Glossary of Fishing Terms

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A common name for shovelnose sturgeon.

Regional slang term for a first-year steelhead usually weighing 3 to 6 pounds.

Species of flatfish that is a member of the flounder family. Atlantic and Pacific halibut are the largest members of the flounder family.

A method of taking catfish.

A fishing line used without a rod or reel; a line held in the hand.

A large, pyramid-shaped wave caused when fast-moving shallow water piles up against slower-moving, deeper water.

head boat
A fishing boat that takes people recreational fishing for an individual per-head fee. See charter boat.

A method of dropping a single-blade spinnerbait so the blade rotates above the lure as the lure sinks.

A scissors-like clamp designed for medical use but often used by anglers for unhooking fish, tying leaders, flies, etc.

Family of fish that includes the small herrings, some sardines, American shad and hickory shad. See alewife.

A fly line designed for extra fast sinking to get the fly down deep.

A standard saltwater terminal 3 bait rig in which two bait hooks are used, one low and close to the sinker, the other higher and held off the bottom.

A species of grouper, members of the sea bass family. A popular tropical reef fish that includes brown, red, rock and speckled hinds.

hip boot
Waterproof boots that come up to the crotch.

A predator fish such as a lingcod that latches onto another smaller and already hooked fish. Also could apply to lamprey eels, which hitch a ride and feed off a host fish.

Catching spawning catfish by hand.

hole shot
Going from a still position in a bass boat to a high-speed plane in as short a distance as possible.

Return of fish to their stream or lake of origin to spawn. Also applies to bald eagles and other birds that return to traditional nests year after

A colloquial term describing a productive fishing location.

hook eye
The ring at the end of a fishing hook’s shaft where the line is attached.

hook keeper
A small device attached just above the handle on many rods to attach a hook, fly or lure to the rod when not in use.

hoop net
A cylindrical net trap built on hoop framing supports. Usually set to capture fish or turtles.

A decorative fitting on a saltwater rod at the juncture of the handle foregrip with the rod blank.

hot rail
A saltwater angler following a running fish along the boat’s rail; a warning shouted to other anglers to avoid tangling lines.

hot shot
A stream fishing technique in which a diving plug (commonly, a Hot Shot plug) is pulled out on the current ahead of the boat.

hot stick
An expert or accomplished saltwater sport angler. Also referred to as a good stick (same meaning

hybrid bream
A green sunfish/bluegill.

hybrid striper
A white bass/striped bass hybrid. Also hybrid-striped bass.