pan fish – Any of a variety of species of fish that resemble the shape of a frying pan, thus the name. Often applies to sunfish, crappie, perch, other small fish or small sizes of other species.
Panther Martins – A brand name of in-line spinner.
Parr, parr marks – Small juvenile of the trout or salmon family. Characterized by parr marks, which are pronounced, wide, vertical bars on the sides of these fish until they mature.
pattern – Can describe where active fish are holding, or what techniques are working to catch fish, especially larger fish. For instance, pattern fishing could involve using shallow-running crankbaits on all the major points of a lake or Carolina-rigged worms on all main lake humps.
peacock ladies – A type of fly used by fly-anglers.
pectoral fin – The fin usually found on each side of the body behind the gill opening.
pegging – Putting a toothpick in the hole of a bullet or egg sinker to prevent the sinker from sliding along the line. Typically done with a Texas-rigged bait. Other items such as rubber bands slipped through the sinker have also become popular.
Pencil Poppers – A brand name topwater lure that is long and thin. Often used for catching striped bass.
pelvic fins – Pair of juxtaposed fins ventrally on the body in front of the anus.
PFD – A personal flotation device or life jacket.
pH – A measurement for liquids to determine acidity or alkalinity. On a scale of one to 14, seven is considered neutral. Below sever is acidic and above seven is alkaline. This is a factor in the health or activity levels of fish.
pike – A common reference to northern pike, a member of the pike family.
Pop-R – A brand of popper topwater lure.
pick-up – The act of a bass or other fish taking a slowly-fished lure, such as a plastic worm, crayfish or lizard. It can also be referred to as a “pressure” bite.
pitching – Fishing technique in which worms or jigs are dropped into cover at close range with an underhand pendulum motion using a long bait-casting rod, and differs from flipping in that with pitching, line is allowed to come out of the reel during the cast.
pocket – A small indentation in the shoreline, sometimes referred to as a pocket cove.
point – A finger of land jutting into the water, which if pronounced, can form a peninsula. Some points are submerged and not visible at the surface but can often be detected in depth finders. Points often hold fish; they can become good ambush spots for predatory fish.
popper – Top-water plug with a dished-out head designed to make a splash when pulled sharply to imitate a wounded baitfish struggling on the surface.
possession limit – The maximum limit or amount of a fish species set by regulation that may be possessed at one time by any one person.
post front – The period following a cold front; atmosphere clears and becomes bright. Usually characterized by strong winds and a significant drop in temperature. Fishing can often be slow during such conditions, especially for bass.
post-spawn – The period immediately following a spawn. Post-spawn fish recovering from the spawn can often be lethargic. Post-spawn fish that have recovered from the spawn are typically hungry and aggressive.
Power Bait, Power Worms, Power Craw, Power Eggs, Power Grubs, Power Worms – Brand names of commercially prepared scented baits
presentation – A collective term referring to a combination of choices a fisherman makes, such as the choice of lure, color, and size, the type of pole and/or tackle used, the structure targeted, the casting technique, the retrieval technique (slow, medium, fast, stop-and-go) and even where the bait is worked in the water column (deep, shallow, top-water).
prespawn – The period of time immediately before the spawn when fish are often feeding more aggressively.
professional overrun – A more polite term for backlash. Also called spaghetti.
Pro – Professional anglers: those elite fishermen who make a living at fishing, typically by fishing tournaments.
put-in – Denotes a boat launching area for the start of a float trip.
put-and-take – Refers to a fishery where catchable-sized fish are stocked (typically trout but not exclusively) and caught by anglers in a relatively short period of time. For instance, the state’s urban program lakes are prime examples of popular put-and-take fisheries.