Glossary of Fishing Terms

brought to you by the Outdoor Writers Association of America, Inc.
Search Alphabetically:
A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

Search by Keyword:


Allison tuna
Also Allison tunny, but correctly identified as yellowfin tuna, which is preferred. See yellowfin tuna.

Members of the jack family, including the Pacific amberjack (found on the Pacific Coast) and the greater amberjack and lesser amberjack (both native to the Atlantic). See almaco jack and jack.

A member of the carp family found in Siberia’s Amur River. Commonly called white amur or grass carp.

Small baitfish of the Pacific Coast.

anchovy, anchovies
A species of small baitfish and food fish found along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts.

Also called monkfish.

all-3 record
Fishing weight record per the International Game Fish Association, regardless of line size; as opposed to line-class record. See line-class.

Moving from fresh water to the sea, or vice versa, for nonreproductive purposes such as feeding.

Fish such as shad, salmon and herring that live as adults in salt water but spawn in fresh water. Also describes fish such as salmon and trout that spend their adult lives in the Great Lakes after having been born in tributary streams, to which they return to spawn. Opposite of catadromous, in which fish such as eels live in fresh water but spawn in salt water. See catadromous.

anal fin
A fish fin (single, not paired) located near the anus.

aluminum oxide
Material used for line-guide rings on a fishing rod. While aluminum oxide is a ceramic material, it is not synonymous with ceramic guide, because this generic term can include several materials. Specify the guide-ring material when known.

Any device on a reel that prevents line from being released from the reel unless it engages the drag.

Any live earthworm placed on a fishing hook. See earthworm.