled into a golf-ball-sized clump. The ball slowly breaks up providing fresh bait for long periods. Suspend the trap near a dock, on a stream, or at the head of a pool where the current slows.

A common name for submerged aquatic plant from the Myriophyllum species

Abbreviation for monofilament line.

Moon Phases
Moon times or phases are considered by anglers best fishing times when the fish are feeding. There are four phases of the lunar cycle, the best is three days prior and after the new of full moon. The first and second quarter of the moon is rated as good fishing.

Mud Minnow
A commercially sold minnow as live bait used on most game fish.


Night Bite

Term for active fishing at night.

Night Crawler
A earth worm used as live bait, used on most game fish

Neutrally Buoyant
In context used to describe a suspending crank bait, upon stopping the retrieve the bait will remain at that water level.

Nets serve multiple purposes for fishing, landing fish, bait nets and as floating live wells.


Off Color
Refers to water color such as stained or dark water.

Outside Bend
Term for the outside curve of structure also called outside turn.

U shaped bend in a creek or river.


Paper Mouth
A term for crappie.

A repetitive series of location and presentations that consistently produces fish.

Pectoral Fin
The paired fins located just behind the gills along the abdomen. Their function is to help the fish stop and turn.

Placing a tooth pick in slip weights in order to fasten to the line.

Abbreviation for Personal Floatation Device or Life Jacket.

A measurement for liquids to determine acidity or alkaline. A rating of 0 to 14 is used, water with less than 7 is acidic.

PH Meter
A meter to measure acidity or alkaline.

Term for soft bite or lite hit from a game fish.

Old mine that filled with water.

A fishing technique by under handing a lure to a designated spot or area.

Found on LCD liquid crystal depth finder display screens. A pixel is short for picture element a single point in a graphic image. LCD’s display the water below by dividing the screen into thousands of pixels, arranged in rows and columns The pixels are so close together that they appear connected. In purchasing a LCD depth finder the higher number of pixels the better screen resolution and clearer images.

Planer Boards
Used for trolling, planer boards are flat made from plastic or a dense floating foam with a beveled edge. They are attached to the fishing line by the use of a line release ( clip on / tension clip). Using planer boards allows the angler to run mutltiple lines by planning the boards off each side of the boat. Upon a fish strike the board will release to play the fish. On Great Lakes rigging a single release is used and a snap, keeping the board on the line.

Small or microscopic plants and animals that float or drift in great numbers especially at or near the surface, and serve as food for fish and other larger game fish.

Small opening in weeds or indentation on a shoreline.

A outcropping or finger of land projecting into a water system.

Polarized Sunglasses
Polarized sunglasses reduces glare from the sun and allows the angler to view into the water. They work on the principle blocking the horizontal polarized light reflections by the vertically oriented polarizers in the lenses. Polarized lenses may also react adversely with liquid crystal displays LCDs depth finders in reading the display screen.

Surface lure with a cupped mouth creating a splash when popped. Used for flying fishing and bass.

Pork Rind
Made from pig skin pork rind attach as trailers to lures for added action.

Post Front
The weather after cold front moves through bringing clear blue bird skies and cooler temperatures.

A term encompassing all elements in catching fish. Lure types and color, water depth, structure, retrieve or trolling technique which makes a successful presentation.

Type of flash finish on lures in manufacturing or added by using lure finish tape.


Quick Strike Rigs
A fishing rig of multiple hooks placed on live bait in order to set the hook upon a strike of a fish. Used primarily for ice fishing and muskie fishing with suckers.


Small metal balls used on inside of lures to create sound.

Red Tail Chub
A commercially sold minnow as live bait for Northern Pike and Walleyes.

Red Worms
A earth worm mainly used as bait for sunfish and perch.

A type of water system that is developed by the use of a dam.

Ripple Tail
Type of flat tail made on soft plastic lures that ripple or undulate in the water. Also called curly tail, swimming tail, squirmin tail, and squirrelly tail.

A man made stretch of boulders and rocks to prevent land erosion attracting many game fish. Found mainly on reservoirs, impoundment and flowages.

Rosy Reds
A commercially sold minnow as live bait available in the winter months for ice fishing.

Rough Fish
Fish not considered sport fish and generally not regulated.

Rubber Core Sinker
A type of elongated sinker with a rubber core to attach ( twist on ) fishing line.


Lake structure that narrows and opens to a wide area.

Area’s where fish are protected by the state Natural Resource Department.

Also known as fish formulas and attractants are marketed as sprays, liquids and jellies applied to lures to mask the human odor and attract game fish. Scents also are impregnated in manufacturing of soft plastic lures. Scents come in numerous different flavors or odors ranging from forage scents, crawfish, shad, minnow to spices, fruits and vegetables, salt, anise, cherry and garlic.

Made in metal or plastic, a handle with a strainer type scoop to clean ice fishing holes.

Search Lures
Lures used in a quick presentation such as fan casting a areain order tofind aggressive fish, inline spinners, crank baits, and spinner baits are generally used.

A net laid out in a circle around a school of bait fish. After the school is surrounded, the bottom of the net is drawn shut to trap the fish.

Seven Strand Leader
A type of leader material using seven strand flexible wire.

Shad Tail
A type of tail on a lure that shakes back and forth. Used on soft plastic lures.

Short Strike
Term for missed fish or short bite.

Single Strand Leader
A leader component made from a single steel hard wire, used for Muskie and Northern Pike on jerk baits and gliders

Sinking Line
A flyline design to sink below the surface of the water for getting a wet fly or streamer down deeper. Can be found with different sink rates for different fishing styles

Any type of weight used for fishing rigs, made from lead or steel.

Size limits:
Fishing regulations which limits anglers to keep fish based upon size.

Short term used for describing a Muskie / Musky.

A trolling rig by attaching multiple fishing lines to a single down rigger cable and weight by using sliding releases.

Slip Bobber
A fishing rig component that uses a float/bobbermade of wood or dense foam around a hollow tube, in which the fishing line slips through to a line knot/stop above the weight and hook. The slip bobber is used for deep water live bait presentations mainly for walleyes and crappies and panfish.

Slip Sinker
Any sinker that fishing line passes through. A slip sinker rig is well suited when still fishing the bottom for light biting fish such as walleyes. Once they take in the bait they can pull the line through the sinker eye not feeling any resistance which would cause them to spit out the bait.

Refers to the lake bottom content also known as muck.

Slot limit:
Fishing regulation which requires release of fish within a listed size range (or slot).

A narrow stretch of water such as a creek of stream off a lake or river system.

Slow Roll
A fishing retrieve by slow rolling a spinner bait or weedless spoon over cover, weeds, wood, rocks or on the bottom.

A rigging component used to connect the lure from a leader or directly to the fishing line.

Used on trolling rigs from the Dipsy Diver to the leader. A snubber is a length of surgical tubing with a swivel attached at both ends. Inside the tubing is a coiled piece of heavy line. When a fish strikes a trolled lure, the snubber stretches out to absorb the impact and then retracts.

Soft Plastic’s
A category classification of any lure made from soft plastic’s.

Soft Tail Lures
Hard bodied lures incorporating a soft plastic swimming or shad tail.

Reproductive activity of fish; the act of releasing eggs into the water by female fish for fertilization by male fish.

Spawn Sac’s
A effective bait used for Salmon, Steelhead and Trout when spawning occurs in streams and rivers. Spawn Sac’s are made from fish egg’s or roe tied together in using a fine mesh netting. Used as bait on a drift fishing bottom rig.

A closed face spinning fishing reel mounted on the top of a rod employing a push button release for casting.

Spinner Bait
A safety pin styled lead head wire blade (s) lure with a single hook dressed with rubber skirt hair or soft plastic’s.

Spinning Reel
A open faced reel mounted underneath the rod. The line is retrieved in a spinning fashion over the bail.

Splash Tail
A surface lure with a bell shaped metal tail attached on the end that flaps side to side also known as a flap tail.

Split Ring
A lure component (wired ring) connecting the hooks to the lure.

Split Shot
Type of round weight made from lead or steel that is pinched on fishing line.

Split Shotting
A finesse rig by using a small split shot above a single light wired hook using live bait or small soft plastic’s.

Considered one of oldest lures used in fishing, spoons are made from metal with hooks attached, virtually used for all game fish with thousands of varieties and colors.

Spring Fed
Water system that is supplied water through a underground spring.

A ice fishing metal chisel to clean frozen over holes. Usual lengths approximately 4 to 5 feet.

Stained Water
Refers to water color caused by minerals tree roots or drainage.

Any above surface stationary structure such as tree stumps or limbs, old bridge pilings and fence posts.

Stinger Hook
Additional hook added to a lure or jig as called trailer hook.

Stink Bait
Home made or commercially bought stink baits are concoctions of ingredients that produces a unique aroma that attract catfish and carp.

Term used when a school of fish move and a few stay behind.

A steel or nylon cable with or without snap hooks to keep fish.

Strip On’s
A old time fishing rig also called Prescott Spinner. Made from stiff wire with a rotating blade on front. The wire is slid through a minnow attaching a double hook on the end loop.

Underwater structure is basically all solid objects rising from the bottom of a lake or river that isn’t part of the actual bottom as in tree’s, brush piles, cribs and rocks which creates habitats for feeding fish.

A commercially sold minnow as live bait for Northern Pike, Walleyes and Muskies.

Suspending Lures
In context used to describe a suspending crank bait, upon stopping the retrieve the bait will suspend at that water level. Also called Neutrally Buoyant Lure.

Suspended Fish
Fish that relate to open water away from structure.

Swimming Lures
Any type of lures that are designed to swim as a baitfish by providing a wobble, vibrate or wiggle motion.

A rigging component with many uses. Swivels acts as a line stop and rigging connectors for bottom rigs also connects the fishing line to a leader to prevent line twist.


Tackle Box
A container that stores fishing equipment in a organized manner for transporting and protecting the tackle from the weather elements.

Tail Gunner
A muskie rig by attaching a combination of a single hook, snap swivel and blade to a soft plastic lure or live sucker to add attraction and color.

Tail Spinners
A tear drop weighted head jig with a blade mounted on the tail used for vertical jigging.

Underwater structure gently slopes downward.

Terminal Tackle
A category classification for rigging components such as: hooks, weights swivels, snaps, split rings, and bobber stops.

Term used to describe land-based insects which are often food for fish.

A measurement of fishing line strength as stated on the label.

Texas Rig
A weedless bottom rig used on soft plastic lures. To rig a bullet weight is threaded on the line then a hook is tied. To make the rig weedless insert the hook about 3/8 of a inch in the front of the lure, push the hook to the eye, turn the hook and insert the point back into the lure with out exposing the point of the hook. Used on soft plastic worms, crawfish and lizards.

During the summer months lakes stratify into layers. These are areas underwater where warmer layers of water meet cooler layers, this is the themocline and where fish are often active. Generally, baitfish hang just above the thermocline, while larger game fish are found suspended in or just below it.

Thumper Tail Lure
A jointed surface lure with a rotating rear section using a metal cupped tail blade.

A metallic filament used in lure tying to provide flash and color on great lakes flies, inland stream flies as well as bucktails.

The monofilament section of the fly rig between the leader and the fly.

Tip Down
Used for ice fishing a tip down is made of wood or plastic, shaped as a H with a base. The function of a tip down is a rod holder and a strike indicator. The ice fishing rod is held on a tip down balancing on a pivot rod at a 45 degree angle upward maintaining depth control of the bait. Upon a fish strike the rod will follow a downward motion indicating a fish strike.

Used for ice fishing a tip up is a set rig using a cross piece of plastic or wood with a spring loaded wire and flag attached. Centered on the cross piece is a metal tube filled with anti freeze attached to a reel on the bottom and a trip bar on top. The tip up rig is placed over a ice fishing hole on the cross piece with the metal tube turned vertically and placed in to the water. The amount of line used is held by the trip rod using the metal wire with the flag. Upon a fish strike the reel will turn moving the trip rod releasing the flag.

Topper Lure
A straight top water lure with propellers in front and back.

Topwater Lure
Any lure that floats on the water also known as a surface lure.

Torpedo Lure
A top water lure shaped as a cigar or torpedo. The retrieve used is “Walk the Dog” using short cadence snaps making the lure move side to side.

Trailer Hook
Additional hook added to a lure or jig as called stinger hook.

A term used when describing changing of water bottom conditions such as hard to soft, weeds to rocks etc… Also used in fish migration context.

Treble Hook
A three pronged hook used on most all lures.

A stream that flows into a larger stream.

The act of causing a fish to bite / strike a lure or live bait.

A fishing method wherefishing linesare pulled behind a boat to attract and catch fish.

Trolling Board
A trolling board are either single ordouble in make up. They are drawn through the water by a connecting line from the boat or mast to the board itself unlike a planer board that is connected to the fishing line. Trolling boards allows the angler to run multiple rod set-ups by placing sliding releases on the connecting line.

Trolling Motor
A electric small fishing motor powered by marine batteries, mounted on the bow or stern. Used for controlled drifting / casting and boat positioning.

A hollow bodied soft plastic lure tipped with tentacles, rigged with a jig or hook inside. Used for all game fish.

Fall cooling and spring warming of surface water act to make density uniform throughout the water column. This allows wind and wave action to mix the entire lake. Mixing allows bottom waters to contact the atmosphere, raising the water’s oxygen content. However, warming may occur too rapidly in the spring for mixing to be effective, especially in small sheltered lakes.

A fishing retrieve, the act of popping a minnow type lure on the surface to sub surface creating a erratic motion of a distressed baitfish.


Vertical Movement
Up and down movement of fish through water columns also a fishing technique by jigging.

The tool used to hold a hooks or lures in place while tying or building lures.

A piece of clothing used to hold various tools, fly boxes and other equipment while fishing.

Protective outer clothing used to keep the fisherman dry when standing or float-tubing in water. Typically made of neoprene, nylon, or a Gore-Tex-like material. Can be insulated to supply warmth.

Walk the Dog
A retrieve used on the surface by snapping a torpedo type lure with short cadence snaps to move the lure side to side.

Walking Sinker
Used on bottom rigs made from lead or steel The walking sinker is designed to pivot on it’s heel and let the line slide through the eye. It’s shape also prevents it from rolling and the streamlined shape resists snags.


The wax worm is the larvae of the wax moth, the larvae are milky white or light tan about 3/4″ in length. Favorite bait for panfish used year round.

A GPS term for location, spot, or destination (latitude/longitude) that can be stored in memory to be recalled and used at a later time for navigation purposes.

A term used to describe making a lure, jig or hook minimize snagging on weeds or wood by using a wire, fiber or plastic guards over the hook.

A weed line or weed edge is caused by a change in depth, or transition of the bottom type.

Wire Line
Used for deep water trolling, wire line is available in single wire or stranded made of copper and nickel-copper alloy and stainless steel.

A international term used to describe a jointed plug or crank bait.

Wolf River Bait Rig
Popular river bottom fishing rig named after the river it is used on. The basic components are a bell sinker with a length of line to a three way swivel connecting to the rod and a short leader to the hook.

A bass fishing technique using a soft plastic worm, lizard or crawfish, Cast drop and drag slowly.

Worm Harness
A fishing rig using a leader with multiple single hooks for night crawlers along with a combination of blades and or floats.



Small or microscopic animals that float or drift in great numbers in water, especially at or near the surface, and serve as food for fish and other larger organisms.