dabbing – Working a lure up and down in the same spot a dozen or more times in a bush, or beside a tree or other structure.
damselfly – A small member of the dragonfly family.
dapping – A method of fly-fishing in which the fly is allowed to skip or dance on the water while line and leader are held above the water from a high rod.
Dardevle – A trademark for a brand of spoons typically used for trout and northern pike fishing.
deadfall – A tree that has fallen into the water.
deer-hair bug – A floating fly-rodding lure made from hollow deer hair and used principally for bass and panfish.
depthfinder, depth recorder, or depth sounder – A sonar device used to read the bottom structure, determine depth, and in some cases actually locate fish. Also called a fishfinder.
Devle Dog – A trademark for a brand of fishing lure.
desert sucker – A native Arizona fish typically found in rivers and streams that can weigh over four pounds.
die-off – Refers to having many fish die at the same time, quite often baitfish; also referred to as a fish kill.
dillys – A type of small earthworm popular for catching sunfish and trout.
dink – A small bass, usually under 6 to 8 inches long (also called a subcatchable).
dip bait – A smelly paste-type bait primarily used for catfish.
dip net – A net with a handle used to capture baitfish.
disgorger – Device for removing hooks deeply embedded in the throat of fish.
dissolved oxygen – The amount of free (usable) oxygen in water. Usually designated in parts per million.
dobsonfly – A large aquatic insect, the larva of which is the popular hellgrammite bait.
doll Fly – A trademark for a brand of chenille-bodied, hackle-wrapped jig.
doodlesock or doodlesocking – A method of cane-pole or long-pole fishing in which a lure or bait is repeatedly dipped and dragged through likely fish structures. Used in largemouth bass and crappie fishing. Very effective when fish are holding tight to cover.
dorsal fin – A median fin located along the back of a fish. It is usually supported by rays, which sometimes gives the fin a fan- or sail-like appearance. There may be two or more dorsal fins.
doughball – A ball of bait made from bread or specially prepared dough used for bait-fishing. Commonly used for carp.
downlake, downriver, downshore, and downstream, downcurrent – All terms referring to directions.
drag – Device on fishing reels that allows line to pay out under pressure, even though the reel is engaged; set correctly, it ensures against line breakage.
drawdown – Lowering a lake level for a specific purpose.
drift-boating, drift-fishing – Techniques used to fish by drifting with the current, sometimes in a drift boat.
drop-off – A sudden increase in depth, often created by washes, small creek channels, canyons, pinnacles, and other submerged topographic features.
drop shot – A tackle rigging technique employing a hook tied to the line from four-inches to four-feet above the sinker. The hook is attached using a Palomar knot and the weight is attached to the tag line from the knot. The hook is set at a 90-degree angle to the line, typically with the hook point pointing upward toward the pole. Typical drop shot baits are small, usually 4-inches or less.
dry fly – A fly which floats on the surface of the water by means of hackle (feather) fibers. An angler employing this technique is said to be dry-fly fishing.