All the Fishing Slang Terms You Need to Know
By angelamontana

Posted: August 1, 2013

Have you ever heard somebody telling fishing stories, and they talk about the “toad” they caught?  Or maybe somebody was talking about the “mangler” that everybody tries to avoid, and you had no idea what they were talking about…

Well, have you fear, you can now learn the latest fishing slang!  Here is a list of compiled fishing terms for all anglers by

  • Albies = Albacore
  • Barries = Barracuda
  • Boil = Topwater Disturbance Caused By Big Fish Chasing Little Fish.
  • Bones = Bonito
  • Bowser=seal
  • Breezers = Fish That Are Just Swimming Through The Area. Not Necessarily Feeding, Just Teasing.
  • Bull Bass = Big Calicos (used Only In San Diego?)
  • Cabinboy=one Who Constantly Is Sleeping In The Cabin, Can’t Take The Boredom.
  • Candy = The ‘preferred’ Baitfish, Usually Live Squid.
  • Cattle Boat = An Overcrowded Open-party Sportfishing Boat. “wow, Those Guys Are Packed On Like Cattle!”
  • Chicken = A Sea Gull; Especially One That Ate Your Hook. “look, I Caught Some Chicken!”
  • Chovies = Anchovies.
  • Chummer = Seasick Person.
  • Condo= Massive Sized Kelp Pattie
  • Dead-heads = Those Scraggly, Un-shaved “friends” Of The Deck-hands That Get To Ride On The Boat For Free. Often Seen Hogging The Best Corner Of The Boat To Fish On And Always Getting The “primo” Baits From The Guy On The Tank. They Are Not Considered As Paying Customers, Just Dead (extra) Weight.
  • Dinies = Small Sardines.
  • Dinks = Little Fish.
  • Dinos = Large Sardines.
  • Dogs= Seals
  • Domes = Area Out In Front Of San Onofre Nuclear Power Plant, Where The Reactors Look Like Big “domes”. Dolly Pardon?
  • Drag = Two Definitions Here. And No, One Of Them Is Not Dennis Rodman. This Could Be Referred To As The Braking Mechanism In Your Reel Or The Art Of Trolling, Which Is Simply Dragging Lures Behind The Boat.
  • Farmer = One Who Constantly Loses Fish. Don’t Know How This One Came About.
  • Firecrackers = Small Yellowtail
  • Fish Heads = What’s Left After A Sea Dog Gets A Hold Of It!
  • Flats = Huntington Flats. Sandy-bottom Area Located 1-3 Miles Off Huntington Beach.
  • Flattie = Halibut.
  • Foaming = Lots Of Big Fish Feeding Heavily Upon Lots Of Little Fish. The Topwater Disturbance Is So Great It Creates A “foam” On Top Of The Water.
  • Footballs = Little Tuna.
  • Gorillas = Big Tuna.
  • Grumps = Big Calico Or Sand Bass. Too Tough To Eat, Should Be Released.
  • Hemp= Kelp Pattie, Kelp Beds
  • Hollywood=term Used For The Guy That Fishes With The Clicker On Each Time The Fish Runs.
  • Hook-up!=term Used When You Have Hooked Into A Fish.
  • Hung = As In Hooked Up With A Big Fish. Not To Brag, But I’m “hung”.
  • Logs = Big Barracuda.
  • Longfins = Albacore.
  • Lunker = Huge Trout Or Big Bass
  • Mack Attack = Mackerel Eating Every Bait Thrown Making It Impossible To Catch Targeted Species.
  • Macks = Mackerel.
  • Make Bait = Catching Live Bait Yourself As Opposed To Buying It.
  • Mangler = Idiot That Doesn’t Look Behind Before Casting His Jig. Watch Out For This Guy, Unless You Want Your Nose Pierced For Free.
  • Mossbacks = Yellowtail. This Is Usually A “large Yellowtail” Being Caught In An Area That He Shouldn’t Be In Or Being Caught In The Winter Months. –
  • Ok Ready! = speaks For It’s Self.
  • Paddy = Floating Kelp. Sometimes Lots Of Fish Hiding Underneath.
  • Pinheads = Tiny Baitfish, Usually Die Immediately After Being Hooked.
  • Pocket = area Of Fish
  • Rats = Little Yellowtail.
  • Rigs = Offshore Oil Platforms.
  • Sea Dog = Seal — Or Sea Lion. Those Fish-robbing Dogs!
  • Shoe = Horseshoe Kelp. Located 3-5 Miles Off Long Beach Breakwall.
  • Shoulders= Reference To A Big Fish That Is Really Thick Up By The Head
  • Skippies = Short For Skipjack Tuna
  • Slammed! = Getting Hooked On A Fish.
  • Slowtroll=term Used For Nose Hooking A Bait And Kicking The Boat In Gear And Moving Slowly To Keep The Bait Alive
  • Soakin Bait = Casting Out Your Bait, And Waiting To Get A Bite.
  • Spooked=finicky Fish
  • Spooled = All The Line Has Been Stripped From The Reel. Panic Time!
  • String=fishing Line
  • Tails = Yellowtail.
  • Tangler = An Unhappy Angler Trying To Fish Aboard An Overcrowded Boat.
  • Toads = Huge Fish
  • Wide-open = Drop A Bait Into The Water, Catch A Fish.
  • Worms= Live Bait, Sardines, Chovies Etc.
  • Yellows = I Use This One A Lot And What’s Worse Is It Could Be Referring To Either Yellowtail Or Yellowfin Tuna. Not Yellowfin Croaker.
  • Zzzzzzzzz = The Sound Your Reel Makes After Your Bait Is Slammed At 50 Mph By A Hungry Tuna. Hookup! Yeah Baby!!!

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