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A to Z Fishing Terminology.
Lingo of the Salt Water Fisherman.

By studying this fishing terminology or glossary you'll will increase your understanding of the art of the salt water angler in any part of the world. When you are a beginner angler is normal to confuse one thing for another or just to be confused by the terminology and the usage of the now unfamiliar language of the fishermen.



The A to Z Angler's Fishing Terminology.


*Active fish.-It's the fish that are feeding heavily at a certain time or area and are striking bait with more frequency.

*Angler-Person whose occupation or recreation is to catch fish, angler is that one who catches fish with a hook.

*Angling.-Angling is the art or science of catching fish with hook, bait, line and fishing rod or pole.

*Angling permit-fishing permit-fishing license.-Permit that you need to buy for certain fishing categories for sport, recreational or commercial fishing. *Refer to the Florida Fish and wild life Conservation Commission. www.myfwc.com/saltwater/recreational/

*Attractant.-It's a substance anything else used to attract the fish.

*Bait-Anything attached to the fishing hook used to attract and catch the fish. Some prefer to use artificial, plastic bait or electronic lures, but the traditional natural baits like shrimp or smaller bait fish, are more attractive to the fish.

*Backlash or bird nest-A loop, tangle or snarl formed in the fishing line trapped under coils on the spool of a reel cause by overrunning the spool.

*Bag limit.-Limited amount of fish allowance that the angler may keep, catch or retain per day, size, amount or weight.

*Bait-Live bait or artificial bait.-food placed on the hook to attract the fish. Differed types of baits are use depending on the species of fish, size etc.

*Baitcasting-Casting a lure with a multiplying or bait casting reel. Fishing with a revolving spool and bait casting rod.

*Bait clip- A clip used to secure a baited hook close to the weight, this way preventing that the bait from swaying around and preventing the bait from flying off during the casting.

*Baitfish-Smaller fish that is used as bait for large size fish. Some popular baitfish are pinfish, Spanish sardines, striped mullet, strip mojarra, silver jenny, the Atlantic croacker, yellow mackerel, blue runner, ballyhoo or balao, pigfish, sand perch, sardines, and shrimp.

*Beachcasting or surfcasting-Casting a lure or a baited hook from the beach or a rocky shore.

*Bite.-When the angler feels that the fish bites or touches the bait.

*Bobber- Other name given to a fishing float in the U.S.

*Bottom fish-bottom feeder.-a fish that normally feed at the bottom.

*Bottom fishing-Placing a baited hook in the sea bottom held in place by a weight.

*Brackish-brackish water-briny water.-Water mix of salt water with fresh water. This water is normally near estuaries, river or streams running into sea water at some shores.

*Break off.-Term applied when the fishing line breaks and fish escapes.

*Bridge fishing.-Fishing from the bridges. *Common practice in the Florida Keys bridges along the sections of highway US 1.

*Bullet sinker.-A weight made of lead or steel and shaped like a cone that slides up and down the fishing line.

*Butt pad-A cup attached to a waist belt warn around the front and used to take the load of the rod butt when catching larger fish.

*Buzzbait-Buzzing.-It's an artificial type of bait with propeller blades that creates a splashing effect when retrieved from the water to resemble a bait fish or wounded fish.

*Casting-throwing a fishing line into the water using a rod and reel.

*Charter boat-boat used for hire and usually piloted by an experienced boat captain.

*Chaser-Is a lure with a hook at the end of a chain used when trolling.

*Catch and release.-Catching the fish and immediately release it. State regulations required that some fish should be release immediately after caught.

*Channel.-It refers to a submerged water stream, a river channel or a waterway that connect two bodies of water and that is usually safe for navigation.

*Chum.-Typically cut up pieces of fish thrown into the water to attract other fish.

*Clarity.-Deep or distance that we are able to see an object in the water.

*Cove.-A small sheltered bay or inlet at a shore line.

*Cocktail.-Combining two or more baits on the hook.

*Crankbait-cranks-crank.-A wooden or plastic lure that dives when cranked through the water.

*Creel limit.-As set by the state regulations is the number of fish that angles can keep or carry. Check regulations. www.myfwc.com/saltwater/regulations/

*Dabbing.-Working a lure up and down in the same spot.

*Dip net.-A net with a handle used to catch baitfish.

*Disgorger.-A device used to remove the hook from a fish throat where is not possible to use the fingers.

*Dolphin, dolphinfish or Mahi-Mahi.-The Dolphins as we know is that highly intelligent and friendly marine mammal related to whales. But in the Florida Keys is common to name another marine species Dolphin, this other species of fish is the Mahi-Mahi also called Dorado in some latitudes. Many get confused by the usage of the word Dolphin to name the Mahi Mahi.

*Downstream-downcurrent-downshore.-Referring to the direction taken by an object or a particular location in the water

*Drift fishing.-Fishing while drifting with the current.

*Drop off. - A sudden increase in the depth of the sea bottom, pinnacles, canyons or channels.

*Egg sinker.-An egg shaped fishing weight with a hole through the center for the line.

*Eyelets.-The line guides on the fishing rod.

*Feeding times.-The times of the day when fish feeds and is more active. Experienced angles associate the position of the sun and the moon with the fish behavior and the feeding times.

*Fillet.-Method used to separate the portions of flesh from the bony skeleton of the fish for human consumption.

*Fishing gear.-Is the fishing equipment used by anglers and commonly known as tackle.

*Fishing techniques.-These are the methods used by the anglers for catching fish, some fishing techniques are angling, spear fishing, trapping, hand gathering, netting, commercial fishing, recreational fishing. Fishing techniques and varied depend on many factors, targeting species behavior, locations, and the anglers knowledge.

*Fishing lures-a lure it's a decoy, bait designed to look like fishing bait that moves and vibrates to attract the fish and is placed at the end of the fishing line and attached to the hooks. Different types of popular lures are the spinner or spinning lures, the jig is a lure with hooks that jerk up and down in the water, and the fly lure looks like an insect “a fly"

*Fishing reels-The fishing reel is a cylindrical gadget or device attached to the fishing rod and is use for winding and gathering up the fishing line. There are different types of fishing reels, but the spinning (fix spool) reel is the most practical and used. Most reels come with the anti-reverse system to prevent reel from spinning in reverse.

*Fishing rod or fishing pole.-Fishing rods are normally made of fiber glass, graphite, carbon fiber, bamboo and stainless steel. Fishing rods are identified by their weight and length. The rob should have a gradual taper from the butt to the tip and be designed to fight different size and variety of fish.

*Fishing line.-Fishing line is a cord used for angling and made of different materials, weights and lengths, nylon the monofilament fishing lines are the most commonly used. Monofilament these lines have the qualities of being able to stretch more and last longer than other types of lines.

*Flat or Backcountry Fishing.-Flats or backcountry fishing, or fishing the back country flats is a terminology used throughout South Florida and the Keys to mention the art of fishing in the shallow and not to deep waters of areas near the shore line’s where abundant species of fish (coastal fish) lives and reproduce at all times. Flat fishing is not a complicated and easy to learn. Also inshore fishing.'

*Fly fishing.-Fishing or angling with and artificial fly for bait as a lure.

*Florida rigging-Florida Rig.-In Florida rigging the hook is secured to small plastic worm or bait so that the hook doesn't protrude. How to accomplish this? A weight sinker is threaded into the line and the fish hook tide to the end of the line. The hook is inserted into the soft plastic bait and brought through until only the eye remains embedded into the bait, then rotating the hook so it becomes embedded into the body of the bait.

*Free spool.-The reel that allows the line to be feed without drag or any resistance.

*Game fist.-Marine fish pursued by anglers for recreational or sport fishing.

*Gear-fishing gear.-Any of the tools and equipment used for fishing.

*Honey hole.-Term used to describing a particular spot or area where catchable is grouped and gathered.

*Inactive fish-inactive time-lockjaw fish.-Referring to fish that is not in the feeding frenzy or mood at an inactive time of the day. Weather changes and cold fronts are cause of inactive times and changes on fish behavior.

*Jerkbait.-A plastic bait that resembles a darting bait fish when jerked during fishing.

*Jig fishing-jigging-fishing with a jig.-Fishing using a type of fishing lure named a jig. A typical jig consists of a sinker with a hook used to attract fish.

*Keeper.-It's typically any fish that is worth taking home.

*Line guides.-The rings through which the fishing line passes on the fishing rod.

*Livebox.-A box where live baitfish or caught fish is kept.

*Livewell.-The compartment on some boats where designed to hold water to keep the fish alive and fresh.

*Long-lining.-Trolling a bait a long distance behind the boat.

*Lure or fishing lures.-A fishing lure looks like, resembles or is similar to bait fish, it's attached to the end of the fishing line and when is in the water moves or vibrates, the lure has hooks attached to its ends and sides, so the fish will think that is a fish or food and bite.

*Lunker-Hawg.-A large gamefish.

*Marker buoy.-Used in fishing to mark the location of a large school of fish in open water.

*Migration route.-The pass fallowed by the fish when migrating from one location to another.

*Mono.-Monofilament fishing line.

*Moon times.-Experienced angles know and study the action of the moon over the marine species.

*Outrigger.-Is a pole or devise used to keep the fishing lines from tangling when using the method of fishing called trolling in which one or more fishing lines are thrown behind a moving boat.

*Overfishing.-Fishing without caring for the fish population.

*PFD.-Life jacket or flotation safety device.

*Possession limit.-The maximum limit or amount of fish that a person can possess at one time.  www.myfwc.com/saltwater/recreational/regulations

 *Pro.-Elite fishermen who make a living from fishing.

*Reef fish.-Fish that lives near or in the ecosystem of the coral reefs.

*Salt Water Regulations.-Salt water fishing is regulated to avoid over fishing and protect our ecosystem, get familiar with these regulations to ensure you a good fishing experience and no complications. Refer to www.myfwc.com/fishing/saltwater/recreational/ (fishing regulations section)

*Shoal.-A submerged bar, bank or ridge.

*Shore-fishing.-Fishing from the shore.

*Short strike.-Fish hits the lure but misses it.

*Size limit.-Legal size of the fish caught. Refer to. www.myfwc.com/saltwater/recreational/fish size.

*Sinker.-A weight used to sink the line.

*Sink and draw.-During lure fishing the rod is slowly raised during retrieval and thrown back, the lure appears to be a wounded fish using this method.

*Skiff-flatbed skiff. - These are smaller in size boat for one person or small crew with a flat bottom and normally used in shallow or not to deep coastal waters for back country or flats fishing.

*Skirted lure.-A lure use for trolling that resembles a squid.

*Slack line.-The loose section of line in between the tip of the rod and the lure.

*Sport fishing.-Sport fishing competitions take place in the Florida Keys very often but the term sport fishing does not only apply to competition, any form of angling for recreational proposes is considered by many as sport fishing.

*Tackle.-Is the equipment used for fishing, hook, lines, floats, reels, lures, baits, traps, spears, rods, gaffs are considered tackle. Terminal tackle is the gear attached to the end of the fishing line; tackle box is where the angler keeps the gear.

*Trolling. - When we trail a baited line to catch fish from behind a moving boat or vessel, or to be more precise, trolling is a popular method of fishing behind a moving boat with one or more fishing lines baited with fish bait of our choice. This method of fishing is more used to catch deep sea fish as sailfish, mackerel or king fish, and trawling is the method of fishing used when a net is drawn through the water instead of lines and is used in commercial fishing with the idea of catching large quantities of fish.

*Trolling backwards-Back-trolling. - Making the boat move backwards, a boat controlling method used to make certain maneuvers while trolling a lure in front of the boat.

End of Fishing Terminology.

Mahi-Mahi, Dolphin Fish.

The Mahi-Mahi, Dolphin Fish or Dorado.

Florida Keys Fishing.

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Fishing Tournaments Jul-Dec.

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