The Language Of Anglers

Anglers have their own languages. We make up words or phrases to describe situations we frequently encounter on the water. Some of these phrases are quite amusing, and some are too colorful to be used in print or online. Like regional dialects, they vary from location to location and even from boat to boat. Without further ado, here are some of our favorite angler idioms.

  • Bucket Sitter: Sometimes derogatory term for someone who fishes bait from the shore. “Look at those bucket sitters over there sitting on their buckets and drowning worms.”
  • Bait Chucker: Always derogatory term used by fly fishers to describe any other type of angler. “I think that bait chucker was jealous of my tweed cap.”
  • Mud Dart: A billfish that dies when released and sinks nose down, presumably to stick in the mud on the bottom of the ocean. “Keep hauling sailfish in the boat for photos, and you’re going to keep throwing back mud darts. ”
  • Damn Carp: A fish caught by an angler that is any species other than the intended target. “I thought it was a big largemouth, but it’s just a damn carp.”
  • Reef Donkey: Derogatory term for greater amberjack. “We were drifting baits for kings, but all we caught were reef donkeys.”
  • Dink: Synonymous with peckerhead, a dink is a very small fish. “Look at this dink. It’s smaller than the plug it ate.”
  • Yahoo: Refers to anyone on the water other than the anglers in the group using the term. “We went to our honeyhole, but there were a bunch of yahoos already in it.”
  • Pellet Pig: Derogatory term for fish that reach large size because of a feeding program. “That yahoo thought he caught a trophy, but those pellet pigs are trained to eat hooks.”
  • Dreaded Frustrations: The downward spiral of being so flustered by your poor angling performance that you seemingly can’t do anything correctly. “I was slaying them until I hung my lure on the bottom. Then I broke my rod tip trying to get it loose and the dreaded frustrations set in. I couldn’t do anything right the rest of the day.”
  • Easy Release: A fish that shakes the hook right at the boat. Counts as half a fish in informal fishing competition. “Oh, well. Easy release. It was a little peckerhead, anyway.”
  • Leroy Jenkins: Derived from an Internet video game meme, this exclamation is used in kayak fishing when you race ahead of your fishing buddies to be the first one on the water. “Y’all can keep mucking around on the boat ramp. I’m going fishing! Leeeroooy Jenkiiins!”
  • Bank of Despair: The opposite of honeyhole, this is an area known for not producing fish. “Man, I wasted three hours over there pounding away on the bank of despair.”

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