Slang and Terms Starting With 'S'

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sargassum weed

A species of offshore seaweed, yellow in color, with tiny float bladders. This stuff provides the only cover offshore for small fish, who seek its shelter from bigger predators.


Liquid attractant added to lures to increase strikes or to allow the fish to smell a natural odor thus hold onto the lure longer.


a group of bass or other fish congregated in a small area


a group of bass chasing baitfish to the surface, where they feed in groups; also called "jumps"


a fly fisher's term for a freshwater shrimp, usually found in spring creeks and clean ponds and rivers, sizes 8-18, green, gray, black and sometimes orange in color.


A large family of bottom-dwelling fishes found in both fresh and saltwater. The most common reference is to smaller varieties inhabiting freshwater streams, which are important forage for gamefish.

sea dog

Seal — Or Sea Lion. Those Fish-robbing Dogs!


A transitional zone between a faster main current and slower current in a stream. Important as a holding area for feeding fish.


Another name for caddis flies.


Natural baitfish prey of bass. Common throughout the U.S.

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fishing technique in which a straight-tail worm is threaded onto a plain jighead and shaken in a location where bass are believed to be

shaky head

a special leadhead jig designed for rigging a worm weedless and used in the shaking technique


a crankbait designed to run 5 feet deep or less


any of several subspecies of baitfish characterized by silver or golden scales along their sides; size generally runs from 2 to 12 inches

shock leader

A short but heavy piece of monofilament, attached to the hook, designed to take the shock of a hard strike. And the resulting abrasion from sharp teeth or bottom scraping.


Horseshoe Kelp. Located 3-5 Miles Off Long Beach Breakwall.

short strike

Term referring to a fish hitting a bait or lure short of where the hook is positioned resulting in a missed hookset.


Reference To A Big Fish That Is Really Thick Up By The Head

sight fishing

Method of angling, where fishermen can actually see the fish they are attempting to catch. Requires clear water.

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silver eels

Slang for ribbonfish, which are not really eels.

single haul

The act of pulling on the flyline with the off hand to increase line speed during either the front cast or backcast. A "double haul" is the same thing applied on both the front cast and backcast.

sinking tips

Fly lines that are weighted in the tips to sink the fly in deep water.


Short For Skipjack Tuna


a casting method that propels a bait under overhanging cover such as a dock, trees or bushes; the force of the sidearm cast causes the bait to skip over the surface and under the cover


Silicone, rubber, or plastic material fashioned around a spinnerbait or similar lure to create the body.


To catch zero fish or keepers. A bad day on the water.

slack tide

No tidal movement, usually that period between incoming and outgoing tides. Not a good time to fish.


Getting Hooked On A Fish.


Caused by digested fish products or fish oil. Caused by gamefish regurgitating or cutting up baitfish below, a slick may betray the location of a feeding school of bluefish or trout, for instance.

slip shotting

a variation on split shotting utilizing a cylindrical weight held in place on the line by a rubber peg or strands of rubber; a finesse technique typically involving light line and small soft plastic baits

slip sinker

a weight, usually conical in shape, commonly used when fishing soft plastic baits

slow rolling

retrieve method most commonly associated with spinnerbaits in which the lure is retrieved just fast enough to make the blade(s) turn ("roll") and the lure crawls across the bottom


term Used For Nose Hooking A Bait And Kicking The Boat In Gear And Moving Slowly To Keep The Bait Alive


A fast strike from a bigger fish, that "smokes" the reel while pulling out a quantity of line. Smoker kings are the big ones that can "smoke" a reel, taking line at high speed.


a hook setting technique in which the hook is set with a quick flip (or "snap") of the wrist

snapper weight

Your standard lead weight of 16 ounces, used for many years on the Gulf Coast, especially on partyboats, for offshore bottom fishing.

snelled flies

Old-fashioned flies that came attached with a short, thick leader with a loop knot.

soakin bait

Casting Out Your Bait, And Waiting To Get A Bite.

soft jerkbait

a soft plastic baitfish imitation typically rigged with a wide gap hook and no weight


an acronym for SOund, NAvigation and Ranging, the technology which makes "depthfinders" or "fishfinders" possible; often used as a synonym for "depthfinder" or "fishfinder"


A large protected bay, usually on the Atlantic coast.

spank equals spook

Disturbing the water with an overly aggressive cast will spook the fish you hope to catch.


The period when fish are reproducing.

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Slang for saltwater seatrout, a spotted fish found from Virginia to Texas.

speed trolling

Trolling plastic billfish baits up to 20 miles an hour.

spider jig

Soft-plastic grub with tentacles or skirt at forward end.

spider weight

Lead weight used by surf fishermen to anchor their baits in a strong current. This weight has copper wire legs on it, that dig into the sand.


Liquid lure dye available in several colors. Simply dip plastic lure into jar, remove, and lure now has chartreuse or other color tail.

spincast reel

Reel featuring push button spool release. Example; Zebco 33.

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The last phase of a mayfly's life, the spinner dances above the water until it mates and the female lays eggs, whereupon the spinners die.

spinner fall

When mayfly spinners, after having successfully mated and laid their eggs, die en masse.


Lure that consists of a wire attached to a lead head type body. This lure normally has a rubber skirt, and one or more type of metal blades on the non-hook arm. These resemble baitfish when retrieved.

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spinning reel

a fixed spool fishing reel mounted below the rod and commonly used by anglers when fishing light lines or small lures; also known as an "open-face reel"

split cane rod

An old-fashioned bamboo fly rod made by gluing together long strips of cane in hexagonal fashion. The cross-section of a split cane rod would look like a pie cut into six slices, though the periphery is six-sided or eight-sided.

split shotting

a variation on slip shotting utilizing a split shot pinched on the line above the hook; a finesse technique typically involving light line and small soft plastic baits

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Topwater lure formally known as a Zara Spook. Resembles a cigar.


finicky Fish


All The Line Has Been Stripped From The Reel. Panic Time!


A flat, curved or concave metal lure that planes or wobbles while retrieved or trolled. Some spoon designs also lend themselves to a vertical jigging presentation.

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technique of retrieving a metal spoon on or near the surface of the water by reeling quickly and jerking the rod tip sharply to imitate a frightened baitfish

spring creek

A creek whose flow comes from underground springs. Spring creeks are typically small, clear, and challenging to fish.

spring runoff

The time of year when the snow melts and runs into the rivers, swelling the trout streams with a great volume of water.

spring tide

High tides caused by seasonal lunar influence.

square bill

Style of crankbait known for their small square diving bills. Excellent lures to retrieve through trees, stumps, rocks. Example; Bagley B-III or Luhr-Jensen Speed Trap.

standing waves

Waves that hardly move, racing against an oncoming current. For instance, waves from offshore that encounter a strong, outgoing tide at the jetties, with their speeds matched.

standup tackle

Short rod and stout reel, hooked up to a harness that the angler wears. The harness offers good back support and helps support the heavy tackle.

star drag

Reference to the star-shaped drag tension adjustment mechanism conveniently located beneath the handle on a conventional reel.

stick bait

Hard-plastic lure that imitates an injured minnow. Lures may float or suspend depending on construction. Example; Rapala Husky Jerk.


a hard or soft lure that is generally long and slender and designed to emulate a baitfish


a slender, cigar-shaped soft plastic bait laden with salt or other materials to make it sink quickly; stickworms are typically Texas- or wacky-rigged and fished without a weight; the lure is cast, allowed to settle briefly, then lifted and allowed to sink again

stinger hook

A trailing hook designed to catch short-striking fish. For instance, a slow-trolled live bait would have a stinger hook back near its tail. The nose hook tows the bait, while the stinger hook guards against short-strikes.

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stingray leggings

Design borrows from snake leggings. Popularized by gulf coast wade fishermen to turn aside strikes from stingrays.


technique by which a bottom bumping lure is dragged slowly across the bottom by pulling the line with one's fingers rather than moving the bait with the rod tip or reel


One of the major species of aquatic insects found in a trout stream. Stoneflies have three phases of development, from egg to nymph to adult, and may live underwater as long as four years before hatching to an adult winged insect. Stonefly nymphs often crawl out of the river to hatch out of their nymphal shucks on rocks.


A fly tied to resemble a leech, minnow or sculpin.

strike indicators

Little "bobbers" made of foam, cork or yarn that indicate when a fish has eaten the fly tied on the line below it by a change in movement and the drift.

strike zone

the area around an individual bass in which the fish will strike a lure; if a fish is willing to swim away from its ambush spot to hit a lure, it is said to have a large strike zone


fishing Line


Method of retaining fish catch, whereby fish are stored on a length of cord or chains with snaps. Fish remain in the water, in theory keeping the catch fresher. Not popular where snapping turtles, crabs, sharks or alligators are common.


Act of retrieving fly line by hand.


a jig fishing technique in which the angler sharply jumps the bait up off the bottom and allows it to fall back on a slack line


Reference to bottom contours and submerged natural and manmade features, such as old road beds and dropoffs. These features serve as travel routes and habitat for fish.

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Strong braided-type lines made from modern materials. Example; Berkley Fireline.

surf rod

Long rods designed to cast and manage line while fishing in surf.

surgeon's knot

A double overhand knot designed to join two pieces of line or leader together. Most commonly used by fly anglers to connect leader and tippet.


When bass are neither relating to the bottom of the lake, nor actively feeding near the surface. The fish are staging in the middle zone of water. This happens frequently in summer, when fish get inactive. Also describes lures that are made to stay in or at a certain depth when the retrieve is stopped.


condition used to describe bass that are holding at some point in the water column between the surface and the bottom


hook-set method in which line is retrieved rapidly at the same time the rod is swept back and to the side


Offshore waves that may be generated thousands of miles away. Usually easier to navigate than wave chop, which is steeper and much more frequent. Swells generally become a problem when they near land, as their height increases.

swim bait

Soft plastic lure that resembles a baitfish. Normally a life-size copy of a bluegill, shad, or trout. Example; Castaic lure.


any of a loose group of lures that emulate baitfish and are frequently characterized by their large size in relation to other bass lures; swimbaits may be soft or hard lures, lipped or not lipped and one piece or jointed


landing a bass by raising it into the boat or onto the bank with the rod; this practice is generally discouraged if the fish is allowed to fall to the deck of the boat or onto the bank since it could harm the fish and reduce its chances for survival once released


A multi-piece metal connector that is able to rotate in order to prevent line twist.