A brand name of a large
trout-imitating, jointed topwater lure made of
acidity The degree of
sourness of a usually water soluble substance.
Acidity is measured in pH, with 7 being neutral
and 2 being a strong acid.
action Measure of rod
performance ranging from slow to fast and
describes the elapse time from when the rod is
flexed to when it returns to its straight
configuration. Also refers to the strength of the
rod, light, medium and heavy, with light being a
limber rod and heavy a stout rod.
active fish Fish that are
feeding heavily and striking aggressively.
adipose fin On some
species, the fatty fin located between the dorsal
and tail fin.
air bladder A gas-filled
sac in the upper part of the body cavity of many
bony fishes. It is located just beneath the
vertebral column; its principal function is to
offset the weight of the heavier tissue such as
algae Simple plant organism
(typically a single cell) commonly found in
alkalinity Measure of the
amount of acid neutralizing bases.
amur A member of the carp
family found in Chinas Amur River. Commonly
called a white amur or grass carp. These fish are
highly effective weed eaters and are stocked to
control nuisance weeds and algae. They can weigh
up to 47 pounds.
anal fin The unpaired fin
that lies along the midline of the body beneath
the anus, usually on the back half of the fish.
anchovy or anchovies A
species of 4- to 8-inch baitfish found in the
ocean that is also a popular bait used for
striped bass at places like Lake Powell, Lake
Mead, Lake Mohave and Lake Pleasant but can be
used for catfish as well.
angler Person using a
fishing pole or rod and reel to catch fish.
angleworm Any live
earthworm placed on a fishing hook.
angling Usually refers to
the recreational catching of fish (sport-fishing)
by hook and line.
anti-reverse System that
prevents reels (typically bait casters) from
spinning in reverse and causing tangles.
artificial lures and flies
Means man-made devices intended as visual
attractants for fish and does not include living
or dead organisms or edible parts thereof,
natural or prepared food stuffs, artificial
salmon eggs, artificial corn, or artificial
attractant Liquid, solid or
power form of scent applied to fishing lures for
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back cast (n.) or
back-cast (v.) Part of the cast in
which the fishing rod (usually a fly rod) and the
fishing line is moved from a position in front to
one in back of the angler. There
can be successive back casts as line is played
out to increase the distance and accuracy of the
backing Any type of line
used to partially fill a reel before the main
fishing line is added; commonly used in
fly-fishing or by bass anglers who use many of
the newer thread-like or polymer lines.
backlash An overrun of a
revolving-spool reel, such as a bait-cast reel,
which in turn causes the line to billow off the
reel and tangle.
back-trolling A method of
boat control utilizing a motor to make a series
of maneuvers in the presentation of a lure or
bait. The most common back-troll method is using
a front-mounted trolling motor to make the boat
go backwards, while dragging or trolling the lure
in front of the boat. Many back-troll methods,
such as fishing for suspended crappies in winter
or summer, involve a slow stop-and-go technique.
back-wash Rough water
resulting from boat wakes rebounding off fixed
objects such as canyon walls, docks or anchored
backwater Shallow area of a
river that is sometimes isolated, often being
located behind a sand bar or other obstruction in
the river. Large backwaters tat are isolated may
be referred to as oxbows.
bag limit Restriction in
the number of fish an angler may retain,
generally on a daily basis.
bail Metal, semi-circular
arm of an open-face spinning reel that engages
the line after a cast.
bait Can mean live bait or
artificial bait, such as a lure.
baitcasting Fishing with a
revolving-spool reel and baitcasting rod, with
the reel mounted on the topside of the rod.
baitfish Small fish, such
as threadfin shad, that are often eaten by
predatory fish, such as largemouth bass. This can
refer to the fish that predators feed upon, or
the kids of fish we place on a hook to catch a
sport-fish. The use of bait fish is often
regulated, so be sure to check the latest fishing
baitwell A special well or
livewell in a boat to hold bait.
bank-fish A method of fishing by
casting from an area on a bank of water.
Bass Assassin A brand of
bass boat A design of
shallow-drafting boat developed for modern,
competitive bass fishing.
bar Long, shallow ridge in
a body of water.
barb A sharp projection on
a fishing hook that holds a hooked fish.
barbless A hook
manufactured without a barb, or one made barbless
by cutting it off, filing it off or flattening
the barb (typically with pliers).
bay Major indentation in
the shoreline of a lake or reservoir.
bead-headed midges A type
of fly used for fly-fishing.
bedding In fishing, this
term refers to bedding fish during the spawning
bell sinker A bell-shaped
Belly Boat A trademark for
a brand of rubber inner tube boat used for
fishing in quiet water.
benthic Occurring at or
near the bottom of a body of water.
biology The study of living
bite When a fish takes or
touches a bait so that the fisherman feels it.
bite indicator A device
which activates or signals when a fish is on the
line. It can be as simple as a bell placed on the
line between two fishing pole guides that rings
when a fish either nibbles or takes the bait.
There are commercially made bite indicators as
well. Bite indicators are often used by those
bottom-fishing for catfish and carp.
biomass The aggregate
amount of living matter or a specific species
within a specific habitat, or the total number of
a specific species in a specific habitat.
black bass Common term used
to describe several types of bass of the sunfish
family, including the largemouth and smallmouth
blind cast Casting at no
bluebird skies A term used
to describe bright, sunny, blue sky conditions
that often make catching fish tough.
bobber A float attached to
the line under which a hook and sometimes a
sinker hang. The bobber holds the bait or lure at
a predetermined depth and also signals the strike
of a fish (strike indicator). A variation is
called a slip-bobber or slip-float, where the
line runs freely through the bobber and there is
a stop on the line for the predetermined depth.
bottom feeder or bottom-fish
A bottom-feeding fish, such as a catfish or
carp. Refers to a fish that feeds predominantly
on the bottom, not just one that is sometimes
caught on the bottom, such as a largemouth bass
bow-fishing Using a bow and
arrow, typically with a reel attached to the bow,
to harvest fish.
Bomber Long A A brand
name of crankbait.
bucketmouth A slang term
for largemouth bass, aka bigmouth bass.
brackish Water of
intermediate salinity between seawater and
break Distinct variation in
otherwise constant stretches of cover, structure,
or bottom type. Basically anything that breaks
up the underwater terrain.
break-off A fish lost when
the line breaks, as opposed to losing fish when
the hook breaks, straightens or pulls out.
broodfish A large sexually
mature fish capable of breeding. In hatcheries,
these are the large egg-producing fish.
brownie Term can refer to a
smallmouth bass or a brown trout.
brushline The inside or the
outside edge of a stretch of brush.
brush pile Usually refers
to a mass of small- to medium-sized tree limbs
lying in the water. Brush piles may be only one
of two feet across, or they may be extremely
large; they may be visible or submerged. They can
be created by Mother Nature or be man made. They
typically attract fish, and fishermen.
buffalofish A heavy bodied
carp-like fish that can weigh up to 39 pounds
that are found in some of the Salt River chain of
bumping Refers to the act
of making a lure hit an object, such as a log,
tree or rock, in a controlled manner (either
intentionally or unintentionally), which can get
the attention of a fish and result in a strike.
bullet sinker A cone-shaped
piece of lead, zinc or steel of varying weights
that slides up and down the line.
Top-water bait with large, propeller-type blades
that churn the water during a retrieve. Usually
comprised of a leadhead, a rigid hook and a wire
that supports one of more blades. Typically has a
plastic skirt like a spinnerbait.
Retrieving a spinnerbait or buzzbait along the
waters surface to create a splash effect to
resemble a wounded baitfish.
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caddis fly an aquatic
insect of major importance, along with the mayfly
and stonefly, for the trout fly-fisherman. A
caddis fly is characterized by swept-back wings;
also an insect that goes through a complete
metamorphosis much like a butterfly. A caddis
worm is the larva of a caddis fly.
California rig or California-rigged
A method of deep-water fishing in
which a plastic worm is placed at the end of a
leader trailing behind a sinker.
cane pole A pole of natural
cane, often made from Calcutta or Tonkin bamboo,
used for fishing. No reel is used; the line is
tied to the pole. Extremely effective for fishing
small, narrow streams or creeks. Those fishing
with such a rig are said to be cane-poling.
cartop or cartopper
Refers to a boat small enough to be
carried on the top of a car and hand-launched,
especially at fisheries with limited or no boat
Carolina rig or Carolina-rigged
A special rig in
which an exposed or hidden hook is used with a
soft plastic lure placed 2 to 3 feet behind an
egg or barrel sinker and swivel. Used primarily
for deep fishing with heavier weights than a
Texas rig. This rig is most commonly used with a
plastic worm or lizard, but can be used with
floating crankbaits and other lures.
A variation on this theme is using a lighter,
spinning outfit with a split shot placed on the
line 12 to 30 inches above the hook, with a small
worm or lizard (4 to 6 inches) rigged Texas
style. This style can be used in shallow or deep
water, and is especially good for use in the
clear, Western reservoirs, or when it is
appropriate to down-size, such as in winter.
carp A member of the minnow
family, introduced to the United States in the
late 1800s. Typically refers to common carp
originally from Europe and not grass carp (amur),
which are from Asia.
catch-and-release Refers to
catching a fish and immediately releasing it.
Many anglers practice catch-and-release as a way
to help conserve the resource. In some waters,
such as certain small trout streams, the state
fishing regulations actually require anglers to
catfish A term for any of
the many species of catfish, including black,
blue, flathead, channel and yellow species.
Fishing for catfish can be called catfishing and
a person who fishes for catfish is a catfisherman
(both one word).
channel The bed of a stream
or river. This can also refer to a submerged
stream or river channel in a reservoir.
chugger Topwater plug with
a dished-out, concave or cupped head designed to
make a splash when pulled sharply. The act of
systematically working the lure across the
surface is called chugging.
chum To throw chum
(typically cut up pieces of bait fish or other
bait) overboard to attract fish. A chum line is
the trail of bait or scent in the water that
attracts game fish.
clarity Refers to the depth
you are able to see an object, such as your lure,
under the water.
clearwater Describes a lake
or stream with good visibility.
cold front A weather
condition accompanied by high, clear skies, and a
sudden drop in temperature.
coldwater fishery Refers to
waters typically in the higher elevations that
can be predominately trout fisheries.
cosmic clock The suns
seasonal effect on water and weather conditions
relating to barometric pressure, wind, and cloud
cove An indentation along a
shoreline. A very small indentation a few feet or
so across is often referred to as a pocket
cover Natural or manmade
objects on the bottom of lakes, rivers, or
impoundments, especially those that influence
fish behavior. Examples include stick-ups, tree
lines, stumps, rocks, logs, pilings, docks, and
cowbells A flashing,
multi-bladed lure that resembles a small school
of bait fish that is commonly used to troll for
crankbait Any of a wide
number of hard plastic or wooden lures that dive
when retrieved (cranked with a reel) through the
water. Crank or cranks are slang terms for these
creel limit The daily
number of fish an angler can keep in possession
as set by state regulations. Can vary from water
to water, so be sure to check the fishing
Crickhopper A brand of
plastic lure resembling a grasshopper commonly
used for trout and sometimes, for smallmouth
culling A method of
removing and releasing lighter-weight fish from a
livewell so the heaviest or tournament limit is
Curly Tail A trademark for
a brand of curved-tail soft-plastic lures.
curly-tailed grub A
curved-tail soft plastic bait often fitted on a
cutthroat trout or cutthroat
A species of salmonid characterized by a red or
orange slash under the throat.
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dabbing Working a lure up
and down in the same spot a dozen or more times
in a bush, or beside a tree or other structure.
damselfly A small member of
the dragonfly family.
dapping A method of
fly-fishing in which the fly is allowed to skip
or dance on the water while line and leader are
held above the water from a high rod.
Dardevle A trademark for a
brand of spoons typically used for trout and
northern pike fishing.
deadfall A tree that has
fallen into the water.
deer-hair bug A floating
fly-rodding lure made from hollow deer hair and
used principally for bass and panfish.
depthfinder, depth recorder, or depth
sounder A sonar device used to read
the bottom structure, determine depth, and in
some cases actually locate fish. Also called a
Devle Dog A trademark for a
brand of fishing lure.
desert sucker A native
Arizona fish typically found in rivers and
streams that can weigh over four pounds.
die-off Refers to having
many fish die at the same time, quite often
baitfish; also referred to as a fish kill.
dillys A type of small
earthworm popular for catching sunfish and trout.
dink A small bass, usually
under 6 to 8 inches long (also called a
dip bait A smelly
paste-type bait primarily used for catfish.
dip net A net with a handle
used to capture baitfish.
disgorger Device for
removing hooks deeply embedded in the throat of
dissolved oxygen The amount
of free (usable) oxygen in water. Usually
designated in parts per million.
dobsonfly A large aquatic
insect, the larva of which is the popular
doll Fly A trademark for a
brand of chenille-bodied, hackle-wrapped jig.
doodlesock or doodlesocking
A method of cane-pole or long-pole fishing in
which a lure or bait is repeatedly dipped and
dragged through likely fish structures. Used in
largemouth bass and crappie fishing. Very
effective when fish are holding tight to cover.
dorsal fin A median fin
located along the back of a fish. It is usually
supported by rays, which sometimes gives the fin
a fan- or sail-like appearance. There may be two
or more dorsal fins.
doughball A ball of bait
made from bread or specially prepared dough used
for bait-fishing. Commonly used for carp.
downlake, downriver, downshore, and
downstream, downcurrent All terms
referring to directions.
drag Device on fishing
reels that allows line to pay out under pressure,
even though the reel is engaged; set correctly,
it ensures against line breakage.
drawdown Lowering a lake
level for a specific purpose.
Techniques used to fish by drifting with the
current, sometimes in a drift boat.
drop-off A sudden increase
in depth, often created by washes, small creek
channels, canyons, pinnacles, and other submerged
drop shot A tackle rigging
technique employing a hook tied to the line from
four-inches to four-feet above the sinker. The
hook is attached using a Palomar knot and the
weight is attached to the tag line from the knot.
The hook is set at a 90-degree angle to the line,
typically with the hook point pointing upward
toward the pole. Typical drop shot baits are
small, usually 4-inches or less.
dry fly A fly which floats
on the surface of the water by means of hackle
(feather) fibers. An angler employing this
technique is said to be dry-fly fishing.
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earthworm A common term for
any of the many different fishing worms,
including night crawlers (two words), garden
worms, leaf worms, dillys, and red wigglers.
edge The borders created by
a change in the structure or vegetation in a
lake. Examples are edges of tree lines, weed
lines, and the edges of a drop-off.
egg sinker An egg-shaped
fishing weight with a hole through the center for
the line to pass through.
electro-shocking A term used to
describe using electrical current to temporarily
stun fish, typically during fish surveys.
eutrophic Highly fertile
waters characterized by warm, nutrient-rich
eyelets The eyelets are the
line guides or rings on a fishing rod through
which line is passed.
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Fly-casting line in the air (not touching the
water) to increase length of line and perfect
accuracy to the target.
fan cast Making a series of
casts only a few degrees apart to cover a half
circle (more or less). Often used to locate
actively feeding fish.
feeding times Certain times
of day when fish are most active. These are often
associated with the position of the sun and moon
and are referred to as solunar tables.
filamentous algae Type of
algae characterized by long chains of attached
cells that give it a stringy feel and appearance.
fillet A method of using a
sharp knife to separate the meaty portion of the
fish from the bones and skeleton and/or skin for
finesse fishing An angling
technique characterized by the use of light
tackle line, rods, reels and artificial baits.
It is often productive in clear, fairly
uncluttered water, like many of our western
fingerling A young fish
about a finger long, usually 2 inches or so in
fisherman One who engages
in fishing for sport or occupation, or for food.
fishery A term used for a
lake, river or stream where people can catch
fish, or even a particular kind of fish, such as
a bass or trout fishery.
fishhook A barbed or
barbless hook used for catching fish. For fish
hook sizes, always use numerals: No. 2, No. 4
flat In fishing, a shallow
section of water where game fish feed or spawn.
flipping A method of
fishing by which the lure is swung, not cast, to
the target or structure, often with as little
disturbance of the water as possible. This
technique is often used for placing baits
strategically in thick cover, such as bushes,
trees and stick-ups.
flipping stick Heavy action
fishing rod (usually a baitcasting rod and reel),
7 to 8 feet long, designed for bass fishing using
the flipping and or pitching techniques.
Florida rig Very similar to
the Texas rig, the only difference is the weight
is secured by screwing it into the bait.
float tube A special
fishing tube in which an inner tube is covered by
a casing fitted with a seat to allow an angler to
floating or float fishing
To traverse a river, stream or lake by some type
of watercraft while fishing, most commonly in a
tube, raft, canoe, or kayak.
flutterbait Any type of
bait that is cast and then allowed to flutter
down, resembles a dying bait fish. Typically used
in bass fishing.
fly, flies A natural insect
used by fish as food or an imitation of a natural
insect used by fly-anglers.
fly-casting, fly-cast A
method for a fly-fishermen to cast flies to fish
or to spots likely to hold fish.
fly line, fly-line (adj.) A
line specifically designed to be used with
fly-fishing tackle and a fly rod, the act of
which would be termed fly-rodding.
foul-hook To hook a fish
other than in the mouth where it should take a
bait or lure.
forage Small baitfish,
crayfish and other creatures that bass or other
predator fish eat. Term may also be used in the
sense of bass actively looking for food
free spool, or free-spool (v.)
A reel that allows line to feed freely
to the fish or current, or the method of feeding
line without drag or resistance to fish or
freshwater A term referring
to bodies of water that do not have salt.
front Weather system that
causes changes in temperature, cloud cover,
precipitation, wind and barometric pressure.
fry Immature fish from the
time they hatch to the time they become
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Gamakatsu A brand name of
game fish or game-fish (adj.)
Species of fish caught for sport that
fights hard when hooked. In Arizona, includes
trout of all species, bass of all
species, catfish of all species, sunfish of all
species, northern pike, walleye and yellow perch.
Legal game fish are defined in statute. There are
more fish sought for sport than are listed as
gear Any tools used to
catch fish, such as rod and reel, hook and line,
nets, traps, spears and baits.
Gila trout One of Arizonas
two native trout species. Gila trout had been
extirpated (eliminated) from Arizona, but were
reintroduced in the mid 1990s. They are listed as
federally endangered under the Endangered Species
gill Respiratory organ of
many aquatic animals, such as fish.
gill opening an opening
behind the head that connects the gill chamber to
gill net, gill-net (v.) A
commercial (not sport-fishing) net used to
harvest fish. So named because of the mesh sizes
designed to catch the intended species by the
gill. Commonly used by biologists when conducting
Gizit A brand name of tube
bait (the original).
grayline The grayline on a
fish finder lets you distinguish between strong
and weak echoes. For instance, a soft, muddy or
weedy bottom returns a weaker symbol, which is
shown with a narrow or no gray line. A hard
bottom returns a strong signal, which causes a
wide and dark grayline.
grayling A northern species
of freshwater game fish; a member of the trout
family. In Arizona, typically found at Lee Valley
Lake in the White Mountains.
grub A short, plastic type
of worm, usually rigged with a weighed jig hook.
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habitat The natural
environment where people, animals and plants
live. In an aquatic environment, it includes the
water, topography, structure and cover present in
handline A fishing line
used without a rod or reel; a line held in the
hard bottom Usually a type
of bottom that you would not sink far, if at all,
were you to walk on it and can consist of clay,
gravel, rock or sand.
hawg A slang term
describing a large lunker-size or heavyweight
bass weighing 4 pounds or more.
hellgramite -- The larvae of
holding area Structure that
habitually attracts and holds bass.
holding station Place on a
lake where inactive fish spend most of their
honey hole A slang term
describing a specific hole, spot, or area
containing big fish or lots of catchable fish.
Hopkins spoons A brand name
of spoon with a hammered appearance.
hump An underwater island
that generally rises gradually. Humps can often
hydrology The science
dealing with the distribution, properties and
circulation of water on land, in the soil, and in
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ichthyology The science or
study of fish.
IGFA The International Game
inactive fish Fish that are
not in a feeding mood, sometimes referred to as
having lockjaw. Examples of inactive times can
be following a cold front, during a major weather
change that causes a sudden rise or fall in the
in-line spinner A spinner
where the hook is on the same shaft, or line, as
the spinner, such as a Mepps, Rooster Tail,
Panther Martin or Vibrex spinner.
inside bend The inside line
of a grass bed or a creek channel.
isolated structure A
possible holding spot for fish, especially bass.
Examples include a single submerged bush or rock
pile on a point, a mid-lake hump, or a large tree
that has fallen into the water.
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jerkbait A type of
soft-plastic or hard-plastic bait resembling a
bait fish that is typically fished in a series of
quick jerks or is ripped to resemble a darting
jig A hook with a leadhead
that is usually dressed with hair, silicone,
plastic or bait.
jigging spoon Refers to a
spoon that is typically jigged or bounced off
the bottom with a slight up-and-down motion of
the rod or rod tip so the spoon resembles a dying
shad or other baitfish.
jig-and-pig or jig-n-pig
Combination of a leadhead jig fitted with a pork
trailer. Popular for flippin and pitchin
fish-holding structure, such as submerged bushes
jig-fishing, jig-fish (v.)
The practice of using a jig to catch fish.
johnboat A small
flat-bottomed, square-fronted, shallow-draft boat
that is popular with duck hunters and many
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KastMaster A brand name of
keeper For anglers, it is
typically any fish that is worth taking home to
eat. For lakes with special regulations, it can
be fish of specified lengths that are legal to
harvest, such as fisheries where there are slot
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largemouth bass A member of
the black bass family that has a green-shaded
body with a continuous dark stripe along each
side, belly white to yellowish and a dorsal fin
almost completely separated between spiny and
soft portion, plus a lower jaw that extends past
the gold-colored eye. Also called a bucket mouth
or bigmouth bass.
Lees Ferry The popular
16-mile stretch of tail-water fishery along the
Colorado River tucked between the Glen Canyon Dam
and the Grand Canyon in northern Arizona. It is
renowned for its large, wild trout.
larva Refers to the
subsurface stage of development of an aquatic
lake bed, lake-bed (adj.)
The bottom of a lake.
lake zones Designation that
includes four categories: shallow water, open
water, deep water and basin.
ledge A severe drop-off.
Commonly found in deep canyon lakes and rivers.
leadhead, lead-head (adj.)
A term for a jig where lead is molder to the hook
light intensity The amount
of light that can be measured at certain depths
of water; the great the intensity, the farther
down the light will project. In waters where
light intensity is low, brightly colored lures
can be good choices.
Light Cahill A dry fly
line guides The eyelets or
rings on a rod through which fishing line is
limit-out To catch the
daily limit legally allowed for a species of
Artificial baits designed to resemble a swimming
baitfish. Such baits typically vibrate or wobble
during the retrieve; some have built-in rattles.
Also called swimming baits. Lipless crankbaits
typically sink when they are not being retrieved,
which can allow anglers to fish them deeper than
lipping A method of landing
fish, especially bass, by placing a thumb into
its mouth to bend the lip down slightly,
temporarily paralyzing the fish to get it into
the boat or unhook and release it.
livebox A box or container
to designed to keep bait or caught fish alive.
live baitfish Means any
species of live fish designated by Arizona Game
and Fish Commission order as lawful for use in
taking aquatic organisms. The act of using live
bait is called live-bait fishing.
livewell Compartment in a
boat designed to hold water and keep fish alive.
Typically have some device for re-circulating
long-lining Another term
for trolling a bait or lure a long distance
behind a boat.
loose-action plug A lure
with wide, slow movements from side to side. Can
be the lure of choice when fish are sluggish in
colder water, such as during winter or early
lunker A slang term for a
very large fish: can also be called a hawg.
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marabou jig A weighted jig
with light, fluffy feathers attached to the body.
mayfly A small aquatic fly
that is an important food for trout, which means
it is also important for fly-anglers.
marker buoy A small plastic
buoy, often fluorescent color that is tossed into
the water to mark a fish holding area or a school
of fish. Such buoys are popular for those fishing
schooling sport-fish, such as crappie, white
bass, or striped bass, in open water.
Mealworms Small beetle
larvae often used for catching crappies or
Mepps spinners A brand name
mesotrophic -- A lake
classification describing middle-aged bodies of
water between oligotrophic (young) and eutrophic
(old) classifications. It is a body of water with
a moderate amount of dissolved nutrients.
migration route The path
followed by bass or other fish when moving from
one area to another.
mini-jig A small leadhead
jig, usually 1/16- or 1/32-ounce, often used for
catching crappie or sunfish.
mono Short for monofilament
monofilament A single,
untwisted, synthetic filament.
moon times The four phases
or quarters of the moon are usually what the
fisherman is concerned with. Generally, the bad
times in a month occur three days prior and three
days after the full moon or new moon. The
first-quarter and second-quarter periods are
considered as the good moon times.
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nares The nostrils of fish.
nest The spot in where are
fish, such as a largemouth bass or bluegill,
deposits its eggs. Some nests, such as those for
largemouth bass, can be well defined. For
largemouth bass, the female lays the eggs and the
male guards the eggs. See the listing for redd.
night crawler A common type
of worm used in fishing.
night-fisherman An angler
who fishes at night.
nongame fish Include all
the species of fish except the game fish (see
game fish entry).
nonnative fish A fish that
is not native to a state.
nymph The nymphal sate of
an aquatic insect, or an imitation of same for
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off-color Refers to the
color and or clarity of the water. The normal
off-color conditions include brown or mud-stained
such as from runoff, green from algae or algae
blooms and brown from tannic acid.
open-faced reel A typical
or standard spinning reel in which the line comes
off the fixed spool in loops and there is no nose
otolith The ear bone of a
fish. The age of a fish can be determined by
counting the layers in the otolith, much like the
rings of a tree.
outside bend The outside
line of a creek channel or grass bed. For
underwater structure, it can also refer to the
outside line of a submerged wash or arroyo.
classification used to describe young bodies of
water characterized by deep, clear, cold,
weedless water that can support fish, such as
organic baits Minnows,
insects, worms, fish eggs, cut bait, cheese or
overcast To cast a lure,
fly or bait beyond the aimed-for target.
pressure beyond which a sustainable population of
fish or stocking effort can be maintained.
oxbow A U-shaped bend in a
river or stream. If isolated, they can be
referred to as an oxbow lake.
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pan fish Any of a variety
of species of fish that resemble the shape of a
frying pan, thus the name. Often applies to
sunfish, crappie, perch, other small fish or
small sizes of other species.
Panther Martins A brand
name of in-line spinner.
Parr, parr marks Small
juvenile of the trout or salmon family.
Characterized by parr marks, which are
pronounced, wide, vertical bars on the sides of
these fish until they mature.
pattern Can describe where
active fish are holding, or what techniques are
working to catch fish, especially larger fish.
For instance, pattern fishing could involve using
shallow-running crankbaits on all the major
points of a lake or Carolina-rigged worms on all
main lake humps.
peacock ladies -- A type of
fly used by fly-anglers.
pectoral fin The fin
usually found on each side of the body behind the
pegging Putting a toothpick
in the hole of a bullet or egg sinker to prevent
the sinker from sliding along the line. Typically
done with a Texas-rigged bait. Other items such
as rubber bands slipped through the sinker have
also become popular.
Pencil Poppers A brand name
topwater lure that is long and thin. Often used
for catching striped bass.
pelvic fins Pair of
juxtaposed fins ventrally on the body in front of
PFD A personal flotation
device or life jacket.
pH A measurement for
liquids to determine acidity or alkalinity. On a
scale of one to 14, seven is considered neutral.
Below sever is acidic and above seven is
alkaline. This is a factor in the health or
activity levels of fish.
pike A common reference to
northern pike, a member of the pike family.
Pop-R A brand of popper
pick-up The act of a bass
or other fish taking a slowly-fished lure, such
as a plastic worm, crayfish or lizard. It can
also be referred to as a pressure bite.
pitching Fishing technique
in which worms or jigs are dropped into cover at
close range with an underhand pendulum motion
using a long bait-casting rod, and differs from
flipping in that with pitching, line is allowed
to come out of the reel during the cast.
pocket A small indentation
in the shoreline, sometimes referred to as a
point A finger of land
jutting into the water, which if pronounced, can
form a peninsula. Some points are submerged and
not visible at the surface but can often be
detected in depth finders. Points often hold
fish; they can become good ambush spots for
popper Top-water plug with
a dished-out head designed to make a splash when
pulled sharply to imitate a wounded baitfish
struggling on the surface.
possession limit The
maximum limit or amount of a fish species set by
regulation that may be possessed at one time by
any one person.
post front The period
following a cold front; atmosphere clears and
becomes bright. Usually characterized by strong
winds and a significant drop in temperature.
Fishing can often be slow during such conditions,
especially for bass.
post-spawn The period
immediately following a spawn. Post-spawn fish
recovering from the spawn can often be lethargic.
Post-spawn fish that have recovered from the
spawn are typically hungry and aggressive.
Power Bait, Power Worms, Power Craw,
Power Eggs, Power Grubs, Power Worms
Brand names of commercially prepared scented
presentation A collective
term referring to a combination of choices a
fisherman makes, such as the choice of lure,
color, and size, the type of pole and/or tackle
used, the structure targeted, the casting
technique, the retrieval technique (slow, medium,
fast, stop-and-go) and even where the bait is
worked in the water column (deep, shallow,
prespawn The period of time
immediately before the spawn when fish are often
feeding more aggressively.
professional overrun A more
polite term for backlash. Also called spaghetti.
Pro Professional anglers:
those elite fishermen who make a living at
fishing, typically by fishing tournaments.
put-in Denotes a boat
launching area for the start of a float trip.
put-and-take Refers to a
fishery where catchable-sized fish are stocked
(typically trout but not exclusively) and caught
by anglers in a relatively short period of time.
For instance, the states urban program lakes are
prime examples of popular put-and-take fisheries.
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ramp Also referred to as a
boat ramp or launch ramp. It is the
launch-retrieve area for a boat.
rainbow trout, rainbows A
member of the salmon/trout family. Rainbows are
not native to Arizona.
Rapala A brand or lures.
Rat-L-Trap A brand of
redd An individual nest or
depression in the gravel excavated by trout other
members of the trout and salmon family for
depositing eggs. Multiple redds make up a bed.
created lake where water is collected and stored;
also called an impoundment.
re-stocking The practice of
releasing hatchery-reared fish from the
hatcheries into ponds, streams, rivers, or lakes.
riprap A man-made stretch
of rocks or material of a hard composition that
usually extends above and below the shoreline,
often found near dams of big impoundments.
riverbank The bank or banks
of a river.
riverbed There area or
channel between the banks through which a river
flows. In Arizona, there are also dry river beds.
rollcast (n., v., adj.) A
type of fly-casting technique in which the line
is not cast above the water, but instead rolled
over with the line lying on the water.
Rooster Tails A brand of
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saddle A thin piece of land
that extends out (sometimes an extended point)
from the shoreline and connects to an island
(sometimes underwater), reef or a hump. Submerged
saddles can hold lots of fish.
salmon eggs A type of egg
bait typically used for trout fishing.
San Juan worms A type of
wet fly designed to look like a small aquatic
worm that was popularized on the San Juan River
in New Mexico, but is also used at other
riverine trout fisheries.
Sassy Shad A brand of
soft-plastic lure that resembles a shad.
seine net A rectangular
fishing net designed to hang vertically in the
water, the ends being drawn together to encircle
selective harvest Deciding
to release or keep fish based on species, size,
relative abundance, or culinary plans.
shad Any of several species
of forage fish that have a rather deep body. In
Arizona, the most common is the threadfin shad.
Shad Rap A brand name
shiner A member of the
shiner family often used for bait. The most
common in Arizona is the gold shiner.
shoal A submerged ridge,
bank, or bar.
Fishing from the shore, as opposed to fishing
from a boat or wading.
short strike When a fish
hits at a lure and misses it.
slack line The loose line
from the tip of the rod to the lure. This can be
a slight bow in the line to an excess of line
lying on the water. The opposite is fishing with
a tight line, such as when using a drop shot
Slug-Go A brand of
Sight-cast, sight-casting, sight-fish,
sight-fishing The technique of casting
and fishing when the fish are spotted first.
size limit The legal length
a fish must be is it is in possession (kept).
Some fisheries have slot limits, where fish in
the specified slot size range cannot be
skipping A method of suing
small lures and casting them hard and at a low
angle to the water to make them skip, like a flat
slip-float A float rigged
with a tin stop or bead on the line to make it
stop at a pre-determined depth.
slip-sinker A lead, zinc or
steel weight with a hole through the center that
allows it to slide freely up and down the fishing
line. A slip sinker provides the weight for
casting, yet allows the bait to move freely.
slot A fishing size limit
where the angler may keep fish shorter than a
minimum length but longer than an upper length
limit. For instance, a slot limit of 13 to 16
inches means you must, by regulation practice
catch-and-release on the fish in the slot. Slot
limits are special regulations used on specific
bodies of water.
slough A long, narrow
stretch of water such as a small stream or feeder
tributary off a lake or river.
slow roll (or slow rolling)
A spinnerbait presentation in which the lure is
retrieved slowly through and over cover and
objects. A trailer bait is often on the hook.
slush bait A top-water plug
with flat or pointed head.
smallmouth bass A black
bass, primarily bronze in color, whose jaw does
not extend beyond the eye and is found in clear
rivers and lakes. They are also called
bronzebacks, brown bass, river bass, or smallies.
snagging A method of
catching fish by jerking an unbaited hook through
the water. In Arizona, snagging is not legal
except for carp.
soft bottom River or lake
bottoms which are comprised of soft material,
such as silt, mud, or muck.
sonar An acronym derived
from the expression sound navigation and
ranging. Refers to the method or equipment for
determining by underwater sound techniques the
presence, location or nature of objects in the
water. Fish finders use sonar.
spider jig A type of
leadhead jig with a skirt, much like the one on a
spider trolling Trolling
with several rods at once.
spincaster A manner of
fishing employing a push-button, closed-faced
spinning reel or baitcasting rod; the reel is
mounted topside on the rod.
Sometimes called American spinning, or closed
face spinning. Uses a fixes spool enclosed in a
nose cone so the line leaving the reels nose
cone comes out straight.
spinnerbait An artificial
bait consisting of a leadhead and one or two
rotating blades and either a straight or a
safety-pin style shaft dressed with material
(often called a skirt).
spinning A manner of
fishing employing an open-face or closed-face
spinning reel and spinning rod; reel is mounted
on the underside of the rod and the rod guides
are also on the underside of the rod.
Spinning reel A fixed spool
reel, generally referring to open-faces spinning.
Split shot, split-shotting
A style of finesse fishing employing a split shot
weight up the line typically 6 to 18 inches above
a small artificial worm, lizard, crawfish or
grub, usually rigged Texas-style (hook concealed
in the bait).
spook Alarming a fish, such
as making too much noise, movement or casting a
shadow so fish become spooked.
stained A discoloration of
the water usually occurring after a heavy rain or
significant runoff. Some shorelines can have
stained water from wind and rain action causing
shoreline erosion. Bass especially can often hide
and feed in those bands of discoloration.
starboard the right side of
a boat or ship.
stick bait A slender plug
or topwater lure that is given action by the
angler manipulating the rod and reel, sometimes
making the bait go back-and-forth to resemble a
wounded shad, which is called walking the dog.
stickups Tips of trees and
brush that stick up from the water and provide
structure, primarily for bass fishing.
Fishing from one spot; primarily
refers to shore-fishing from a single location.
stink bait Bait, such as
chicken liver, that puts odor into the water,
typically for catfishing.
stinger-hook An additional
hook placed on a lure, spinnerbait or bait rig;
also called a trailer hook.
stocking The practice of
releasing hatchery raised fish into ponds,
reservoirs, streams or rivers. Stocking is often
necessary in waters where the fishing pressure
exceeds the natural fish reproduction
stragglers Bass that remain
behind following a general migration.
strain A group of related
individuals created through selective breeding
and that is genetically different from other
strains of the same species.
stream A body of running
streambed The channel being
occupied or formerly occupied by a stream.
striped bass A member of
the true bass family along with white bass and
yellow bass. In Arizona, they are found in the
Colorado River chain of lakes such as Powell,
Mead, Mohave and Havasu, but are also found in
structure Changes in the
shape of the bottom of lakes, rivers, or
impoundments, especially those that influence
fish behavior. Examples include flooded roadbeds,
washes, arroyos, humps, ledges and drop-offs.
Sunfish Any of a dozens of
members of the sunfish family, including
largemouth bass, bluegill, redear and crappie.
Super Duper A brand of lure
typically used for trout fishing. It can be cast
but is often trolled.
suspended fish Fish at
mid-level depths, neither on the surface nor on
swim bladder A gas-filled
sac found in the upper part of the body cavity of
many bony fishes.
swimming lures Sinking-type
artificial baits designed to resemble a swimming
baitfish. Such plus vibrate or wobble during
retrieve and some have built-in rattles. Also
called lipless crankbaits.
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lead-bodied lures with one or two spinner blades
attached to the tail and a treble hook suspended
from the body.
tagging Marking or attached
a tag to an individual or group of individual
fish so that it can be identified on recapture.
Tagging is used by a biologist to study the
movement, migration, population size or activity
patterns of fish.
take-out A term describing
the point where boats are taken out of the water
at the end of a float trip.
terminal tackle Angling
equipment, excluding artificial baits, attached
to the end of a fishing line; examples include
hooks, snaps, swivels, snap-swivels, sinkers,
floats, and plastic beads.
Texas rig (Texas-rigged)
The method of securing a hook to a soft-plastic
bait, such as a worm, lizard or crawfish, so that
the hook is weedless (doesnt protrude).
Typically, a slip sinker (often a bullet sinker)
is threaded onto the line and then a hook is tied
to the end of the fish line. The hook (often an
offset hook) is inserted into the head of the
soft-plastic bait for about one-quarter of an
inch and brought through until only the eye is
still embedded in the soft-plastic bait. The hook
is then rotated and the point is embedded
slightly into the body of the soft-plastic worm
without coming out the opposite side. Many
anglers try to ensure the bait stays straight
once it is Texas-rigged.
thermocline A distinct
layer of water where rising warm and sinking cold
water meet but do not mix. It is a layer of water
where the temperature changes at least one-half a
degree per foot of depth. In many of our desert
bass lakes, a thermocline often develops during
the spring and breaks down in the fall. The
colder layer of water is often lacking in oxygen,
forcing most baitfish and sport-fish to the upper
layer of water. Thermoclines can be so dense that
they actually show up on sonar (fish finders and
depth finders) as a thick, impenetrable line.
threadfin shad The most
common baitfish in Arizonas warmwater lakes.
tight-action plug A lure
with short, rapid side-to-side movement.
Typically used when fish are more active in
spring, summer and fall.
tiptop Line guide at the
tip end of a fishing rod.
topwater The technique of
using topwater lures for catching fish,
especially bass at the waters surface. Topwater
lures are floating hard baits or plugs that
create some degree of surface disturbance during
the retrieve, typically mimicking struggling or
wounded baitfish on the surface.
trailer hook The extra hook
or cheater hook added to a single-hook lure, such
as a spinnerbait or weedless spoon. Also called a
transducer -- A device that
converts electrical energy to sound energy, or
the reverse. Typically associated with depth
finders or fish finders.
transition These are where
one type of bottom material or structure changes
to another, for instance, a rock pile to solid
rock, or sand to gravel. There can also be
transition zones, such as mud lines where a river
enters a lake. Fish can often be found in
treble hook A hook with a
single or bundled shaft and three points.
tributary A creek, stream,
or river that feeds a larger stream or river, or
triggering Using a
lure-retrieval technique that causes a sport-fish
to react and strike. For instance, quickly
speeding up a retrieve and then stopping. Can
also referred to as causing a reaction bite.
trolling Towing a lure or
several lures behind a boat. When a fish is
caught on the trolled lure, the boat is typically
stopped and the fish is reeled in.
trolling motor A small
electric fishing motor, typically mounted on the
bow, which is used as secondary means of
propulsion for positioning or maneuvering a boat
quietly in fishing areas.
tubing A float fishing term
that means to float down a river, stream or using
a float tube in a lake while fishing.
turnover In Arizonas
warmwater lakes, a turnover is typically
experienced in the fall and is a phenomenon
associated with thermoclines. In this case, the
warmer layer of water at the surface cools down,
and becomes colder than or as cold as the
distinct layer of coldwater below. The result is
that the two layers of water mix, eliminating the
thermocline and creating a fairly uniform water
temperature and perhaps introducing oxygen to the
lower levels of the lake. This fall turnover
action can result in bottom sediments nutrients
being stirred up by the water movement, sometimes
stimulating algal growth. The fall turnover
typically signals the transition to winter
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ultralight Lighter than
standard fishing rod and/or tackle.
ventral fin The paired fin
located on the front of a fishs abdomen.
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warmwater Refers to fish
habitat or fish that are warmwater species, such
as largemouth bass, sunfish, and catfish, as
opposed to coldwater species such as trout,
grayling and salmon or cool-water species such as
northern pike and walleye.
water column Vertical
section of the lake.
water dog Any of several
large salamanders (the larval or aquatic stage).
They are popular as live bait.
weedguard A protective
device on fishing hooks to prevent picking up
weedless A description of a
lure designed to be fished in heavy cover with a
minimum amount of snagging. Various strategies
are often employed to make a lure weedless.
weed line Abrupt edge of an
aquatic weed-bed caused by a change in depth,
bottom type, or other factor.
weigh-in Term typically
applied to the weighing in of fish at a
wet fly A fly fished
Westy Worm A brand name of
plastic worm with a leadhead that has two exposed
hooks already rigged.
white bass A type of true
bass that is only found at Lake Pleasant in
Arizona. White bass are related to striped bass
and yellow bass. None of these bass are native
The act of using worms, either natural or
man-made, to catch fish, although the term
worming typically refers to the act of using
artificial worms to catch fish.
wooly worm, or wooly bugger
A popular type of wet fly often used by fly
anglers fishing lakes.
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year class Fish of a given
species that were all spawned in the same year or
at the same time.
yellow bass A specific
species in the true bass family. In Arizona,
yellow bass are found in Apache, Canyon and
Saguaro lakes along the Salt River.
yellow cat a flathead
young-of-the-year refers to
fish in their first year of life, often referring
to immature fish.
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Zara Puppy, Zara Spook, Zara Pooch
Brand names of
zooplankton Animals (mostly
microscopic) that drift freely in the water
Z-ray A brand name of heavy
spoon typically used in trout fishing.
zug bug A type of wet fly
or fly pattern commonly used by fly fishers in
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