Glossary of Fishing Terms

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Also spoonbill cat, boneless cat (although the paddlefish is not in the catfish family)

1. A method of using a bait-casting reel in which the reel and rod are held with the palm cradling the reel. 2. Method of increasing drag on a fly reel by allowing a fish to take line against both the resistance of the drag and the fingers or palm that increase drag on the rim of the spool.

A strong, easily tied knot used to attach a lure, hook or fly to a line or leader.

Any of a variety of species of smaller fishes that are both game and food fish. Examples include sunfish, crappie, bluegill, perch.

Immature trout or salmon characterized by dark, vertical bars on their sides. Usually applied to young, anadromous salmonids before they migrate to the sea.

parr marks
Pronounced, dark, vertical bars along each side of young salmon. These bars are lost when the fish move to the sea as smolts. See fry and smolt.

party boat
Boat that takes large angling parties for a specific price per person (or per head); thus the synonymous name, head boat, as opposed to a charter boat, which implies a charter for the day for a smaller number of anglers.

A specific fly tied in a specific style with specifically listed materials, as indicated by a recipe for that fly.

The tooth gear that follows the track of a worm gear in the level-wind mechanism of a bait-casting reel.

pectoral fin
An anteriormost paired fin in fishes.

The term for a wide variety of game 1, often covering more than one family and including the white and yellow perch and the many perch species of the Pacific Coast.

1. A legal or authoritative permission, such as a permit for some form of hunting or fishing. 2. One of several dozen species of the jack family.

personal floatation device
PFD is acceptable on second reference. See life jacket, life vest.

pH Acidity
Acidity or alkalinity of water is indicated by its pH level.

pickerel, pickerels
Small member of the pike family that includes chain, grass and redfin pickerel species. Pickerel is acceptable on second reference.

A generic (non-taxonomic) name for northern pike

A small baitfish that lives off the southeastern coast of the United States; a member of the porgy family. See porgy.

A term referring to sport fishing: He enjoyed all of the piscatorial pursuits.

A method of casting short distances and at a low angle. Primarily used in bass fishing when casting to specific short to midrange targets.

Act of a vessel overturning lengthwise, i.e., from the bow.

plastic worm
Soft, artificial worm used in bass and other fishing.

A term for a hard plastic or wooden fishing lure, usually called crankbait.

Casting or fishing plugs or crankbaits.

1. A natural or artificially dug hole, usually into a clay or mud bank at the waterline. A trap set at the entrance of such a hole is a pocket-set. 2. A small, calm spot in a fast-running stream.

A member of the codfish family.

Several game-1 of the jack family found on both Atlantic and Pacific coasts.

An artificial lure designed to make a popping noise when retrieved across the water surface.

porgy, porgies
The porgy family includes about a dozen species along with scup, pinfish, sea bream and sheepshead. All except the Pacific porgy are found in the Atlantic.

pork frog, pork chunk
Shaped pork rind used on a hook or added to a lure. See doodlesock.

pork rind
Term for many types of prepared pork skin lures and lure additions.

pork strip
Long, thin pork strips that use only the thin skin, not the dermis, of the pork chunk or frog.

The left side of a boat (opposite of starboard)

possession limit
The number and size of a harvested species a person legally may have in possession at any one time. Often double or a multiple of a daily creel limit for fish. See creel limit.

Referring to the period of time immediately after a fish’s egg-laying season.

Referring to the period of time immediately before a fish’s egg-laying season.

A member of the sunfish family. Not pumpkinseed sunfish.

push pole
A pole used to push a boat.

put-and-take fishery
A fishery where hatchery-raised fish are stocked to be caught and usually kept by anglers.