• General Regulations: Fishing Terms

by Bowen Deng August 22, 2018


An angler is a person who fishes; angling is another word for fishing.

Artificial Lure

Artificial bait made to resemble live bait or attract fish. Generic term for all types of artificial bait such as crank baits, jerk baits, buzz bait, etc.


Tangled line on a bait casting reel. Tangled fishing line is also referred to as a bird's nest.


Technique in which the boat motor is put in reverse, allowing the operator to slow the boat down and to make controlled turns matching the bottom contours or to hover in place over fish.


Usually refers to live bait put on a hook (worms, night crawlers, minnows, insects, crayfish, etc.).

Bait casting

Fishing with a revolving spool reel and bait casting rod; the reel is mounted on the topside of the rod.


A more subtle, less-noticable attempt by a fish to take an anglers bait. Sometimes a bite is barely noticeable. Bite also can refer to the current tendancy of anglers to catch fish. A hot bite means fish are being caught. A slow bite means fish are being caught much less frequently.


Also called a 'float,' they come in various shapes and sizes. They float on top of the water to keep the bait off the lake bottom or at a depth at which the fish generally hold. The float signals a bite by either submerging, moving (even slightly) or tipping.

Buzz bait

A large bait with propeller-type blades that churn when retrieved on top of the water.

Catch and release

The act of catching and immediately releasing a fish as a way to conserve the resource.


Fillets are fish flesh that have been removed from the fish. Scales or skin may be removed or left intact. A fish may not be reduced to more than two fillets.

Crank bait

Minnow-like lure with a lip that causes the lure to dive under water during the retrieve; usually made from plastic or balsa wood.


A method of fishing where the angler allows the boat to drift in the wind. Usually involves using live bait.


Lures made from fur, hair, feathers or synthetics tied to hooks; intended to resemble insects, larvae or minnows.

Fly fishing

A preferred trout-fishing method using a special fly rod with either live or imitation flies tied to a hook.

Jerk bait

A soft or hard plastic bait resembling a small fish, usually fished by using quick jerks or yanking of the rod tip to resemble a wounded minnow.


Jigs are lures with a weighted head and a fixed hook often dressed with fur, feathers, or a plastic body/tail. Live bait can be added to the hook.


Jigging is a technique in which the jig is moved up and down with a light jerk. Jerks can vary in frequency and speed.


Length of monofilament, wire or other stranded material tied between the end of the line and the lure or hook. Provides extra strength and guards against abrasion from sharp teeth or rough mouths of fish.


Compartment in a boat that holds water in which to keep caught fish alive.


Artificial bait made to resemble live bait. Generic term for all types of artificial bait such as crank baits, jerk baits, buzz bait, etc.


Personal Flotation Device, such as a life jacket or floating cushion. Preferred term is life jacket.


Type of lure made of wood, plastic or rubber and designed to imitate small minnows, fish, frogs, bugs, etc. Can be either floating or sinking. Can also be a plug in a boat that allows water to be drained.


Mechanical device that holds the fishing line. There are various types of reels, most notably spin-casting, spinning, bait-casting and fly-casting. Beginners are better off with a spin-casting reel.


The fishing pole, usually made of fiberglass, graphite or composite materials. Rods come in various lengths and strengths. Rods are available for fly fishing, spinning, spin casting, and bait casting.


Weight used to sink lures in the water. Sinkers come in different weights, shapes, and types.


A sinker that slides up and down on the line rather than being locked in place.


A snap is a hook-shaped piece of wire with a clasp that is tied to a fishing line. A lure is attached to the snap. Snap swivels are the same concept but also help prevent line twisting.


Fastening device that allows the line fastened to a lure to turn around freely which helps keep line from twisting and causes bird nests.

Split-shot sinker

This is the preferred sinker. These are very small round weights with a slit for the line. The slit in the weight is pinched together to hold the sinker in place.


A "hit" from a fish attempting to take a lure or bait. Strikes tend to occur quickly and are vary noticeable, often bending the fishing pole.


Fishing from a boat with the motor kept in forward gear at a slow speed. Live or crank baits are preferred for this type of fishing.

Bowen Deng
Bowen Deng


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