The Secret Language of Bass Tournament Anglers

The Secret Language of Bass Tournament Anglers So if the bass anglers in the tackle shop or on the dock leave you wondering what the heck they just said, the following terms offered by Pro Luke Clausen

KENNESAW, Ga., April 24, 2006 - All special interest groups develop a language of their own. And being able to "talk the talk" is an important part of belonging. So if the bass anglers in the tackle shop or on the dock leave you wondering what the heck they just said, the following terms offered by Pro Luke Clausen, 2006 Bassmaster Classic Champion and winner of the 2004 Wal-Mart FLW Outdoors Championship should help.
Bag: Total number or weight of bass the angler has. Also called a "sack".
Beds: Nests of bass light-colored circles in gravel.
Blade: Spinnerbait
Brass and glass: A combination of a glass bead and a brass sinker next to each other on the fishing line used to make a clicking noise when the rod is shaken.
Breakline: Any change in the bottom where the weeds end, where the bottom drops off, etc.
Broomstick: A big stiff fishing rod, like a flipping stick.
Buggy whip: A floppy fishing pole.
Bumping the stump: Deliberately running your lure into objects under the water.
Burning: Cranking a lure as fast as you can.
Busting: Bass attacking bait fish on the surface of the water.
Cash a check: Tournament angler slang for telling he or she finished in the money at a tournament.
Carolina Rig: A fishing set-up where the hook is attached to a long leader that is tied to a swivel with a heavy weight above it.
Cover: Any fish-holding stuff that is not part of the actual bottom, such as weeds, brush, submerged trees, docks, etc.
Cut: A small indentation in the shoreline, usually a sharp one.
Dink: A really small bass.
Dog: A really large bass.
Doodling: Fishing one small area by shaking a small plastic bait rigged Texas-style with brass and glass.
Finesse: Any fishing method that uses very light tackle. Also can mean a careful, subtle presentation of the lure.
Flasher: A depth-finder that displays flashes of light on a dial to indicate water depth.
Flat: A large flat area under the water.
Flipping: A method of fishing using very stiff rods and heavy line to "flip" a lure into very thick cover from short distances.
French fry: In fishing, refers to the shape of certain popular small lures.
Graph: A depthfinder that displays a picture of the bottom and indicates depth.
Hand-pours: Soft plastic lures that are poured into molds by hand. Usually softer than machined lures.
Hawg: A really large bass.
Hole jumper: An angler who fishes in your spot before you can get to it.
Horse: A really large bass.
Jig and pig: A combination of a jig and a pork trailer.
Knees: Roots of trees that are in the water.
Milk run: A series of places that are fished one after the other with a good chance of catching a fish.
Mono: Monofilament line.
Non-boater: The angler who fishes from the back of the boat and doesn't drive.
On top: Catching a fish on a surface lure.
One-tonner: A big one-ounce leadhead jig.
Pattern: Specific location of active fish for example, one day the pattern could be isolated stumps on flats, and later it could be edges of weed beds. Also means to figure out where to look for fish to pattern the fish.
Pig: A really large bass.
Pitching: A method of fishing like flipping, but done from a little further out from shore. The lure is "pitched" to the cover underhanded to reduce noise.
Plastics: Soft plastic lures like worms, craws, etc.
Plug: A crankbait.
Point: A finger of land that extends out into the water and tapers off. Can be any size.
Rip bait: A minnow-like lure that is jerked through the water in stops and starts.
Run and gun: Racing around the lake from spot to spot, fishing quickly before heading to the next spot.
Sack: See "Bag"
Safe light: The time before sunrise when it becomes light enough to see. This is when tournaments start.
Scent: Any fish attractant used on a lure.
Shaking: A method of fishing, usually covering just a small area, where the lure is shaken so it moves but stays in place.
Sight-fishing: To catch bass that the angler sees. Usually these are spawning bass taken off beds.
Slow rolling: To fish a spinnerbait slowly through the water, usually so that it stays on the bottom.
Split-shotting: A method of finesse fishing using a split shot somewhere up the line from the hook and dragging the lure around on the bottom.
Spooning: To lift and lower a lure over and over, keeping it in the level where the fish are staying.
Structure: The features of the lake bottom and shoreline itself such as humps, cliffs, creek channels, etc.
Texas rig: A way of putting a plastic worm on a hook with a sinker right next to it. The hook is embedded so that the point goes through the body of the worm and the lure hangs straight. The sinker can be pegged or slide free.
Thermocline: One of the layers of water in the lake. Usually meant to describe the layer where the fish are. Can sometimes be seen on a good graph.
Ticking: To make a lure barely touch the cover, usually used when the angler has been fishing weeds or brush.
Toad: A really large bass.
Turn over: The situation that occurs when surface water starts to get cold and sink. It causes the deeper water to come up (colder water sinks lower), mixing up the lake and making fishing really tough.
Waking: To work a lure so that it stays just under the surface, making a wake as it passes through the water.
Walk the dog: To twitch a surface lure so that it darts from side to side as it is retrieved.
Walls: Steep bluffs, cliffs, etc.
So, if you see a happy tournament angler who's telling his buddies that he "Got a sack of toads, hawgs, pigs or horses after figuring out the pattern even though the lake was turning over, causing the thermocline to disappear, and he finishes by noting that he when he used a Carolina Rig, it helped him "cash a check," you'll know what he's talking about.

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