South African Fishing Phrases, Words & Terms: What Do They Mean?

South Africa's Angling Dictionary & Word & Phrase Definitions

Stephan Fuchsloch fighting a "Raggie"South African anglers and fishermen have almost got there own vocabulary when it comes to angling, be it freshwater or saltwater. There are all sorts of words, phrases and terms created by fishermen in South Africa over the years and one can get quite lost with the fishing slang and jargon employed by some anglers. This page serves as a South African fishing dictionary and definition page and regular updates will be made with regard to words, terms, phrases and sayings. This page should help you understand the lingo next time you talk to an experienced or excited Southern African fisherman... Listed below are almost all the possible phrases you could come across on a fishing trip...

Angling Term, Word Or Phrase Definition
"Gooi" Cast Or Throw
"Papgooi" Fishing for carp with mealie bomb
"Vas" Hooked a fish
"Chokka or Tjokka" Squid used for bait
"Couta or Katonkel" King Mackerel
"Dassie" Blacktail
"Elf" Shad
"Bluefish" A lot of confusion with this, it can refer to a Shad or a Bronze Bream
"Hottie or Hottentot" An offshore species of the Bronze Bream
"On Dad" A term developed by the old TV show ESA, anglers would say it when they have hooked into a fish
"C & R" Catch and Release
"Coffee Grinder" A fixed spool reel
"Penn Reel" A multiplier or open spool reel
"KP" A Scarborough reel
"Grapnell" A sinker with wires coming out of it to stick in the sand
"Throw" Cast
"Bonnie" A small species of Tuna (Bonito) used as bait
"Raggie" Ragged Tooth Shark
"Bronzy" Bronze Whaler Shark
"Zambi" Zambezi Shark
"Tight lines" Good luck with the fishing
"Stywe Lyne" Good luck with the fishing
"PB" Personal Best (Biggest) fish
"Sea Pike or Sea Spike" Pickhandle Barracuda
"Popper" A floating lure
"Plug" Similar to a popper
"Winch The Fish In" Using heavy tackle to land a small a fish
"Pecker" Small fish that eat away at your bait
"Lead Head" A hook with a weight on the eye
"Swim Bait" A live fish hooked onto your rig and swam out using free spool to catch a bigger fish
"Free Spool" When line can be taken off the reel easily
"Rig or Trace" The name given to the line, hook, sinker and swivel
"Modderbeck" Mudfish
"King Carp" Mirror Carp
"Policeman" Red and white ball shaped float
"Mealie Bomb" Carp feed rolled into a ball and put on a feeder
"Feeder" A weighted or un-weighted sinker that holds on the mealie bomb
"Stays" Rod holders for freshwater bank fishing
"Sand Spike" Rod holder for beach fishing
"Bricks" Rocks
"Damba" Galjoen
"Livie" Live bait
"Plattie" Plattana (Swimming Frog)
"Bucket" Rod holder that straps around your waist
"Prawn Pump" A piece of PVS or steel turned into a pump to suck bait out of the ground
"String" Fishing line
"Eat" When a fishing is nibbling at your bait
"Klipvis or Klipfish" A small fish that "pecks" at you bait, also found in rock pools
"Pull" When you get a bite
"Braid" Strong line with a very thin diameter
"Test" How strong the line is in KG's or lb's
"Poundage" How Strong the line is in KG's or lb's
"Diameter" Thickness of the line
"Fluorocarbon" Strong almost see through line
"Leerie" Leervis or Garrick
"Brusher or Cracker" White Musselcracker
"Poensie or Poenskop" Black Musselcracker
"Tunny or Tunnie" Tuna
"Scratching" Fishing with light tackle from the rocks or the beach targeting "edibles"
"Beck" Geelbeck
"Stumpie" Stumpnose
"Kingy" Kingfish
"Dorie" Dorado or Dolphinfish
"Burnt Off" Get your line cut off
"Jig" A lure fished vertically
"Prodigal Son" The Cobia fish
"FL or Fork Length" Measurement of fish with a fork in their tail
"DW or Disc Width" Measurement
"TL or Total Length" Measurement of fish with no fork in their tail
"PCL or Precaudual Length" Measurement for Sharks and other non-bony fish
"Strepie" Karanteen
"Skipjack" An Eastern Cape term for the Springer or Ten Pounder
"Vaalhaai" Soupfin Shark
"Pignose Grunter or Steenie" White Steenbras
"Wildeperd" Zebra Fish
"Edibles or Eds" Bony Fish species
"Non Edibles or Non Eds" Sharks, Rays, Sandsharks and other non-bony fish
"Silver Steenbras" White Musselcracker
"Long Line Release" When a fish gets off your hook before you land it
"Foul Hook" Catching a fish where the hook is not in its mouth but in its body somewhere
"Bottom Feeders" Fish species that feed on the floor of the oceans and freshwater systems
"Artificial" A lure made normally out of plastic that resembles a fishes natural prey
"Dropshot" The technique used with a leadhead and an artificial
"Drag" The brakes on a fishing reel
"Bag Limit" Amount of fish you are allowed to catch in a day
"Size Limit" The minimum or maximum size the fish has to be to keep it
"Running or Run" When a fish picks up the bait and starts taking line
"Spinner" A metal lure that turns around in the water which attracts predatory fish
"Strike" When you set the hook
"Hit it" Strike
"Troll or Trolling" Dragging baits or lures behind a boat or floating
"Fly" An artificial lure used for fly fishing, imitating an insect, frog, crustacean or fish
"Floatie" A scented carp bait
"Boilie" A round hard carp bait
"Dip" A scent put onto carp baits
"Trebles" Three hooks in one, normally used on lures and spoons
"Singles" The normal hook, ie only 1 hook
"Wide Gape" A hook with a wide gap between the tip and the shank
"Short Shank" A hook with a shorter body than most other hooks
"Fingerling" A small young fish, often used when talking about small Rainbow Trout
"Shank" The body of the hook
"Surgeon" A reef fish such as the Epaulette Surgeon
"Float Fishing" Fishing with something to keep your bait off the floor and in the current read more here
"Silver Steenbras" White Musselcracker (Brusher)
"Flatten" When a fish pulls hard, takes a lot of line or eats your bait aggressively
"Flatty" Eastern Cape term for a Cape Stumpnose
"Sliding" The art of casting your sinker and then attaching a special clip to your line with your bait
"Straight Sticking" When your rod is in a straight position used to break your line off the rocks or bring a strong and tired fish in
"Chumming" Filling a specific area with bait to attract fish
"Blob Bait" A messy chokka bait
"Wind Knot" Small knots that lessen the strength of your line, made by casting when its windy
"Skirt" An attractor piece of plastic you put on your bait
"Mature" Full breeding adult fish
"Mombakkies" Refers to peckers nibbling away at your bait.
Ground Feed/Bait Read more here...
"Lunker" A big freshwater fish.
"Pig" Same as above.
"Pension Pipe" "Sand Spike" - See Above.
"Sound" When a fish on the surface dissapears into deeper water.
"Toby" Often referred to when speaking about Puffer fish.