Fishing Glossary B

back cast (n.) or back-cast (v.) – Part of the cast in which the fishing rod (usually a fly rod) and the fishing line is moved from a position in front to one in back of the angler. There can be successive back casts as line is played out to increase the distance and accuracy of the cast.

backing – Any type of line used to partially fill a reel before the main fishing line is added; commonly used in fly-fishing or by bass anglers who use many of the newer thread-like or polymer lines.

backlash – An overrun of a revolving-spool reel, such as a bait-cast reel, which in turn causes the line to billow off the reel and tangle.

back-trolling – A method of boat control utilizing a motor to make a series of maneuvers in the presentation of a lure or bait. The most common back-troll method is using a front-mounted trolling motor to make the boat go backwards, while dragging or trolling the lure in front of the boat. Many back-troll methods, such as fishing for suspended crappies in winter or summer, involve a slow stop-and-go technique.

back-wash – Rough water resulting from boat wakes rebounding off fixed objects such as canyon walls, docks or anchored boats.

backwater – Shallow area of a river that is sometimes isolated, often being located behind a sand bar or other obstruction in the river. Large backwaters tat are isolated may be referred to as oxbows.

bag limit – Restriction in the number of fish an angler may retain, generally on a daily basis.

bail – Metal, semi-circular arm of an open-face spinning reel that engages the line after a cast.

bait – Can mean live bait or artificial bait, such as a lure.

baitcasting – Fishing with a revolving-spool reel and baitcasting rod, with the reel mounted on the topside of the rod.

baitfish – Small fish, such as threadfin shad, that are often eaten by predatory fish, such as largemouth bass. This can refer to the fish that predators feed upon, or the kids of fish we place on a hook to catch a sport-fish. The use of bait fish is often regulated, so be sure to check the latest fishing regulations.

baitwell – A special well or livewell in a boat to hold bait.

bank-fishing, bank-fish – A method of fishing by casting from an area on a bank of water.

bass – A common reference for a number of freshwater and saltwater species sought as game fish. The largemouth and smallmouth bass are actually members of the sunfish family, although they are commonly referred to as bass. Striped bass, white bass, and yellow bass are all members of the perch family and are often referred to as true bass family.

Bass Assassin – A brand of soft-plastic jerkbait.

bass boat – A design of shallow-drafting boat developed for modern, competitive bass fishing.

bar – Long, shallow ridge in a body of water.

barb – A sharp projection on a fishing hook that holds a hooked fish.

barbless – A hook manufactured without a barb, or one made barbless by cutting it off, filing it off or flattening the barb (typically with pliers).

bay – Major indentation in the shoreline of a lake or reservoir.

bead-headed midges – A type of fly used for fly-fishing.

bedding – In fishing, this term refers to bedding fish during the spawning period.

bell sinker – A bell-shaped fishing weight.

Belly Boat – A trademark for a brand of rubber inner tube boat used for fishing in quiet water.

benthic – Occurring at or near the bottom of a body of water.

biology – The study of living things.

bite – When a fish takes or touches a bait so that the fisherman feels it.

bite indicator ­­– A device which activates or signals when a fish is on the line. It can be as simple as a bell placed on the line between two fishing pole guides that rings when a fish either nibbles or takes the bait. There are commercially made bite indicators as well. Bite indicators are often used by those bottom-fishing for catfish and carp.

biomass – The aggregate amount of living matter or a specific species within a specific habitat, or the total number of a specific species in a specific habitat.

black bass – Common term used to describe several types of bass of the sunfish family, including the largemouth and smallmouth bass.

blind cast – Casting at no particular target.

bluebird skies – A term used to describe bright, sunny, blue sky conditions that often make catching fish tough.

bluegill or bluegills – A common species of sunfish. Not synonymous with sunfish or panfish.

bobber – A float attached to the line under which a hook and sometimes a sinker hang. The bobber holds the bait or lure at a predetermined depth and also signals the strike of a fish (strike indicator). A variation is called a slip-bobber or slip-float, where the line runs freely through the bobber and there is a stop on the line for the predetermined depth.

bottom feeder or bottom-fish – A bottom-feeding fish, such as a catfish or carp. Refers to a fish that feeds predominantly on the bottom, not just one that is sometimes caught on the bottom, such as a largemouth bass or trout.

bow-fishing – Using a bow and arrow, typically with a reel attached to the bow, to harvest fish.

Bomber Long “A” – A brand name of crankbait.

bucketmouth – A slang term for largemouth bass, aka bigmouth bass.

brackish – Water of intermediate salinity between seawater and freshwater.

break – Distinct variation in otherwise constant stretches of cover, structure, or bottom type. Basically anything that “breaks up” the underwater terrain.

break-off – A fish lost when the line breaks, as opposed to losing fish when the hook breaks, straightens or pulls out.

broodfish – A large sexually mature fish capable of breeding. In hatcheries, these are the large egg-producing fish.

brookie, brookies, brook trout – A species of trout stocked in selected waters in Arizona’s high country (they are not native to the state).

brownie – Term can refer to a smallmouth bass or a brown trout.

brown trout – A nonnative species of trout stocked in some of Arizona’s high elevation trout waters. Sometimes referred to as a German brown.

brushline – The inside or the outside edge of a stretch of brush.

brush pile – Usually refers to a mass of small- to medium-sized tree limbs lying in the water. Brush piles may be only one of two feet across, or they may be extremely large; they may be visible or submerged. They can be created by Mother Nature or be man made. They typically attract fish, and fishermen.

buffalofish – A heavy bodied carp-like fish that can weigh up to 39 pounds that are found in some of the Salt River chain of lakes.

bumping – Refers to the act of making a lure hit an object, such as a log, tree or rock, in a controlled manner (either intentionally or unintentionally), which can get the attention of a fish and result in a strike.

bullet sinker – A cone-shaped piece of lead, zinc or steel of varying weights that slides up and down the line.

buzzbait – Top-water bait with large, propeller-type blades that churn the water during a retrieve. Usually comprised of a leadhead, a rigid hook and a wire that supports one of more blades. Typically has a plastic skirt like a spinnerbait.

buzzing – Retrieving a spinnerbait or buzzbait along the water’s surface to create a splash effect to resemble a wounded baitfish.