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>> Pier Fishing In California’s New Piscatorial Dictionary— [topic: previous/next]
PostPosted: Thu Jun 12, 2008 4:54 pm
Ken Jones

Posts: 9780
Location: California

Chapter Five

Pier Fishing In California’s New Piscatorial Dictionary —
A Compilation of Diverse and Entertaining Threads,
Jargon and Nomenclature


Pisces — [L., fishes] a Zodiacal constellation directly south of Andromeda; the Fish or Fishes.

Posted by gyozadude on April 19, 2002

The term my wife uses to refer to a fisherman getting skunked in Cantonese... "Ginko Rice Porridge". The term in Cantonese is: "Ba Guo Jok" = skunked. She'll get a kick out of the term if you use it. - Gyozadude "Yes - I can roll my own potsticker skins"

Posted by lucy

Gyozadude said that Cantonese for "skunked" is "ba guo jok," which literally means (I think he said) "ginko rice porridge." (Sounds like a rather yucky dish!) Anyway, I think it would be fun to know what "skunked" is in other languages too. Also, does anyone know how the term "skunked" originated? I always think it may have started when some poor schnook went out and not only caught nothing, but had a run-in with a skunk, but does anybody know for sure?

Posted by pierangler8787

What is "skunked"?? Never heard of it!

Posted by KingCrab

Caught a squirrel once while fishing for carp. Haven't caught a skunk yet.

Posted by Corbinaman1

Spanish=El Skunko? (Probably Wrong!)

Posted by acevesf

Spanish=sorillo? (not sure about spelling!)

Posted by montgomery burns

It's zorillo

Posted by montgomery burns

My bad, it's zorrillo, forgot the double r.

Posted by pescador5312

First of all in Tagalog (Filipino) I don’t think there's much of an equivalent to skunked. We just say "wala" which means "nothing". My opinion as for the origin, when you go fishing and don’t catch anything you can say that the day stunk. Stunk like what you ask? skunk. Anybody agree? Do I get an amen?

Posted by lucy

That's a good hypothesis (phe-e-ew!)

Posted by PierHead


Posted by Ken Jones

[Lucy] recently asked about the origin of this term and Snookie and I killed some time discussing it while we went fishless in Balboa. Soon after, she sent me the following: "Remember my asking about ‘skunked?’ I found one thing about it being used as a verb starting in 1831 when it first appeared here in U.S. It was a verb meaning to defeat by keeping your opponent from scoring (fish vs. us). It is Algonquian from the word seqanku meaning skunk."

Posted by gyozadude

That's such an interesting etymology. Algonquian were mostly in the Mid-north-east US area. It'd figure that it was the New Englanders that'd adopt a term like that. An internet search doesn't give a lot of details as to it's application. But it sounded like a verb used in warfare or in competitions where an opponent was defeated overwhelmingly. When do you think this got applied to fishing?
- Gyozadude "Yes - I can roll my own potsticker skins"


Posted by 2d on December 13, 2002
Subject: Fishing Lingo

With this rain coming in, I think I'll hang up the Bay Area rods for a while. Got me to thinking that there's a certain lingo to almost every avocation, and fishing's not different. If we talk about fishing to others in the brethren, most non-anglers wouldn't know what we were saying. Anyone have any colorful terms to share? Here's mine (mostly from Hawaii, but it's educational for those of you who find yourself fishing there).
1. jack up-reel in. Example: "my bait was untouched for an hour, so I jacked up to see if it was still there"
2. hana pa'a- strike. Literally, "work (hana) stuck (pa'a)", or a snag that "works" (moves). Example: "after a long night of nothing, we finally hana pa'a around 3am"
3. Put it to the lead-cast as far as possible—long cast. Example: "Joe really put it to the lead and reached the outer reef"
4. Whitewash—no fish caught. Skunk. Example: "I wanted to eat fish tonight, but I whitewashed today"
5. Pinned, pinned down-snagged. also, when a fish takes you into the rocks. Example: "I had a nice one on, but then he pinned me down and I had to break off"
So...anyone else?

Posted by Rock Hopper

Lotta fish nicknames.... Lings, cabbies, dinos, diamond backs, leppies, smoothies, mud marlin, sand sharks, stripers (or strippers), 'buts, bullheads, etc.

Posted by baitfish

Hmmm most of them you probably already know...
Knotheads/Dogs—Sea Lions
Doormat/Barndoor—Big halibut
Slime Stick—Barracudda
Bone Head—Bonita
Slammed—Big bite
Peelin' — pulling drag fast

Posted by sharkshooter

A poacher, specifically someone that sells their fish w/o a commercial license.

Posted by avidangler

Pig—BIG fish
Toad—BIG fish also
Farmer—someone who loses lots of fish
Marmaluke—someone who can't catch a fish
Zipperlip—a spot nobody gets to know about!
Sure catch—I ain't tellin' about that one!!!-AA

Posted by Rock Hopper

Gettin Jiggy—A suspectful bite, as in—Dude, your pole was just gettin' jiggy.


Posted by Ken Jones on November 16, 2003
PFIC sanctioned vocabulary: making new words.

Got an interesting note from Arvin concerning the proposed PFIC Hall of Fame and one of his thoughts concerned Stan. To quote from his note " inducting him, I feel, would solidify the term ‘stan-sized ray,’ making it an actual part of the angler's vocabulary for years to come. It would be nice to see some young angler ten years from now land a 50-lb ray and say ‘that's a stan-sized ray’ giving one of us the opportunity to pass down the legacy of a legend in his own time in explanation of where the term came from." It reminded me of the time someone suggested that the term “Jonesit” be used for going pier fishing. Thus, if one said I'm going to Jonesit, it meant he or she was going pier fishing. Not sure if that makes sense but I was honored. Wonder what other words could be added to the lexicon of PFIC pier anglers?

Posted by DSRTEGL

Well...Songslinger has an uncanny knack for pulling out big monkeyface eel and rockfish out of tiny holes...Maybe we could call a successful catch of this kind...”pulling a 'slinger.” Just a suggestion

Posted by Ken Jones

I like it!


Posted by unclesteve on March 7, 2004
Subject: Talk Fish

Greetings Everyone, First, I'd like to start out by thanking Ken Jones and the folks that are contributing to this site. It's a great source of information especially the archives search for those of us that missed out on FISHING 101. To be honest, it's a big tease as well since I'm overseas working right now, but I'll be back home for the summer fishing season. The pictures are great! Anyhow, I wanted to make suggestion that might help the newbies to fishing. A lot of times I see fishing jargon that can sound like a foreign language to us newbies. Perhaps a thread or section where people can post their fishing jargon might be advantageous. I also realize that fishing jargon can differ from regions, but it should be helpful everyone. I know it might require some work, but its just a suggestion that might be considered in the near future.
NOTE: The search archive is the encyclopedia of California Pier fishing, so to all the newbies like myself it's a great place to learn. The difference between catching fish and going fishing is Beer!

Posted by Songslinger

I Agree: Jargon & Nomenclature. Unclesteve has come up with a superb suggestion. It wouldn't hurt to have some sort of glossary here. Back in the days when this message board was comprised of a smaller group of deeply disturbed individuals, it was easier to converse and exchange ideas without worrying about things getting lost in the translation. Not so, now. Therefore terms and even local parlance should be identified and defined. I would like to see the "local flavor" aspect explored a bit further. Consider the names people have for fish and the ensuing confusion. Black Surfperch, for example. Here in the Bay Area it's Black Perch or Pogie. Elsewhere it's Buttermouth and some have even said Butterlips, which of course lends to the difficulty in some newbies in discerning the differences between Black Perch and Rubberlip Perch. (As if one look at a Rubberlip would not dispel all doubts!) And people in SF will persist in calling Striped Surfperch Rainbow Surfperch. Worse, in my view, is the appellation of Splittail for White or Pile Perch—though never as weird as what people down in Santa Cruz call the Pile Perch: Pacific White Perch. And I will not even go there with the SoCal "Sculpin."

Posted by dompfa ben

Yeah, what he said..."Swing and a miss, then came back...went bendo soaking a clipped and butt-hooked ronkie, 15# main, fluoro-leader, got a nice barndoor..." "Johnny bass, barberpole, button-perch, toads, grumpers, slugs and bugs"
"DOMPFA!" Just three examples of important fishing ideas that some newcomers might now understand. DOMPFA: Dominating Positive Fishing Attitude!

Posted by Ken Jones

I nominate Songslinger...to produce Songslinger's New Collegiate (and PFIC) Dictionary. And with a little help from his friends — i.e., Lucy, cougar, dompfa ben and others it might even become Songslinger's International (and PFIC) Dictionary. Love that Latin! Didn't we once do a thread on the various ways to say something fishy? I can't remember what the phrase was. Good luck fishing?

Posted by giflet

I think its a great idea, I have had people email me after I'd post a report, and ask me what I meant when I stated I landed a short flattie, with a 5-inch live dine pinned in the nose with a #4 circle, 3ft 15# leader on a trolly line. Shall I translate: (I caught a Halibut under the legal size limit of 22-inches while using a sardine as live bait hooked through the nose with a #4 circle hook on a 3ft 15# leader that I slide down the main line.) Yea good idea, I can see where some confusion could arise!!!!!!! You better wear a life jacket when joining this board, cause you can drown in information.

Posted by xpostman

Origins of mud marlin? When did you hear the word mud marlin aka bat ray? Did it start on pierfishing.com?

Posted by Nufo

Long before I ever had a computer. Actually I believe I first heard it from Jon at Walton’s Pond around 10 years ago. I know it’s been in use way longer than that though

Posted by dompfa ben

Earliest recollection. Fishing off the Balboa Island docks for those things as a kid (20 years ago) with my dad and brothers, the ferry drivers would see our heavy rods and sinker sleeves, and say, "Yeah! Go get those mud marlin!" or things to that effect.

Posted by Ken Jones

We didn't start it, just helped popularize it. If popularize is a word?

Posted by Songslinger

From the American Heritage Dictionary:
1.To make popular: A famous dancer popularized the new hairstyle.
2.To present in a widely understandable or acceptable form: popularize technical material for a general audience.

Posted by Ken Jones

Thanks. I've been known to fracture a word now and then.


Ken Jones on July 12, 2004
PFIC Vocabulary... If we were inventin' words...

to describe what we see on the piers, what would be some nominees? An example is the “jrkulese” connotation used below to describe the actions of some jerks at one of the piers. Any other ideas?

Posted by guitarfish

I went out to Goleta Pier to take a walk and enjoy the nice weather. I decided to leave the fishing gear at home and just take in some of crowded the weekend atmosphere. The bait fish were present consisting of Spanish macks, sardines, and jacksmelt. As for other catches, I didn't see much else until I reached the end of the pier. The locals were telling me that a man had caught a 4 1/2 ft. soupfin shark not an hour before. This is the first soupfin that any of us are aware of being caught off of Goleta! The sources were very credible, although I did not see the shark due to the fact that it had already been cut up and put away. Later on, one of the locals caught an 11" sculpin, also a bit rare for Goleta. A gentleman had asked if he could have it and they told him that he could, but not without a stiff warning to not touch the spines due to the toxicity. The gentleman carried it off by the tail only to return minutes later with two small puncture wounds in his hand. We recommended that he seek medical attention due to the possibility that he could be allergic to the toxins. There was a language barrier and I hope that he understood us. He left not to be seen again. As I was walking off of the pier, I noticed another angler pulling in a fish. It turned out to be a leopard shark about two feet long. That fish was released with only a headache due to being flung off the pier in a Herculean manner. Boy I really wanted to teach that angler some manners, but my better senses took over as I decided to leave the pier and Jerkulese behind. Nathan

Posted by graybeard

Jerkulese—exhibiting massive amount of Jerkness?

Posted by thaapocalypse571

I believe you are correct...

Posted by thaapocalypse571


Posted by guitarfish

piscadoofi major
- n. more than one thoughtless angler.

Posted by climberb9

Phrase—Stan Low sized bat ray = very large bat ray

Posted by Mr. Pole Pack

Mud Marlin = Bat ray
Kingfish = White Croaker
Bird's nest = reel tangle
Bullhead = Staghorn Sculpin

Posted by guitarfish


/mush héd/. [goleta] from the latin (piscator alcoholicus) one in a group of persons that frequent the mouth of municipal piers enjoying alcoholic beverages and talking about fishing.

Posted by climberb9

PFIC Volume 1 then II- the pierfishing Bible

Posted by garth

"Buzzarding" — A while back I used that one to describe someone waiting on a spot at the end of Oceanside Harbor...the guy was creepy...just sat there silently by a mass of poles (he proceeded to fish five at once) until the people in "his" spot took off.
dinks, dinkers, dinkus minor, dinkalllidoos, dinkage...all descriptive of, say, "less than trophy" sized fish...
Bait Karma: the process of passing your unused bait along in an effort to improve your karmic standing for the next time you show up unexpectedly, or can't make bait.

Posted by Rock Hopper

“Spot Rusher” — People who have noticed you catch a fish and immediately descend upon your area.
“Jiggy” — a suspected bite, as in - Hey dude, your pole is gettin' jiggy.
“Pilt aka Peeled” — having your bait stolen...usually by crabs, as in — Man, I got pilt already. See also; raped.

Posted by StripeSideChaser

spot rushers = lap sitters!

Posted by anadromous

lap sitters = biters

Posted by 2d

claim jumpers: people who, having seen you catch a nice one from a particular spot (or knowing beforehand that that spot is a good one), set up right next to you, even though there's an open pier or miles of shoreline on either side of you.

Posted by dompfa ben

My favorite fishing word: "Pelican" n. -- a person who waits on the docks as the long-range boats are unloading their catch, and steals fish with a grab and run technique.

Posted by Kaleo

Piapia: the guy urinating off the side of the pier. (pronounced pee-ah-pee-ah)

Posted by Kaleo

Pierfume: that alluring scent of fermenting anchovies and sun-dried squid...

Posted by eelmaster

Tony. I like to refer to big fish as "Tony." As in Tony Mantanta from scar face. I mean it doesn't get any more Kingpin than Tony, right?


Posted by dig on September 28, 2004

Today at Shelter Island I heard this guy refer to lobster as a shell—“I pulled a shell” which made me think about all the short terms we use as pier rats. "spottie,” "hallie," "boneheads," "bonnies." Would be cool for a nice list of pier rat lingo/slang that is our own language as pier rats

Posted by Jim Babwe

An original (methinks). My buddy and I refer to big bat rays as “Tour Guides” since they will take you to the Golden Gate, Alcatraz and Pier 39 prior to giving in.

Posted by Rock Hopper

That'd be a “gangster.” Monte's (and now our whole “crew's”) word for a large fish.

Posted by unclesteve

SHARAY = Shark & Sting Ray

Posted by SetHook

FishinPat told me this one. “Fishing on credit” means fishing with no bait. That is, if your line has been too long in the water (and had too many little bites), then you're definitely fishing on credit! Better check your bait.


Posted by norcalrod on November 23, 2004

Brands of string. I'M SO CONFUSED!!!! There are so many brands of string on the market...Berkeley, Stren, Yo-Zuri, Ande, Spyder Wire, South Bend...So many types... Monofiliment, Florocarbon, braided, Hybrids, weaves... I tend to rockfish and go after sharks/rays in the SF Bay with the same equipment. I've got a Stren High Impact 20" main on my spinning reel. At times, my main gets frayed with rocks on the coastline, and snap-O... fish gone. Any suggestions as to what everyone is using for mixed fishing? domo.

Posted by Mikey

Rule #1 — Don't call it “string.” It's line...Mike

Posted by norcalrod

Pardo-moi LINE

Posted by Daniel E. (This was an excellent and exhaustive post on Southern California fishing terms. I have edited it to include only those terms possibly used by pier anglers—KJ).

Baby killer = someone who keeps small fish — Yellow fever
Barelycuda = small or short barracuda — Ken Schnorr
Barn door = large halibut — popelink
Barney = a term used to describe an angler who claims know everything but can't get hung. The term came from “The Andy Grifith Show” Barney Fife claimed to know everything but was an idiot instead. — tunakllr
Barries = Barracuda — Jeff
Bendo = when you hang a fish — Yellow fever
Bird's Nest = Line overrun on the spool — JapanRon
Bit off = the fish bit through your line —Yellow fever
Boil = Topwater disturbance caused by big fish chasing little fish — Jeff
Boneheads = Bonito — JapanRon
Bones = Bonito — Jeff
Bounce = Haul a fish over the rail without assistance — JapanRon
Broomstick = A short really stiff rod that has little or no bend — JapanRon
Brownie = herring or tom cod that’s used for bait —Yellow fever
Bucket Mouth = Usually what one would call a really big bass — JapanRon
Bull Bass = Big Calicos (used only in San Diego??) — Jeff
Butts = Halibut — JapanRon
Button-down = Tighten down your drag —JapanRon
Candy = The 'preferred' baitfish, usually live squid — Jeff
Chicken = A sea gull — Jeff
Chicken of the Sea = Seagull — JapanRon
Chovies = Anchovies — Jeff
Come Unbuttoned = Fish comes off the hook — JapanRon
Coffee grinder = spinning reel — Ken Schnorr
Croaker = white seabass — Yellow fever
Cross their Eyes = Strong hook Set — JapanRon
Desert = no fish for miles — Yellow fever
Dikes = Cutters and or pliers — JapanRon
Dinies = Small sardines — Jeff
Dinks = Little fish — Jeff
Dinos = Large sardines — Jeff
Dog = Seal — Yellow fever
Doormat = large flounder/hallibut — buzznfmf
Dropper Loop = The “dropper loop” is a name for the type of knot used on multiple hook setups.
Dumped = when you loose a fish — Yellow fever
Farmer = One who constantly loses fish. Don't know how this one came about. Any help? - Jeff
[From Jeff Spira: with regards to your "Farmer" section, I've heard it used as a verb “You farmed it,” or “I farmed three before I finally boated this one.” when someone loses a fish. I don't get the metaphor either. The way I heard about the term “farmer” came from a old crusty skipper who watched the passengers on his boat while they fished. Having nothing better to do on slow days, he sized them up based on the way they looked and their obvious skill - or the lack thereof - and would then make his sarcastic comments to the crew as to what kind of job that person probably did - like “college boy” or “ditch-digger.” Throughout history, a farmer was a lowly peasant that had absolutely no talent, no worth. He was the bottom of the barrel in society and has been until this century. He simply stuck a seed in the ground and waited for it to grow. No rocket science needed there. So “Farmer” was the insult to the person that the skipper deemed “stupid” or “hopeless”.]
Feathers = Formally Japan Feathers now all kinds of bird clothes — JapanRon)
Firecrackers = Small Yellowtail — Jeff
Fish heads = What's left after a sea dog gets a hold of it! — Brian Cyr
Flattie = Halibut — Jeff
Foaming = Lots of big fish feeding heavily upon lots of little fish. The topwater disturbance is so great it creates a "foam" on top of the water — Jeff
Freespool = Let the spool run free with thumb pressure —JapanRon
Fresh one!!!!! = yelled out when you hook up on bait or jig — popelink
Fried = Burned up the reel's drag washers — JapanRon)
Frisco style = when you snag a fish in the butt — Yellow fever
Gar = barracuda — Yellow fever
Getting Worked = When a large fish on heavy line is kicking your ... — tunakllr
Go'in Out = Heads up Someones casting out — JapanRon
Goat = large male sheepshead — Ken Schnorr
Golden gobbler = tom cod — Yellow fever
Green stuff = cold or dirty water — Yellow fever
Grumps = Big calico or sand bass. Too tough to eat, should be released.
Hali = Halibut — JapanRon
Hammered = violent strike/tipsey angler — buzznfmf
Handoff = What happens if you can't handle a fish — JapanRon
Hang = structure — buzznfmf
Helmet = Poor Fishing!!! — Dale Vaughan
Horse = Bringing in a fish without giving it a chance to fight — JapanRon
Hot Rail = Area where fish are being followed — JapanRon
Hot Stick = Good or catching fisherman — JapanRon
Hung = as in hooked up with a big fish. Not to brag, but I'm "hung"— RHOLLO
Iron = On the Iron i.e. caught on a metal jig — JapanRon
Island mackeral = blue perch — Yellow fever
Japan Feathers = Old style lure with a weighted bullet shaped head, red glass eyes, and feathers — JapanRon
Jig = lure — popelink
Laguna Tuna = A small mackerel — JapanRon
Lead = sinker — Yellow fever
Linesides = STRIPED BASS — Steve Suhrbier
Live Line = Send a live bait out without little or know weight — JapanRon
Locked Down = Drag is tightened as far as possible — JapanRon
Logs = Big Barracuda. — Jeff
Low Bridge = what good casters say before they start their backcast — JapanRon
Mack Attack = Mackerel eating every bait thrown making it impossible to catch targeted species. — Jeff
Macks = Mackerel.
Make bait = Catching live bait yourself as opposed to buying it — Jeff
Mangler = Idiot that doesn’t look behind before casting his jig. Watch out for this guy, unless you want your nose pierced for free — Jeff
Meatball = small schools of baitfish that were chummed and regrouped into a small pack — Ken Schnorr
Meat Stick = A big, heavy, long rod to get down and dirty — JapanRon
Mossbacks = Yellowtail — Jeff
Nervous Water = Surface water that is ruffeled with bait activity — JapanRon
Nuked Fish = S.D. Bay Bass — Dale Vaughan
On the Iron = Caught on an iron jig. — JapanRon
Pin = Put a hook in a bait — JapanRon
Pinheads = Tiny baitfish, usually die immediatley after being hooked — Jeff
Plastic or rubber = swim baits — Yellow fever
Popped off = hook pulled out of his mouth - Yellow fever
Professional Over-run = Bird's Nest — JapanRon
Pussgut = sand bass — Dale Vaughan
Rats = Little yellowtail — Jeff
Rattlesnake = Sculpin — Joe Adler
Rhinos or trout = big sardines — Yellow fever
Rip Lips = over zealous hook set (JapanRon)
Ripped = This happens when a fish has hit you on the run and gets off before you can set the hook; i.e.,That fish really ripped me. Someone else it might be short for having your bait ripped-off — JapanRon
Rock = striped bass — buzznfmf
Rocked = when a fish breaks your line on a rock — Yellow fever
Rolled = when your bait dies — Yellow fever
Salad = snagging and bringing in kelp or other plant life — Ken Schnorr
Scooters = Barracuda — JapanRon
Scrambled Egg = A jig or feathers that have the color of...you guessed it scrambled eggs (yellow, white, and brown and sometimes a little red) — JapanRon
Screaming = refers to reel with a clicker —Yellow fever
Sea Dog = Seal -- or sea lion. Those fish-robbing dogs! — Jeff
Sea Chicken = Seagull — Jeff
Sinker Dunker = inexperienced angler who just drops his rig in and ends up with J.P.—Jackpot fish — Dale Vaughan
Skunked = fishless angler — buzznfmf
Slammed! = getti—g hooked on a fish — Gilbert Gonzalez
Slime- = barracuda — Yellow fever
Slimestick = barracuda — JapanRon
Smoked = A fish took the bait on the run and you lost it— JapanRon
Snag = structure — buzznfmf
Snaggle Tooth = Sheepshead. — JapanRon
Snake = small hoo — buzznfmf
Snake bit = and/or "got B.O." when you don't get any bites and everyone around you is hooking up — Ken Schnorr
Spooled = All the line has been stripped from the reel. Panic Time! — Jeff
Spotties = Spotted Bay Bass — JapanRon
Squirt Gun = Squid — Ken Schnorr
Squirters Live squid — JapanRon
stick or gig = gaff — Yellow fever
stinky pinkey = old dead squid — Yellow fever
String = Fishing line
Tails = Yellowtail — Jeff
Thumbburn = 'Thumb the spool' at the wrong time and and your thumb will fry — JapanRon
Trash = undesirable catch — buzznfmf
Tubes = Squid — JapanRon
Wide-open = Drop a bait into the water, catch a fish — Jeff


Posted by Ken Jones on December 26, 2004

Geeze, I'm in their dictionary even if, apparently, on the fringe. — Doubletongued.org/
A Growing Dictionary of Old and New Words From the Fringes of English

potpourri fishing n. a type of fishing which offers a variety of (in-season) species or in which more than one method can be used.
English. Sports.
1997 John Adams Press Democrat (Santa Rosa, Calif.) (Sept. 11) "Cruising Exotic Species Caught Off Pacific Waters" p. C7: At Fort Bragg, Martin Scribner at the North Coast Angler says marlin have been hooked and lost. Bottom fishing is great on non-windy days. The albacore bite is picking up again after three windy days. And a commercial boat took 45 salmon Tuesday trolling deep. Is this potpourri fishing or what? 2004 Ned Kehde Topeka Capital-Journal (Kan.) (May 2) "April anglers enjoy potpourri fishing": Potpourri time is a colloquialism for the great and enchanting spell when anglers can tangle with vast numbers of fish and a variety of species by plying the many miles of rock-laden shorelines that grace Coffey, Melvern and Milford lakes. 2004 Ken Jones @ Crescent City, Calif. Owner com "Pier Fishing in California": One night I visited the pier for a little potpourri fishing and was startled to see crab pots tied every 7-10 feet around the entire end of the pier.


Posted by Ken Jones on September 23, 2005
PFIC/Fishing Terms/Lingo/Dictionary —

Posted by tacofish

Slider — Sliding Weight
MORF — Motor Oil, Red Flake
MOGF — Motor Oil, Gold Flake
Clickers — crawdads or crabs
Deener — Sardine
Chovey — anchovey
Dungees — Dungeness crabs
Rats Nest — nasty tangle, usually associated with a baitcaster or conventional reel. See Professional Over-run
Cheater Stick — an illegally used rod
Stinger Hook — an in-line, secondary hook
Lurker — somebody that watches this (or any other) message board without posting.
Dino (pronounced Deeno) — Sardine
Dino (pronounced Dyno) — Sturgeon

Posted by kaleo

MOGrF - motoroil w/ green flake (grub color)
firecracker - clear w/ red, blue, and silver flake (grub color)
Slider(2) - Charlie Slider brand grub (knobtail design)
Hammer - Big Hammer brand swimbait
nose-hooking aka Hammer-hooking - hooking a grub by threading the hook *across* the nose, so that the grub swings in the curve of the hook and most of the hook is visible.
egg - egg sinker
bird cloud - a less-used synonym for 2d's "bird pile"

Posted by uncle ji

Local Hawaiian twists: "Hanapa'a!" What you say when you get a solid hook-up…my twist on this which has caught on with friends is "salamat bit!" when I get a solid hook-up.

Posted by baconmojo

headache - warning of impending cast
yardsale - kayaker spilling gear onto the beach
bait buffet - making bait
gangstas - big 'sharays'
cement boat - Seacliff pier
WFO - wide-open


Salty Nick— ie. "After catching the cabbie, he got the patented 'Salty Nick' photo in the tide pool."

Posted by 2d

Screamer — a fish that pulls out a lot of line when you have it hooked (makes your reel scream)
Bird's nest/professional overrun — cast with a conventional or baitcaster in which the spool spins faster than the line goes out
Farmed/LDR (long distance release) — losing a fish before you can land it
Birds up — seabirds circling above the water looking for/keying on bait fish below
Bird pile — seabirds crashing bait (usually with gamefish pounding the bait from below)
Nervous water — ripples on otherwise calm water indicating cruising gamefish looking for food

Posted by StripeSideChaser

"fishing on credit" same as the "shiny hook" method... normally caused by not checking your bait frequently enough.

Posted by dompfa ben

Various things heard prior to casting... The following are all synonymous with "Hey, pay attention...I'm about to cast":
1. Going out!
2. Heads up!
3. Low bridge!
4. Swingin!
5. Fore!
6. Headache!
7. Pucker up!

Posted by Ken Jones

Should the following be added to the PFIC Dictionary?


Posted by sethook

ayeyopole, &
fishinoncredit are good candidates as well

Posted by pierhead

SBRF—term invented during the 2002-2003 season at Goleta Pier. Thanks to a gentle suggestion (?) from one of our resident curmudgeons I started keeping a fishing log of my successes on the reef side. I also cross-posted all catches to PFIC complete with multiple pictures ... definitely NOT his idea. Since small (under 8") brown rockfish were the most common catch (159 out of 535 caught that year) it was also the term I had to type the most frequently. Sometime during that year I just substituted SBRF and sbrf if they were really small. So SBRF/sbrf are truly unique PFIC terms 1st heard right here.

(u)Roncador(/u): Another of the many terms for the ubiquitous white croaker (Genyonemus lineatus) aka Pasadena Sewer Trout. But to my knowledge this term is used only in Santa Barbara county mostly at Stearns Wharf built in 1872. Both Ken and I were puzzled as to its origin but further research revealed that it was originally derived from the Latin name for the spotfin croaker (Roncador stearnsii) which was first cataloged by Steindachner in 1876.

Posted by mel

My fishing glossary will get deleted. Nothing but cuss words.

Posted by Ken Jones on July 15, 2006

I’m actually not sure where this list originated, but it’s certainly interesting if you have a passion for fish and anything to do with fish.

pisci-, pisc- + = (Latin: fish)

aureo hamo piscari = To fish with a golden hook.
This motto recognizes the persuasiveness of money. It is similar to Auro quaeque ianus panditur (A golden key opens any door); which translates literally as, "Any door is opened by means of gold."

1. Fishing privileges in another's waters.
2. A place for fishing.

Piscation = Fishing or the act of fishing.

Piscatology = The art or science of fishing.

piscator, piscatorial
1. A fisherman; an angler.
2. Of fishes, fishermen, or fishing.

1. Of or pertaining to fishers or to fishing.
2. Employed in or addicted to fishing.

1. Of or pertaining to Pisces, the twelfth sign of the Zodiac.
2. Characteristic of a person born under Pisces.

1. The 12th (traditional) or the 1st (new reality) sign of the zodiac, represented by two fishes and lasting from approximately February 19 to March 20 (traditional dates) or March 12 to April 18 (new dates). Pisces is classified as a water sign and its ruling planets are Jupiter and Neptune.
2. In biology, fishes; group of vertebrates that includes all fishes in the broad sense.

Piscicapturist = A fisherman.

Piscicide = A substance poisonous to fish; thus, killing fish (fish killer).

piscicole, piscicolous = Living on or within fishes.

pisciculture, piscicultural
1. The controlled breeding, hatching, and rearing of fish, especially for scientific or commercial purposes.
2. The artificial breeding, rearing, and preservation of live fish.
Someone who breeds and rears fish for scientific or commercial purposes.

Piscifauna = A collective term for the native fishes (of any district or country); the fish-fauna.

Pisciform = Shaped like or otherwise resembling a fish.


ichthyo-, ichthy-, -ichth- + = (Greek: fish)

ichthic = Of, pertaining to, or characteristic of fishes; having the zoological characters of a fish; piscine.

ichthism, ichthismus = Poisoning due to any toxin produced by a fish. Also, ichthyotoxism.

ichthus, ichthys
1. A representation of a fish, common as a talisman or amulet, and regarded in ancient times as a symbol of fertility.
2. The Greek word for fish was also an acronym for Iesous CHristos, THeou Yios, Soter (Jesus Christ, God’s Son, Saviour) and it is said to be the secret symbol used by early Christians to communicate with each other. They did this by drawing a fish-like sign or symbol: This symbol is found on many seals, rings, urns, and tombstones from the early Christian period; and for some, it was a mystical charm.

Ichthyarchy = The domain of fishes; the fish-world in all of its orders.

Ichthyoacanth = Sharp-pointed fish fins.

ichthyoacanthotoxin, ichthyoacanthotoxism
1. The venom secreted by venomous fishes, in connection with stings, spines. or “teeth”.
2. Any poison produced by the spines, stings, or teeth of a fish.

Ichthyocolia = A gelatinous substance obtained from the swim-bladder of the fish, Acipenser huso. It is used as an adhesive as well as a clarifying agent. Also known as “isinglass”.

Ichthyocoprolite = The fossilized excrement of fish.

Ichthyodectidae = In paleontology, a family of neopterygian teleost fishes in the extinct order Ichthyodectiformes; large predaceous fish closely related to the Osteoglossomorpha, which generally preferred a marine environment; upper Jurassic and Cretaceous.

Ichthyodont = A fossil tooth of a fish.

ichthyofauna, ichthyofaunal
1. All the fish that live in a particular area.
2. The fish fauna, or fish-life, of a sea or region.

Ichthyographia = An article or report written about fish.

ichthyography, ichthyograph, ichthyographic = A written description about fish.

Ichthyohemotoxin = A poison found in the blood of certain fish.

Ichthyohemotoxism = Intoxication caused by the ingestion of ichthyohemotoxin, characterized by gastrointestinal and neurological disturbances.

Posted by stripesidechaser

Please, this is a family site!

Posted by Ken Jones

Optimum est pati quod emendare non possis —
It is best to endure what you cannot change. -Seneca, Moral Epistles

Posted by Red Fish

Ken, you're going to pisc someone off!


Dictionary of Ichthyology by Brian W. Coad and Don E. McAllister

pier = a narrow platform providing access from the shore to deeper water for landing or as a recreational facility. May be floating or fixed on pilings built out into the water but usually of open construction. Often used for fishing.

pier fishing = catching of fish from artificial structures raised out of the water on supports. These structures often form good habitat for fishes.

pier rat = a fisherman (mostly men) who spend inordinate amounts of time on large piers waiting for fish to bite, even sleeping there and developing their own customs.

Support UPSAC! Preserve pier and shore angling in California.
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