Fishing Glossary S

saddle – A thin piece of land that extends out (sometimes an extended point) from the shoreline and connects to an island (sometimes underwater), reef or a hump. Submerged saddles can hold lots of fish.

salmon eggs – A type of egg bait typically used for trout fishing.

San Juan worms – A type of wet fly designed to look like a small aquatic worm that was popularized on the San Juan River in New Mexico, but is also used at Lees Ferry, the Lower Salt River and other riverine trout fisheries.

Sassy Shad – A brand of soft-plastic lure that resembles a shad.

seine net – A rectangular fishing net designed to hang vertically in the water, the ends being drawn together to encircle fish.

selective harvest – Deciding to release or keep fish based on species, size, relative abundance, or culinary plans.

shad – Any of several species of forage fish that have a rather deep body. In Arizona, the most common is the threadfin shad.

Shad Rap – A brand name crankbait.

shiner – A member of the shiner family often used for bait. The most common in Arizona is the gold shiner.

shoal – A submerged ridge, bank, or bar.

shore-fishing, shore-fish – Fishing from the shore, as opposed to fishing from a boat or wading.

short strike – When a fish hits at a lure and misses it.

slack line – The loose line from the tip of the rod to the lure. This can be a slight bow in the line to an excess of line lying on the water. The opposite is fishing with a tight line, such as when using a drop shot outfit.

Slug-Go – A brand of soft-plastic jerkbait.

Sight-cast, sight-casting, sight-fish, sight-fishing – The technique of casting and fishing when the fish are spotted first.

size limit – The legal length a fish must be is it is in possession (kept). Some fisheries have slot limits, where fish in the specified slot size range cannot be possessed.

skipping – A method of suing small lures and casting them hard and at a low angle to the water to make them skip, like a flat stone.

slip-float – A float rigged with a tin stop or bead on the line to make it stop at a pre-determined depth.

slip-sinker – A lead, zinc or steel weight with a hole through the center that allows it to slide freely up and down the fishing line. A slip sinker provides the weight for casting, yet allows the bait to move freely.

slot – A fishing size limit where the angler may keep fish shorter than a minimum length but longer than an upper length limit. For instance, a slot limit of 13 to 16 inches means you must, by regulation practice catch-and-release on the fish in the slot. Slot limits are special regulations used on specific bodies of water.

slough ­­– A long, narrow stretch of water such as a small stream or feeder tributary off a lake or river.

slow roll (or slow rolling) – A spinnerbait presentation in which the lure is retrieved slowly through and over cover and objects. A trailer bait is often on the hook.

slush bait – A top-water plug with flat or pointed head.

smallmouth bass – A black bass, primarily bronze in color, whose jaw does not extend beyond the eye and is found in clear rivers and lakes. They are also called bronzebacks, brown bass, river bass, or smallies.

snagging – A method of catching fish by jerking an unbaited hook through the water. In Arizona, snagging is not legal except for carp.

soft bottom – River or lake bottoms which are comprised of soft material, such as silt, mud, or muck.

sonar – An acronym derived from the expression “sound navigation and ranging.” Refers to the method or equipment for determining by underwater sound techniques the presence, location or nature of objects in the water. Fish finders use sonar.

spider jig – A type of leadhead jig with a skirt, much like the one on a spinnerbait.

spider trolling – Trolling with several rods at once.

spincaster – A manner of fishing employing a push-button, closed-faced spinning reel or baitcasting rod; the reel is mounted topside on the rod.

spin-casting, spin-cast – Sometimes called American spinning, or closed face spinning. Uses a fixes spool enclosed in a nose cone so the line leaving the reel’s nose cone comes out straight.

spinnerbait – An artificial bait consisting of a leadhead and one or two rotating blades and either a straight or a safety-pin style shaft dressed with material (often called a skirt).

spinning – A manner of fishing employing an open-face or closed-face spinning reel and spinning rod; reel is mounted on the underside of the rod and the rod guides are also on the underside of the rod.

Spinning reel – A fixed spool reel, generally referring to open-faces spinning.

Split shot, split-shotting – A style of finesse fishing employing a split shot weight up the line typically 6 to 18 inches above a small artificial worm, lizard, crawfish or grub, usually rigged Texas-style (hook concealed in the bait).

spook – Alarming a fish, such as making too much noise, movement or casting a shadow so fish become “spooked.”

stained – A discoloration of the water usually occurring after a heavy rain or significant runoff. Some shorelines can have stained water from wind and rain action causing shoreline erosion. Bass especially can often hide and feed in those bands of discoloration.

starboard – the right side of a boat or ship.

stick bait – A slender plug or topwater lure that is given action by the angler manipulating the rod and reel, sometimes making the bait go back-and-forth to resemble a wounded shad, which is called “walking the dog.”

stickups – Tips of trees and brush that “stick up” from the water and provide structure, primarily for bass fishing.

still-fishing, still-fisherman – Fishing from one spot; primarily refers to shore-fishing from a single location.

stink bait – Bait, such as chicken liver, that puts odor into the water, typically for catfishing.

stinger-hook – An additional hook placed on a lure, spinnerbait or bait rig; also called a trailer hook.

stocking – The practice of releasing hatchery raised fish into ponds, reservoirs, streams or rivers. Stocking is often necessary in waters where the fishing pressure exceeds the natural fish reproduction capabilities.

stragglers – Bass that remain behind following a general migration.

strain – A group of related individuals created through selective breeding and that is genetically different from other strains of the same species.

stream – A body of running water.

streambed – The channel being occupied or formerly occupied by a stream.

striped bass – A member of the true bass family along with white bass and yellow bass. In Arizona, they are found in the Colorado River chain of lakes such as Powell, Mead, Mohave and Havasu, but are also found in Lake Pleasant.

structure – Changes in the shape of the bottom of lakes, rivers, or impoundments, especially those that influence fish behavior. Examples include flooded roadbeds, washes, arroyos, humps, ledges and drop-offs.

Sunfish – Any of a dozens of members of the sunfish family, including largemouth bass, bluegill, redear and crappie.

Super Duper – A brand of lure typically used for trout fishing. It can be cast but is often trolled.

suspended fish – Fish at mid-level depths, neither on the surface nor on the bottom.

swim bladder – A gas-filled sac found in the upper part of the body cavity of many bony fishes.

swimming lures – Sinking-type artificial baits designed to resemble a swimming baitfish. Such plus vibrate or wobble during retrieve and some have built-in rattles. Also called lipless crankbaits.