tail-spinners – Compact, lead-bodied lures with one or two spinner blades attached to the tail and a treble hook suspended from the body.
tagging – Marking or attached a tag to an individual or group of individual fish so that it can be identified on recapture. Tagging is used by a biologist to study the movement, migration, population size or activity patterns of fish.
take-out – A term describing the point where boats are taken out of the water at the end of a float trip.
terminal tackle – Angling equipment, excluding artificial baits, attached to the end of a fishing line; examples include hooks, snaps, swivels, snap-swivels, sinkers, floats, and plastic beads.
Texas rig (Texas-rigged) – The method of securing a hook to a soft-plastic bait, such as a worm, lizard or crawfish, so that the hook is weedless (doesn’t protrude). Typically, a slip sinker (often a bullet sinker) is threaded onto the line and then a hook is tied to the end of the fish line. The hook (often an offset hook) is inserted into the head of the soft-plastic bait for about one-quarter of an inch and brought through until only the eye is still embedded in the soft-plastic bait. The hook is then rotated and the point is embedded slightly into the body of the soft-plastic worm without coming out the opposite side. Many anglers try to ensure the bait stays straight once it is Texas-rigged.
thermocline – A distinct layer of water where rising warm and sinking cold water meet but do not mix. It is a layer of water where the temperature changes at least one-half a degree per foot of depth. In many of our desert bass lakes, a thermocline often develops during the spring and breaks down in the fall. The colder layer of water is often lacking in oxygen, forcing most baitfish and sport-fish to the upper layer of water. Thermoclines can be so dense that they actually show up on sonar (fish finders and depth finders) as a thick, impenetrable line.
threadfin shad – The most common baitfish in Arizona’s warmwater lakes.
tight-action plug – A lure with short, rapid side-to-side movement. Typically used when fish are more active in spring, summer and fall.
tiptop – Line guide at the tip end of a fishing rod.
topwater – The technique of using topwater lures for catching fish, especially bass at the water’s surface. Topwater lures are floating hard baits or plugs that create some degree of surface disturbance during the retrieve, typically mimicking struggling or wounded baitfish on the surface.
trailer hook – The extra hook or cheater hook added to a single-hook lure, such as a spinnerbait or weedless spoon. Also called a stinger hook.
transducer — A device that converts electrical energy to sound energy, or the reverse. Typically associated with depth finders or fish finders.
transition – These are where one type of bottom material or structure changes to another, for instance, a rock pile to solid rock, or sand to gravel. There can also be transition zones, such as mud lines where a river enters a lake. Fish can often be found in transition zones.
treble hook – A hook with a single or bundled shaft and three points.
tributary – A creek, stream, or river that feeds a larger stream or river, or lake.
triggering – Using a lure-retrieval technique that causes a sport-fish to react and strike. For instance, quickly speeding up a retrieve and then stopping. Can also referred to as causing a reaction bite.
trolling – Towing a lure or several lures behind a boat. When a fish is caught on the trolled lure, the boat is typically stopped and the fish is reeled in.
trolling motor – A small electric fishing motor, typically mounted on the bow, which is used as secondary means of propulsion for positioning or maneuvering a boat quietly in fishing areas.
tubing – A float fishing term that means to float down a river, stream or using a float tube in a lake while fishing.
turnover – In Arizona’s warmwater lakes, a turnover is typically experienced in the fall and is a phenomenon associated with thermoclines. In this case, the warmer layer of water at the surface cools down, and becomes colder than or as cold as the distinct layer of coldwater below. The result is that the two layers of water mix, eliminating the thermocline and creating a fairly uniform water temperature and perhaps introducing oxygen to the lower levels of the lake. This fall turnover action can result in bottom sediments nutrients being stirred up by the water movement, sometimes stimulating algal growth. The fall turnover typically signals the transition to winter fishing conditions.