Glossary of Fishing Terms

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A small member of the dragonfly family.

A hop or bounce on the water while line and leader are held above the water from a high fly-fishing rod.

The angle in degrees from horizontal of the bottom of a boat, measured from the center (keel) line.

A method of fishing a bait or lure by giving it little or no movement, often used in current or tidal conditions.

A long-handled, tubular tool used to remove the backbone from large baitfish.

Denil fishway
A man-made structure that dissipates a waterway’s energy so fish can swim over low barriers without undue stress.

depth finder
Three terms used for sonar fishing devices that locate bottom depth, structure and fish. Depth recorder is used to signify graph-style depth finders. Depth finder and depth sounder are used for flashers, LCD units and graph recorders.

Lowering of the water table in stream channel deposits caused by a channel shift or a flow reduction; also refers to diversion of stream flow.

Migrating between fresh water and the sea. See anadromous and catadromous.

Colloquial term for diagonal wire cutter pliers.

dip bait
A bait used primarily for catfish.

dip net
A net used to capture bait.

A style of sinker, also called a bell and bait-casting sinker.

directed fishing
Fishing directed by supervision or regulation at a particular species or group of species.

A large aquatic insect, the larva of which is the popular hellgrammite bait.

A term used for both the mammal and the 1. The dolphin (mammal) is a member of the Delphinidae family. The dolphin (fish) is a common tropical species, found offshore around the world and also known as mahimahi and dorado.

Cane-pole fishing in which a lure or or bait (often a pork chunk or pork rind is repeatedly dipped and dragged through likely fish structures. Used in largemouth bass and crappie fishing. See cane-poling and pork frog/pork chunk.

dorsal fin
The median fin(s) on a fish’s back, supported by spines and rays, or by rays only.

double haul
A method of fly-casting in which line is accelerated at the end of the backcast by jerking on the fly line as the cast comes forward.

Two fish hooked simultaneously on rods by anglers in the same boat. Also double-hookup.

A ball of bait made from bread or specially prepared dough used for bait-fishing. Commonly used for carp.

A spawned steelhead migrating to the sea; a steelhead returning downriver.

A device used to fish deep by attaching a line and lure to a mechanism consisting of a release clip on a heavily weighted ball lowered to a specific depth.

In the same direction as waves are moving. Also downswell.

In fishing, the adjustable setting that resists the release of line as it is pulled from the reel. Can be set to any resistance level.

Lowering a lake level for a specific purpose.

drift boat
A boat (usually flat-bottomed and oar-powered) or technique in which fishing is done by drifting with the river current.

A lure or bait-fishing technique presenting the lure or bait so it drifts naturally in a current.

A jig or bucktail used when drift-fishing.

A method of offshore fishing by which a lure is dropped back or free-spooled. Also used in freshwater rivers for salmon and trout.

A family of fish, many of which are game species found both in fresh water and on both coasts.

Abbreviation for double taper. A designation for a type of fly line. See fly line.

Fur material used on the body of a fly to simulate an insect body.

dubbing needle
A needle used in fly-tying for the preparation of dubbing.