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A-Z Fishing: 26 Fishing Terms for Each Letter of the Alphabet

fishing terms
Bass Baits

There is common terminology for almost every outdoor activity. Fishing is no different, and has its own set of terms. 

If you are a first-time fisherman or a seasoned angler there are common fishing terms that everyone should know. Now it is hard to learn them all, but here is one fishing term for every letter of the alphabet.

A is for Action

The strength of a rod from light, medium, and heavy. Light being limber and heavy being very stout.

B is for Backlash

Commonly used with bait-caster reels when the spool is overrun after casting, and causes the line to tangle into itself.

fishing terms
Bass Resource

C is for Cover

Natural and man-made objects found in lakes, streams, and ponds that affect a fish’s behavior. Example: stumps, rocks, logs, docks, weeds, and tree lines.

D is for Drag

Device on reel that helps prevent line breakage while fighting a fish.

E is for Eyelets

The specifically-placed rings running up a rod that guide your fishing line through.

F is for Fingerling

Young fish no longer than your finger. Often used as live bait for larger fish.

G is for Gill

Part of the respiratory system of aquatic animals.

H is for Honey Hole

Slang term for describing a specific spot containing large or many easily-caught fish.

I is for In-line Spinner

A bait where the hook is on the same line as the spinner. Such as a rooster tail.

fishing terms
Yakima Bait

J is for Jerkbait

A soft or hard-plastic bait that resembles a bait fish. Usually used by quickly jerking it through the water as a darting fish.

K is for Keeper

Any fish that is worth taking home to eat. If within regulations and laws of course.

L is for Livewell

Compartment in a boat designed to keep fish alive after being caught.

M is for Monofilament

A single, untwisted, synthetic filament fishing line.

N is for Night Crawler

A large worm used as live bait for fishing.

fishing terms
Amy Stewart

O is for Overcast

To cast beyond your intended target.

P is for Presentation

A term referring to the way a fisherman makes a choice of bait, lure, color, size, type of pole, line, tackle, casting technique, retrieval, how deep, and the area targeted.

Q is for Quantum

Well-known, high-end rod and reel-making company.

R is for Re-stocking

The act of releasing fish raised in a hatchery into a pond, stream, river, or lake.

S is for Snagging

The act of jerking an unbaited hook through the water to catch a fish. Often done with a treble hook and is illegal in a lot of places.

T is for Texas Rig

A method of using soft-plastic baits so the hook is weedless. First a slip sinker is threaded onto the line before tying a hook to the line. The hook is inserted into the head of the bait until the eye of the hook is embedded in the bait. The hook is then rotated back around and the point is set slightly back into the bait’s body.

fishing terms
Fish On Lure

U is for Ultralight

A lighter-than-standard rod used for catching light biting fish.

V is for Ventral Fin

The paired fin located on the front of a fish’s abdomen.

W is for Weedless

Making a lure or tackle to be used in heavy cover to snag less. Such as the Texas rig.

X is for XCalibur

Well-known fishing gear company.

Y is for Year Class

Fish that are all spawned in the same year and place.

Z is for Zug Bug

A wet fly commonly used by fly fisherman in lakes.

Just remember there are a lot of slang terms used in a lot of outdoor activities. Just because you learn something as one thing doesn’t mean it’s the same to someone else. You will really learn this when fishing in different regions of the U.S.

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A-Z Fishing: 26 Fishing Terms for Each Letter of the Alphabet