Top 50 Slang For Going Fishing – Meaning & Usage

Fishing, a beloved pastime for many, has its own set of unique slang and expressions. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or just dipping your toes into the world of fishing, it’s important to know the lingo. That’s why we’ve put together a list of the top slang for going fishing. From “hook, line, and sinker” to “reeling in a big one,” we’ve got you covered. So grab your tackle box and get ready to dive into this exciting listicle that will have you speaking like a true fishing pro in no time!

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1. Angling

Angling is another word for fishing. It refers to the act of using a fishing rod and reel to catch fish. The term is often used in a more formal or traditional context.

  • For example, someone might say, “I enjoy angling in the peacefulness of a quiet lake.”
  • A fishing enthusiast might recommend, “If you’re new to angling, start with a basic spinning rod and reel.”
  • In a conversation about different fishing techniques, someone might mention, “Angling is a popular method for catching trout in rivers.”

2. Casting a line

Casting a line is the act of throwing a fishing line into the water in order to catch fish. It involves using a fishing rod to propel the line and bait or lure into the desired fishing spot.

  • For instance, someone might say, “I love casting a line into the ocean and seeing what I can catch.”
  • A fishing enthusiast might advise, “When casting a line, make sure to aim for areas with good fish activity.”
  • In a discussion about different fishing techniques, someone might ask, “Do you prefer casting a line or using a fishing net?”

3. Dropping a line

Dropping a line is similar to casting a line, but it specifically refers to the act of lowering a fishing line into the water. This term is often used when fishing from a stationary position, such as a boat or dock.

  • For example, someone might say, “I enjoy dropping a line off the side of the boat and waiting for a bite.”
  • A fishing enthusiast might recommend, “When dropping a line, try varying the depth to find where the fish are biting.”
  • In a conversation about different fishing techniques, someone might mention, “Dropping a line can be a more relaxed and patient approach to fishing.”

4. Hooking up

Hooking up is a slang term used to describe the moment when a fish takes the bait or lure and gets caught on the fishing hook. It signifies a successful catch and is often accompanied by excitement or satisfaction.

  • For instance, someone might say, “I was hooking up left and right during my fishing trip.”
  • A fishing enthusiast might exclaim, “I felt a strong tug on the line and knew I had hooked up with a big one!”
  • In a discussion about memorable fishing moments, someone might share, “The first time I hooked up with a marlin was an unforgettable experience.”

5. Reeling in

Reeling in is the process of winding or pulling in the fishing line after hooking a fish. It involves using the reel on the fishing rod to bring the fish closer to the angler.

  • For example, someone might say, “I had a tough time reeling in that big bass.”
  • A fishing enthusiast might advise, “When reeling in a fish, keep a steady tension on the line to avoid losing it.”
  • In a conversation about different fishing techniques, someone might ask, “Do you prefer reeling in fish with a spinning reel or a baitcaster?”

6. Landing a catch

This phrase refers to successfully catching a fish while fishing. It signifies the moment when a fish is caught and brought to shore or into the boat.

  • For example, a fisherman might say, “I had a great day on the water, landing several big catches.”
  • In a fishing tournament, a participant might exclaim, “I landed a huge catch and took the lead!”
  • A fishing guide might boast, “I can guarantee you’ll land a catch on this trip.”

7. Wetting a line

This phrase is used to describe the act of beginning to fish. It signifies the moment when a person casts their line into the water and starts their fishing activity.

  • For instance, a fisherman might say, “I’m heading to the lake to wet a line this afternoon.”
  • When asked what they’re doing, someone might respond, “Just wetting a line and enjoying the peacefulness of nature.”
  • A fishing enthusiast might post on social media, “Finally got a chance to wet a line today. Hoping for some good bites!”

8. Trolling

Trolling is a fishing technique where a person drags a fishing line with bait or lures behind a moving boat. It is done to attract and catch fish that are swimming deeper in the water.

  • For example, a fisherman might say, “We caught a lot of fish while trolling for walleye.”
  • A fishing guide might recommend, “Try trolling with a diving crankbait to target larger fish.”
  • When discussing fishing methods, someone might say, “Trolling is a great way to cover a lot of water and find active fish.”

9. Casting a lure

This phrase refers to the act of throwing or casting a fishing lure into the water. It is done to attract fish and entice them to bite the baited hook.

  • For instance, a fisherman might say, “I spent the morning casting lures along the shoreline.”
  • When asked about their fishing technique, someone might respond, “I prefer casting a lure because it allows for more precise targeting.”
  • A fishing enthusiast might post a photo on social media with the caption, “Casting my favorite lure and hoping for a big catch!”

10. Noodling

Noodling is a fishing technique where a person catches fish using only their bare hands. It involves reaching into underwater holes or crevices to grab the fish.

  • For example, a fisherman might say, “I went noodling for catfish and caught a few big ones.”
  • When discussing unique fishing methods, someone might mention, “Noodling is a popular practice in some southern states.”
  • A fishing guide might offer noodling as an alternative fishing experience, saying, “If you’re up for a challenge, try noodling for freshwater eels!”

11. Fly fishing

Fly fishing is a method of angling that uses an artificial fly as bait to catch fish. It involves casting a lightweight fly line with a specially designed fly rod and reel.

  • For example, “I love fly fishing for trout in mountain streams.”
  • A seasoned angler might say, “Fly fishing requires patience and precision in presenting the fly.”
  • A beginner might ask, “What are the best flies to use for fly fishing in saltwater?”

12. Bottom fishing

Bottom fishing refers to the practice of dropping a baited line to the bottom of a body of water in order to catch fish that dwell near the sea floor. It is commonly used to target species such as grouper, snapper, and halibut.

  • For instance, “We had a successful day of bottom fishing and caught several large snappers.”
  • A fishing guide might suggest, “To increase your chances of success, try bottom fishing near underwater structures.”
  • A fisherman might ask, “What’s the best bait to use for bottom fishing in rocky areas?”

13. Jigging

Jigging is a fishing technique that involves repeatedly raising and lowering a lure or baited hook in a vertical motion to attract fish. It is often used to target species such as walleye, bass, and tuna.

  • For example, “We caught a lot of fish by jigging with a brightly colored lure.”
  • A seasoned angler might say, “Jigging requires a rhythmic motion to imitate the movement of prey.”
  • A beginner might ask, “What’s the best jigging technique for catching big game fish?”

14. Chumming

Chumming is the practice of scattering bait or fish food in the water to attract fish to a specific area. It can be done with a variety of substances, including fish parts, grains, or specially formulated chum blocks.

  • For instance, “We had a successful day of fishing by chumming the water with pieces of mackerel.”
  • A fishing guide might suggest, “Chumming can be especially effective when targeting sharks or other large predators.”
  • A fisherman might ask, “What’s the best way to chum the water without attracting unwanted species?”

15. Spearfishing

Spearfishing is a method of fishing that involves using a spear or speargun to catch fish while underwater. It requires skill in free diving or using SCUBA equipment to get close to the fish before striking.

  • For example, “I caught a large grouper while spearfishing in the Caribbean.”
  • A seasoned spearfisherman might say, “Spearfishing requires stealth and precision to successfully target fish.”
  • A beginner might ask, “What kind of spear or speargun is best for spearfishing in shallow water?”

16. Ice fishing

Ice fishing is a type of fishing that is done on frozen bodies of water, such as lakes or ponds, during the winter months when the water is covered in ice. Anglers use special equipment, such as ice augers to drill holes in the ice, and fish through those holes. It’s a popular activity in colder regions where lakes freeze over.

  • For example, “I’m heading out for some ice fishing this weekend. Hopefully, I’ll catch some walleye.”
  • A group of friends might plan an ice fishing trip and say, “Let’s bring some hot cocoa and snacks for our ice fishing adventure.”
  • A seasoned ice angler might give advice to a beginner, saying, “Make sure to dress warmly and bring a portable heater for your ice fishing expedition.”

17. Surf fishing

Surf fishing is a method of fishing that is done from the shoreline, specifically targeting fish that are found in the surf zone where the waves break. Anglers typically use long fishing rods and cast their bait or lures into the surf, hoping to catch fish that are feeding in the area. It’s a popular form of fishing for those who enjoy being near the ocean.

  • For instance, “I love surf fishing for striped bass. It’s a thrill to feel the tug of a big fish in the waves.”
  • A beachgoer might see someone surf fishing and ask, “What are you trying to catch?”
  • A surf angler might share their catch of the day on social media and caption it, “Successful day of surf fishing. Dinner is sorted!”

18. Kayak fishing

Kayak fishing is a type of fishing that is done from a kayak, a small and lightweight watercraft. Anglers use kayaks to access areas of water that are difficult to reach by other means, such as shallow rivers or remote lakes. It allows for a quiet and stealthy approach to fishing, as well as the ability to navigate tight spaces.

  • For example, “I’m going kayak fishing this weekend. Hoping to catch some bass in the backwaters.”
  • A kayaker might post a photo of their setup for kayak fishing and write, “All geared up for a day of yak angling.”
  • A kayak angler might share their fishing experience and say, “Kayak fishing allows me to explore hidden gems and have a close connection with nature.”

19. Bank fishing

Bank fishing is a form of fishing that is done from the bank or shoreline of a body of water, such as a river, lake, or pond. Anglers can fish from the water’s edge without the need for a boat or any specialized equipment. It’s a convenient and accessible way to go fishing for those who don’t have access to a boat.

  • For instance, “I’m planning a relaxing day of bank fishing by the lake. Just me, my fishing rod, and some snacks.”
  • A person might ask a bank angler, “Have you had any luck fishing from the shore?”
  • A bank fisherman might share their favorite spot for shore fishing and say, “I always have good luck catching trout from this particular bank.”

20. Deep sea fishing

Deep sea fishing is a type of fishing that is done in the open ocean, far away from the shoreline. Anglers use specialized boats and equipment to target large fish species that are found in deep waters, such as marlin, tuna, or swordfish. It’s an exhilarating and challenging form of fishing that requires experience and knowledge of offshore fishing techniques.

  • For example, “I’m going deep sea fishing next week. Hoping to hook a trophy-sized mahi-mahi.”
  • A deep sea angler might describe their experience and say, “There’s nothing quite like the thrill of battling a big fish in the deep sea.”
  • A fishing charter captain might advertise their services and write, “Come join us for an unforgettable day of offshore angling and deep sea fishing adventure.”

21. Sport fishing

This term refers to fishing as a recreational activity or sport, rather than for commercial purposes. Sport fishing often involves catching fish for the purpose of enjoyment or competition, rather than for food.

  • For example, “Many people enjoy sport fishing as a way to relax and connect with nature.”
  • A fisherman might say, “I’m planning a sport fishing trip to the lake next weekend.”
  • In a fishing tournament, participants might compete for the title of “sport fishing champion.”

22. Trophy fishing

Trophy fishing is the practice of targeting and catching large or rare fish as a personal achievement or to display as a trophy. It often involves seeking out specific species of fish that are known for their size or rarity.

  • For instance, “He went trophy fishing and caught a massive marlin.”
  • A fisherman might say, “I’m going trophy fishing for trout in the remote mountain streams.”
  • In fishing communities, there might be discussions about the best locations for trophy fishing.
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23. Catch and release

Catch and release is a fishing practice where anglers catch fish and then release them back into the water unharmed. This is often done to conserve fish populations or to promote sustainable fishing practices.

  • For example, “We practice catch and release to ensure the survival of the fish.”
  • A fisherman might say, “I caught a beautiful bass, but I decided to practice catch and release.”
  • In fishing regulations, there might be rules regarding the size or species of fish that must be released.

24. Fish on!

This phrase is used to announce that a fish has taken the bait and is hooked. It is a way to alert other fishermen that someone has a fish on the line and might need assistance or space to reel it in.

  • For instance, “Fish on! I’ve got a big one!”
  • A fisherman might yell, “Fish on!” to signal excitement or success.
  • In a fishing competition, the phrase “Fish on!” might be used to start a timed event.

25. Fisherman’s luck

Fisherman’s luck refers to the unpredictable and sometimes random outcomes experienced by fishermen. It acknowledges that fishing success can vary greatly and is often attributed to luck rather than skill.

  • For example, “Sometimes it’s all about fisherman’s luck. You never know what you’re going to catch.”
  • A fisherman might say, “I had some good fisherman’s luck today and caught my limit.”
  • In fishing stories, unexpected catches or unusual circumstances might be attributed to fisherman’s luck.

26. Fish story

A “fish story” refers to an exaggerated or embellished story about one’s fishing experience or catch. It is often used to describe a story that may not be entirely true or accurate.

  • For example, a fisherman might say, “I caught a fish that was as big as a whale!”
  • In a group of anglers, someone might jokingly comment, “Don’t believe his fish story, it’s all made up.”
  • When retelling a fishing adventure, a person might say, “Let me tell you a fish story you won’t believe!”

27. Fish fry

A “fish fry” is a social event where people gather to cook and eat fish. It often involves a communal meal where various types of fish are fried and enjoyed together.

  • For instance, a community might organize a fish fry to celebrate a local fishing competition.
  • Friends might plan a fish fry at their backyard to enjoy fresh catch and good company.
  • A church group might host a fish fry as a fundraising event for a charitable cause.
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28. Fish camp

A “fish camp” is a rustic retreat or campsite specifically designed for fishing enthusiasts. It provides a place for people to stay while they engage in fishing activities.

  • For example, a group of friends might rent a fish camp for a weekend getaway.
  • A family might visit a fish camp to teach their children how to fish.
  • A fish camp owner might advertise, “Come stay at our beautiful fish camp and experience the best fishing in the area!”

29. Fishin’ hole

A “fishin’ hole” is a colloquial term used to refer to a favorite or secret fishing spot. It is a place where anglers have had success in catching fish and often hold sentimental value.

  • For instance, a fisherman might say, “I know a great fishin’ hole where the fish are always biting.”
  • A group of friends might keep their fishin’ hole a secret to avoid overcrowding.
  • A local fishing guide might offer to take tourists to the best fishin’ holes in the area.

30. Fish whisperer

A “fish whisperer” is a term used to describe someone who has a special ability to attract and catch fish. It implies that the person has a deep understanding of fish behavior and can successfully lure them.

  • For example, a fisherman might say, “He’s the fish whisperer. He always knows where to find the biggest fish.”
  • A fishing guide might advertise their services as, “Fish whisperer extraordinaire, guaranteed to help you catch your limit.”
  • A group of anglers might jokingly refer to their most skilled friend as the “official fish whisperer.”

31. Fish fever

Fish fever refers to the intense excitement and anticipation that a person feels when they are about to go fishing. It is the feeling of being eager to catch fish and enjoy the fishing experience.

  • “I’ve got a serious case of fish fever. I can’t wait to get out on the water and start reeling in some big ones.”
  • “Every time fishing season rolls around,“Every time fishing season rolls around, I get fish fever and start planning my fishing trips.”
  • “The sight of a calm lake and the sound of birds chirping gives me fish fever and makes me want to grab my fishing gear and head out.”

32. Fishin’ buddy

A fishin’ buddy is a friend or companion who joins you on your fishing trips. They are someone you enjoy fishing with and can rely on for a great fishing experience.

  • “I always go fishing with my best friend. He’s my fishin’ buddy and we have a blast every time.”
  • “Having a fishin’ buddy makes the fishing trip more enjoyable because you have someone to share the experience with.”
  • “My dad was my fishin’ buddy when I was growing up. We made so many great memories together on our fishing trips.”

33. Fishin’ gear

Fishin’ gear refers to the equipment and tools that are used for fishing. It includes items such as fishing rods, reels, bait, tackle, and other accessories that are necessary for a successful fishing trip.

  • “I need to pack my fishin’ gear before we leave for the fishing trip.”
  • “Having the right fishin’ gear can greatly improve your chances of catching fish.”
  • “My favorite part of fishing is shopping for new fishin’ gear and trying out different types of equipment.”

34. Fishin’ trip

A fishin’ trip is an excursion or journey that is specifically planned for the purpose of fishing. It involves traveling to a fishing location, spending time fishing, and enjoying the overall experience of being out on the water.

  • “We’re going on a weekend fishin’ trip to the lake. I can’t wait to relax and catch some fish.”
  • “Planning a fishin’ trip with friends is a great way to bond and create lasting memories.”
  • “My family and I go on an annual fishin’ trip to our favorite fishing spot. It’s a tradition we look forward to every year.”

35. Fishin’ season

Fishin’ season refers to the time of year when fishing is most popular and productive. It is the period when fish are abundant, weather conditions are favorable, and fishing enthusiasts are eager to get out on the water.

  • “Spring is my favorite fishin’ season because the fish are active and the weather is perfect.”
  • “During fishin’ season,“During fishin’ season, you can see many anglers lining up along the riverbanks and lakeshores.”
  • “Fishin’ season usually starts in early summer and lasts until the fall,“Fishin’ season usually starts in early summer and lasts until the fall, giving anglers plenty of time to enjoy their favorite hobby.”

36. Reeling them in

This phrase refers to the act of successfully catching fish and bringing them closer to the angler. It can also metaphorically mean achieving success or accomplishing a goal.

  • For example, after catching a large fish, a person might say, “I had a great day reeling them in.”
  • In a business context, someone might say, “Our sales team is reeling them in with our new product.”
  • A fishing enthusiast might exclaim, “I can’t wait to go out on the water and start reeling them in!”

37. Chasing fins

This phrase is used to describe the action of actively seeking and pursuing fish while fishing. It can also imply the excitement and thrill of the chase.

  • For instance, a fisherman might say, “I spent the whole day chasing fins, but didn’t catch anything.”
  • A person describing a thrilling fishing experience might say, “We were out on the boat, chasing fins and trying to hook the biggest fish.”
  • A fishing enthusiast might say, “Chasing fins is what makes fishing so exciting!”

38. Hauling them in

This phrase refers to the act of pulling in or bringing fish towards the angler after they have been hooked. It can also imply successfully catching a large number of fish.

  • For example, after a successful fishing trip, someone might say, “We had a great day hauling them in.”
  • A person describing a fishing competition might say, “The winner was able to haul in the most fish.”
  • A fishing enthusiast might exclaim, “I love the feeling of hauling them in after a good fight!”

39. Casting a net

This phrase describes the action of throwing or casting a net into the water to catch fish. It can also metaphorically mean broadening one’s reach or trying to attract a large number of opportunities.

  • For instance, a fisherman might say, “I prefer casting a net when fishing in shallow waters.”
  • A person describing a marketing strategy might say, “We’re casting a net to attract new customers.”
  • A fishing enthusiast might say, “Casting a net is a traditional method of fishing that requires skill and precision.”

40. Setting the hook

This phrase refers to the action of setting or embedding the hook into the mouth of a fish, ensuring that it is securely caught. It can also metaphorically mean getting someone’s attention or getting them interested in something.

  • For example, after successfully hooking a fish, a person might say, “I felt the tug and knew I had set the hook.”
  • A person describing a persuasive argument might say, “I was able to set the hook and convince them to support my idea.”
  • A fishing enthusiast might exclaim, “Setting the hook is the most exciting part of fishing!”

41. Landing a big one

This slang phrase is used to describe the act of successfully catching a big fish while fishing.

  • For example, a fisherman might say, “I finally landed a big one today, it was a 20-pound bass!”
  • Another fisherman might boast, “I’ve been fishing for years and I’ve landed some real big ones.”
  • When telling a fishing story, someone might say, “I was reeling it in and then I finally landed a big one!”

42. Baiting the hook

This slang phrase is used to describe the act of putting bait on a fishing hook in order to attract fish.

  • For instance, a fisherman might say, “I spent a while baiting the hook with worms before casting my line.”
  • Another fisherman might offer advice by saying, “Make sure you’re using fresh bait when baiting the hook.”
  • When discussing fishing techniques, someone might mention, “Baiting the hook properly can make a big difference in your catch.”

43. Fishing for compliments

This slang phrase is a play on words, where “fishing” is used metaphorically to mean seeking compliments or praise from others.

  • For example, someone might say, “Stop fishing for compliments, you know you did a great job.”
  • Another person might jokingly ask, “Are you fishing for compliments with that new outfit?”
  • When someone is being overly modest, another person might say, “You’re definitely fishing for compliments with that false humility.”

44. Tossing a lure

This slang phrase is used to describe the act of casting a fishing lure into the water in order to attract fish.

  • For instance, a fisherman might say, “I spent the afternoon tossing lures into the lake.”
  • Another fisherman might suggest, “Try tossing the lure near that fallen tree, the fish like to hide there.”
  • When discussing different fishing techniques, someone might say, “Tossing a lure is a great way to cover a lot of water and find active fish.”

45. Deep-sea fishing

This slang phrase refers to the activity of fishing in deep waters, usually far from the shore.

  • For example, a fisherman might say, “I love going deep-sea fishing for big game fish like marlin.”
  • Another person might ask, “Have you ever been deep-sea fishing? It’s a whole different experience.”
  • When planning a fishing trip, someone might suggest, “Let’s go deep-sea fishing this weekend, the weather looks perfect.”

46. Luring

Luring refers to the act of using bait or lures to attract fish and entice them to bite. It involves using various techniques and strategies to make the bait or lure mimic the movement of prey and appeal to the fish’s instincts.

  • For example, “I’m going luring for bass at the lake this weekend.”
  • A fishing enthusiast might say, “Using a brightly colored lure can be effective in luring trout.”
  • Someone might ask, “What’s your favorite luring technique for catching walleye?”

47. Catching some rays

This slang phrase refers to the act of going fishing and enjoying the sunshine at the same time. It implies that the person is not only fishing but also taking advantage of the opportunity to soak up some rays and enjoy the outdoors.

  • For instance, “I’m planning on catching some rays while fishing at the beach.”
  • A person might say, “I love catching some rays while casting my line in the river.”
  • Someone might ask, “Do you prefer catching some rays on a boat or on the shore?”

48. Hitting the water

This slang phrase is used to describe the act of starting a fishing trip or adventure. It implies that the person is ready to get out on the water and begin fishing.

  • For example, “I’m hitting the water early tomorrow morning to catch some trout.”
  • A fishing enthusiast might say, “I can’t wait to hit the water and try out my new fishing gear.”
  • Someone might ask, “What time are you planning on hitting the water?”

49. Bottom bouncing

Bottom bouncing refers to a fishing technique where the bait or lure is bounced along the bottom of the water to attract fish. This technique is often used when fishing for bottom-dwelling species or when the fish are located near the bottom.

  • For instance, “I had success bottom bouncing for walleye in the river.”
  • A fishing enthusiast might say, “Bottom bouncing with a jig can be effective for catching trout.”
  • Someone might ask, “What’s your favorite bait for bottom bouncing?”

50. Surfcasting

Surfcasting is a technique where the angler casts their line from the shore into the surf or breaking waves. It is commonly used when fishing in coastal areas or on beaches where fish can be found in the surf zone.

  • For example, “I enjoy surfcasting for striped bass on the Atlantic coast.”
  • A fishing enthusiast might say, “Surfcasting requires a long, sturdy rod to cast the bait out far enough.”
  • Someone might ask, “What’s the best time of day for surfcasting?”