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Fishing Terminology

Fishing Terminology Can Be Confusing

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I caught this bass at Lake Demopolis while fishing with Boyd Duckett

I caught this bass at Lake Demopolis while fishing with Boyd Duckett

2009 Ronnie Garrison,licensed to About.com
Every sport seems to have its own terms and often someone not familiar will be lost when listening to two or more fanatics about the sport talking. Fishing is like that. A lot of the terms may have more than one meaning and not be related to real life.

When you hear someone say they lost the big one or the big one got away, they are talking about losing a big fish. In bass fishing it is common to hear something like "It woulda weighed at least eight pounds but it got off before I saw it.

What that means is they hooked a fish, no matter how briefly, and it pulled. If they say they saw it or it got off at the boat and still say it weighed eight pounds it probably was a bigger bass, and might have weighed three pounds. The big one always gets away!

If a fisherman says he hooked a big bass but it wrapped him up and broke him off it means a his lure hit a stump, he set the hook and thought the stump was pulling back, then realized he was hung. But he is sure it was a big bass.

Bragging about the speed of a bass boat is common. GPS devices have cut out some of that. In the past boat speedometers were notoriously inaccurate. I have passed boats and was told I was flying - the guy I passed says he was running 75 mph. But my GPS showed 55 when I went by him.

If someone tells you they brought home 100 crappie, they may have. But they were breaking the law if they did, and cleaning 20 crappie often seems like you cleaned 100.

Pictures never lie but they can be very misleading. If someone shows you a picture of a bass and says it weighed five pounds, look at their arm. If it is extended away from the body it makes the fish look much bigger. Perspective is an amazing thing. And check out their thumb in the mouth of the fish. If the thumb fills up the mouth of the fish either they are the Jolly Green Giant or the fish didn't come close to the five pound mark.

I often hear the comment "remember that tournament when I got the ten pounder but three other people beat me for big fish," or "I remember weighing in five bass weighing 22 pounds at Oconee back in 75.

Problem is, I have all the club tournament records going back to the early 1970s. Lake Oconee was not built in 1975. But in 1985 he had his best catch ever, ten bass weighing 12 pounds. And all those ten pounders turn into five pounders when I look back at the results. Written records are a such a downer.

One time my partner broke his rod setting the hook. He went on and on about a factory defect. But I had just seen him crack the rod against the side of the boat when working a topwater bait, and it broke exactly where his rod hit the boat.

In one tournament I was told the fisherman ran 70 miles up Little River to fish a hotspot. Problem is, Little River is only 30 miles from the dam to the upper end. Maybe he got lost and went in circles!

Bass get on "patterns" and if you can figure out what they are feeding on, the depth they are holding and the type cover they are on that day you can usually catch more doing the same thing. But I am always amazed when someone tells me, after catching one 11 inch bass, that they are all 10 feet deep on stumps feeding on morning glory colored worms.

Look at this rod I got at a yard sale for only $100 - what a deal. I had to bargain for it for 15 minutes. Its a $300 rod! OK, that company does make a $300 rod, but that series sells new for $80. Yep, a real steal.

Fishermen are always looking for an excuse. If one person in the boat is catching bass on a color of worm and his partner doesn't have that exact color, he wants one. And often still doesn't catch fish.

He didn't notice the one catching the fish was using eight pound line while he was using 20, his sinker is three times as heavy as the one catching fish, and his cast are hitting 30 feet to the right of the brush pile. And the one catching fish is jiggling his rod tip to make the worm dance in one spot while the one not getting bites is dragging his worm, the same color sure, but moving it two feet with every pull.

But the worm color is what is different!

The comment "This line is no good, it broke again" is heard all too often. And some line seems to break too easily and does deteriorate over time. But if the fisherman says he hasn't changed his line in two years, that is the problem, not the line. All too often I look at the "broken" line and there is a little curl on the end. Guess what? Your knot slipped and came out. The line didn't break, it was operator error!

Take everything a fisherman says with a grain of salt. Or maybe a 50 pound bag of salt. We do tend to get carried away with what we think we know, even if the other person knows what we are talking about!

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