Fishing Terminology Guide

Fishing Terminology Guide

If you are new to the art of angling, fishing terminology can seem almost like an entirely new language, overwhelming and exhausting any novice angler. However, you should not worry, because the vocabulary within fishing isn’t overwhelming or exhausting. In fact, the fishing terminology is quite simple, and once it’s explained, it makes a lot of sense to even the most novice of anglers. We hope this guide helps you learn the fishing terminology so you’ll feel excited about your fishing trips. We hope you join us on the Kona Fishing Charters. Call us at (808) 960-1424 to book your fishing trip out on the beautiful Hawaiian waters.


Angler/angling: An angler is a person who goes fishing with a hook and line. Angling is the act of fishing with a hook and line.

Bait: Something used to lure in fish. Can be live or artificial.

Bait casting: Fishing with a revolving spool reel and bait casting rod. The reel is mounted on the topside of the rod.

Barb: It’s a pointed part of a fish hook that projects backwards in order to prevent a fish from coming unhooked.

Bobber: Is a device that “bobs” or floats on the water. It’s attached to a fishing line and used to keep bait off the bottom of the water. Can also be called a float.

fishing terminology


Catch and release: Instead of keeping the fish, an angler returns the fish to the water quickly after catching it.

Chum: Cut or ground bait that is dumped in the water to attract fish to the area where you’re fishing.

Deep Sea Fishing: We’ve covered this definition in-depth in a previous blog, but, essentially, deep sea fishing is a form of angling that requires deep waters and usually takes place further away from land. Is also called offshore boat fishing, sport fishing, and big game fishing.

Dry Fly: Dry flies are artificial flies that are used on the surface of the water.

Flies: A lure dressed with hair, feathers, or other synthetic materials that are tied to hooks and are made to resemble insects or fish. Used as bait.

Fly-fishing: It’s a technique where the weight of the fishing line is used to cast a very lightweight fly. This fly wouldn’t be heavy enough for typical spinning or casting rods.

Jigs/jigging: These are lures with a fixed hook and weighted hook often dressed with fur or other synthetics like a plastic body/tail. Jigging is a technique in which the jig is moved up and down frequently.

Leader: A leader connects a fishing line to the hook. It’s made up of monofilament, wire, or other material and is tied between the end of the line and the hook or lure.  

Livewell: Compartment in a boat that holds water, used to keep caught fish alive.

Lures: Artificial bait that look like live bait.

Offshore Fishing: Fishing done on the ocean away from shore. Synonymous with deep-sea fishing.

Plugs: A type of lure made of wood, plastic or rubber and designed to imitate live bait. Can float or sink.

Reel: A device that for winding, casting, etc. that is attached to a fishing rod.

Rod: It’s the pole of a fishing pole – can come in various sizes and strengths.

Sinker: Weights used to prevent lures from floating in the water.

Spin Fishing: It’s a fishing technique where a spinning lure is used. Also the spin fishing rod doesn’t have a trigger attached the base of the fishing rod differentiating it from the bait casting or fly fishing rod.

Strike: A sharp pull on the fishing line signaling that a fish attempting to take the lure or bait. Synonymous with the term “hit” in angling.

Tackle: Refers to fishing equipment used when an angler goes fishing.

Trolling: Fishing from a moving boat. You cast the bait behind the boat while the boat moves forward at a slow speed. Another way of trolling is to do something called back-trolling where you do the same thing but the boat motor is turned in reverse allowing the driver to make turns or changes easily. Typically, live baits are used for this type of fishing.
We hope this gives you a basic idea of the kind of fishing terminology you will hear when you go fishing. Be an angler and have fun using this vocabulary while you’re trolling or deep sea fishing. We hope you will have the time of your life fishing in the gorgeous Kona waters, and come out fishing with us on the Kona Fishing Charters. Call us at (808) 960-1424 to book your fishing trip!

How To Saltwater Fly Fish

How To Saltwater Fly Fish

Saltwater fly fishing is a great fishing experience when you’re fishing on the shore. These are tips for those who want to learn how to saltwater fly fish and are interested in trying it out. We offer our own fun fishing experience on the Kona Fishing Charters, where you can rent us out and book an offshore fishing trip!


The first thing you will need to learn is to cast. Casting is different with saltwater fly fishing than it is with other types of fishing. There are many video on Youtube and other websites that teach anglers how to properly cast their reel when fly fishing. However, we’ll try to explain what you should do here in case you find the videos unhelpful or need to supplement what you learned in a video.

First, you need to understand that you’ll be casting something called the “Double Haul”. This casting method allows you to lengthen the cast so you can reach fish farther out in the ocean.

How To Perform a Double Haul Cast?

  1. With a short downward pull, draw down about five to eight inches of fly line on the back cast.
  2. Bring up your hand and line everything up. Let the fly unroll behind you like you would do in an overhead cast.
  3. Do the same as you did in step one. Draw down about five to eight inches of fly line in the back cast (however make it equal length to the length you did in step one). Do this in acceleration of the forward cast.
  4. Bring your hand holding the fly line quickly forward – then complete the cast.

Keep practicing this until you have the hang of it.

If you’re still having trouble then you should consider casting lessons at a fly shop. But before you do that, you’ll need to have a saltwater rod. Saltwater rods are very different than other types of rod, and they will require practice.

The farther you can throw your line, the more likely you’ll catch a great fish! And this is especially true when you’re working in saltwater because you can only get so close to the fish. That’s why it’s so important to have a long cast.

Pick a Quality Fly


Of course, to really start fly fishing, you’ll need some artificial flies! The point of fly fishing is to get the fish to bite on an imitation of a bug or bait fish on or just below the water. Flies are typically made up of thread, wire, beads, feather, yarn, and hair and are created to look like insects and bait fish. You can purchase the right flies for the right fish as all fishes are attracted to different types of insects and bait fishes at different levels of maturity.

Fly selection is also very dependent on where you will be fishing. There are certain fish here in Hawaii that won’t be attracted to the same flies in other parts of the United States, and you need to take that into consideration when planning to fly fish. That’s why there are literally thousands of different fly patterns out there that are designed to imitate specific insects in an area. Others don’t imitate anything at all, actually, but look delicious to many fish. Some flies sink to the bottom and others float to the top – it all depends on what kind of fish you’d like to catch.

There are three basic fly patterns: dry, nymphs, and streamers.

Dry flies float on the surface of the water (that’s why they’re dry) and imitate adult insects. These flies can vary in shades, shapes, and sizes in order to imitate specific types of adult insects.

Nymph flies are flies that land just below the surface. They imitate insects as it leaves the larvae stage. Many fish feed on nymphs so it’s good to have some nymphs available in case you’re having a difficult time catching fish.

Streamer flies imitate smaller fish and other types of aquatic life, floating in the water rather than just below or above the surface. These attract larger fish that are waiting for their next meal.
You’ll learn plenty more about the different types of fishing on the Kona Fishing Charters boat when you come out to fish with us. We can tell you about fly fishing and the best types of flies while you learn how to fish offshore. At Kona Fishing Charters, you will have tons of fun fishing with. Call us at (808) 960-1424 to book your fishing trip!

What to Expect When Deep Sea Fishing

What to Expect When Deep Sea Fishing

If you have never been deep sea fishing on a charter before, you might be nervous as to what this type of fishing entails. This is especially true if you’re used to freshwater fishing. Some questions that may be floating in your mind when you think of your upcoming deep sea fishing trip could include: What should you bring, how is it different than “normal” fishing, and etc.. Today’s article should help you understand what to expect when deep sea fishing on a charter boat. We hope we’ll see you out on the Kona Fishing Charters charter boat with us after reading all about what to expect when you go deep sea fishing. After all, there’s nothing like experiencing deep sea fishing out on the Hawaiian waters.

What is Deep Sea Fishing?


Deep sea fishing requires deep waters. It should be at least 30 meters in depth and take place farther away from the land and shore than most other types of fishing. It’s also called other things such as sports fishing, big game fishing, and offshore boat fishing. Typically, in deep sea fishing, an angler will be attempting to fish for large open-ocean species of fish (like the ones we have covered in previous articles). Fighting big game fish can be a fun challenge for a lot of anglers.

Big game fish such as sharks, marlins, tuna, and others, are typically found in the open ocean rather than by the shores because they have more room and prey – causing deep sea fishing boats or charters to travel far out, sometimes beyond the sight of land.


What to Expect When You Go Deep Sea Fishing

If you’ve never been deep sea fishing in Kona before, you may only have a vague idea of what it entails. Most of what you know about deep sea fishing may in fact be from television shows and movies, which are often stressful examples (especially Deadliest Catch). However, most often you will have a very relaxing and fun time. The best part about deep sea fishing is not knowing what you’re going to catch.

First thing you should do is introduce yourself to the captain and listen to any instructions. He may instruct you where to place your gear – if he doesn’t, try to avoid putting it on the deck. It gets slippery and everyone needs room to walk on the deck without tripping. Once your trip has begun the captain will speak to you again giving you more instructions as well as what to expect for the day (which will depend on weather and other unique factors), and tell you how to rig up. It could take up to an hour to reach the destination of where you’ll be fishing that day so try to enjoy the ride to the fishing spot.

Once you get to the fishing location, wait for the captain to tell you to drop the lines after you find a spot on the rail. Don’t take out your bait (if it’s live fish) until you are ready to fish! If you bait your hook early it won’t attract a fish to bite. Check your live bait ever so often to make sure it’s still alive.


When your awesome day of fishing is over with, make sure to gather your gear together. Depending on what type of sports fish you caught you may be able to bring it back to shore for pictures and weighing. At Kona Fishing Charters, we can filet Tuna, Wahoo and Mahi Mahi for guests to take home.

More Basic Deep Sea Fishing Tips

  • If you’re prone to seasickness make sure to take some medicine beforehand, or bring some aboard. Ginger is a natural way of curbing nausea so possibly bring along some ginger ale or ginger cookies if you’re worried about this.
  • If you’re fishing with live bait, check on it often.
  • Listen to the captain and crew
  • Have fun and enjoy yourself!

We hope this gives you a basic idea of what to expect when you go deep sea fishing. Our FAQ should have more information if you’re interested including questions about what you’re allowed to bring. The FAQ however, refers to our own information for the Kona Fishing Charters. But where else would you go but to the Kona Fishing Charters when you want to go deep sea fishing off the Hawaiian coastline. There are lots of sports fish all year round and you can’t go wrong with the beautiful weather while you angle for a marlin or a swordfish. Have the time of your life out on the Kona waters and come out fishing with us on the Kona Fishing Charters. Call us at (808) 960-1424 to book your fishing trip!

Deep Sea Fishing Tips

Deep Sea Fishing Tips

If you haven’t been deep sea fishing before, or if you haven’t gone in a while, you might want to get some deep sea fishing tips on how to make the best catch possible. Today’s article should help you figure out the best ways to catch a game fish while you’re deep sea fishing. We hope you’ll join us out on the Kona Fishing Charters after reading all the tips, since our charter is one of the best ways to go deep sea fishing (that’s tip number one). Call us at (808) 960-1424 to schedule your fishing charter with us here in Hawaii!

What is Deep Sea Fishing?

Deep sea fishing is when you go fishing off the shore in the deep waters. There should be at least 30 meters of depth. It is synonymous with offshore fishing, big game fishing, and sports fishing. An angler will be attempting to fish for a large open-ocean, big game species of fish as a fun challenge when deep sea fishing. It’s a fun adventure for any angler to attempt. The tips below should help it make your fun adventure a success!

11 Deep Sea Fishing Tips

  1. Work with Nature

Make sure to keep an eye on your surroundings and work with nature.

  1. Know what Fish School Together


Some game fish school with other game fish, and other game fish school with dolphins (which you do not want to catch). Tuna and dolphins often school together so make sure you don’t accidentally catch a dolphin when you’re aiming to catch a tuna!

  1. Look for Floating Wood or Debris

If you see any debris or floating wood, check it out! Large game fish often linger around debris and floating wood.

  1. Circle Hooks

Circle hooks are great for several reasons. One, there’s a higher hook up ratio guaranteeing that you have a good hook up ratio, and  allowing you to catch more. Second, circle hooks are better for the fish because they hook the lip not the gut. So if you’re trying to do catch and release, that makes this option even better.

  1. Reef fishing

Smaller fish live near reefs making those locations really great fishing hot spots, for both you and the big game fish you’re aiming for. Big game fish go there for a snack quite often so you’re bound to catch something great if you wait it out at a reef.

  1. Don’t get Sea Sick!

If you’re the type who often gets sea sick, or if you want to be prepared in case the waves are extra choppy, it’d be good to know what to do in case you start feeling sea sick. The first thing is to stay on deck and watch the horizon. Watching the horizon helps you center yourself and feel more at ease. If you can, bring ginger ale or other types of ginger snacks with you on the charter boat. Ginger helps combat nausea. And stay away from boat fumes which will only make your nausea worse.

  1. Work with the Captain and Crew and Know Boat Safety

It’s important to work with whoever you go with on a deep sea fishing charter boat. The experts on your boat can give you great advice that is unique to your fishing area. They’re also there to be in control during an emergency situations. They’ll go over boat safety with you as well as where the best fishing hot spots are – the captain and crew are always there to help fellow anglers.

  1. Full Moon = Crab Bait


Crabs shed their shells during full moons, causing their predator, such as stripers, to come after them. If crabs are something the fish in your area like to eat, you should definitely consider using soft crab imitations as bait. You’ll have a lot of success.

  1. Follow the Fish

Make sure to go to where the fish are, large or small. If the smaller fish, the food of the larger fish, aren’t where you’re set up to fish for big game fish, why would the big fish show up? They need their meals.

  1. Watch for Birds

As you keep an eye in the water to look for fish large and small, keep an eye on the sky as well. If you see birds fishing on small bait fish, there are probably larger game fish below the surface that you can catch.

  1. Ask Questions If You Have Them!

If you’re having trouble or want to know more about deep sea fishing, ask your captain or crew! Or, if you’re not yet on the boat, and want to learn more beforehand, go to our FAQ page or read through some of our other informative blogs on fishing.

We hope this list of deep sea fishing tips help you out when you go deep sea fishing. But where else would you go but to the Kona Fishing Charters when you want to go deep sea fishing off the Hawaiian coastline. There are lots of sport fishing all year round, and you can’t go wrong with the beautiful weather while you angle for your favorite sports fish. Call us at (808) 960-1424 to book your fishing trip on the Pacific!

Fishing Proverbs and their Origins

Fishing Proverbs and their Origins

Fishing Proverbs and their Origins

There are many different fishing proverbs that have been in use for centuries or more. But where did these familiar sayings come from? What do they really mean? In today’s blog post we collected two different fishing proverbs and researched the origins of each of them. Most of these origins are muddled and oftentimes confused for ancient sayings but this isn’t always the case.

“Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Show him how to catch a fish, and you feed him for a lifetime”

For instance, the well known fishing proverb, “Give a man a fish, and you feed him for a day. Show him how to catch a fish, and you feed him for a lifetime” has often been attributed to an ancient Chinese proverbs, although it’s also been mistakenly said (by the reputable Oxford Dictionary of Quotations of all places) of being from this past century. Actually, both are very, very wrong, although the Oxford Dictionary is closer on the timeline. The proverb originated from a British novel in the 19th century. A young woman named Anne Isabella Ritchie wrote a book called Mrs. Dymond in the 1880s. This book included this passage: “He certainly doesn’t practise his precepts, but I suppose the patron meant that if you give a man a fish he is hungry again in an hour; if you teach him to catch a fish you do him a good turn.” While it is possible that it could still be older than that, it was most likely coined by Anne Ritchie in her novel.

Of course, what does this proverb even mean? Simply put, the proverb is a metaphor about teaching people how to take care of themselves. As we know, fishing is a great sport but also a great skill to have. If you were ever on a boat and couldn’t get to food but had a fishing rod with you, you’d be able to feed yourself. Someone who doesn’t know how to fish might struggle with feeding themselves in that case. So teaching someone the skill of fishing, or any skill at all, is much more likely to help them than giving them in the long-run then a short-term handout.

Onto our second proverb, which might even be more familiar than the last one. “Red sky at night, sailor’s delight. Red sky in morning, sailor’s warning,” is something many have heard anytime they’re on the coast, planning to swim, or on a boat. But where did this proverb originate? Is it true? And what does it exactly mean?

Well, this proverb is from one of the oldest written sources – the Bible (Matthew XVI: 2-3). Shakespeare also said something similar in his play Venus and Adonis, “Like a red morn that ever yet betokened, Wreck to the seaman, tempest to the field, Sorrow to the shepherds, woe unto the birds, Gusts and foul flaws to herdmen and to herds.”

This is an old proverb that has been popular and in use for centuries if not longer than that. People have been using the sky to predict any changes in weather and the sea since sailing began. And it was a necessary precaution, both sailors and farmers depend on the weather for safety and sustenance.

So they looked to the sky and came up with weather lore. But is that proverb correct? Is a red sky at night a sailor’s delight and is a red sky in the morning sailor’s warning?

Well, according to science… sort of.

Red sky at night, sailors delight.


When there’s a red sky at night this means that the sun, that would be setting, is sending its light through a high concentration of dust particles. But what does that mean? Basically this indicates that the upcoming weather will be good. There will be a high pressure and stable air coming in from the west allowing you to have a nice day of sailing and fishing on the sea, making it a sailor’s delight.

Red sky in morning, sailor’s warning.

However, if you wake up and see a red sunrise that might mean all the good weather has already passed by. The high pressure system probably already passed by and now you might be only getting a low pressure system, coming from the east. Also, a very, fiery red typically means that there is moisture in the air. And if there’s moisture in the air, there’s a high likelihood that means it’s going to rain and possibly even badly storm. Which, of course, indicates a sailor’s warning.

So watch the sky when you out on the water, but don’t worry. On the Kona Fishing Charters, we’ll make sure you don’t have to worry about the weather. The only thing you should be concerned about are the awesome sportsfish you’ll be catching. If you’re interested in Kona fishing charters, call us at (808) 960-1424!

The Difference Between Bottom Fishing and Sports Fishing

The Difference Between Bottom Fishing and Sports Fishing

What is the difference between bottom fishing and sports fishing? This is one of the questions we get often at Kona Fishing Charters. These are two very distinct fishing experiences, but many people do not know the difference between the two fishing types. In today’s blog post, we will explain the differences and the similarities between bottom fishing and sport fishing. We offer a great fishing experience on the Kona Fishing Charters, where you can rent us out and book an offshore fishing trip!

Sports Fishing

Although there is some overlap between the type of fish caught in the two different types of fishing experiences, sport and bottom fishing are pretty different from one another. Sport fishing (also known as big game fishing) involves dragging artificial lures on the surface behind the boat out in deep water. This attracts fish like the Ono, Tuna, and Marlin (all fish we have covered in previous blog posts). The stakes are higher than they are when you’re bottom fishing. Not only that but in general the fish are bigger in sport fishing.


Sport fishing methods, however, vary according to where you’re fishing, the species you’re targeting, and the resources available. It could be fly fishing, deep sea fishing, or another type. Sport fishing is done with a hook, line, rod, and reel rather than with a net or another fishing aid. Before fishing regulations occurred, sports fishers, even if they didn’t eat their catch, almost always killed their catch anyways to weigh them or keep them as trophies. However, now most sports fisherman practice catch and release (At Kona Fishing Charters, we encourage practicing catch and release for the Blue Marlin) in order to avoid interfering with fisheries or ecological habitats. It depends on the fish and the area, however, and if you join us on the Kona Fishing Charters, you can bring all your fish to dock if you choose to do so.

Bottom Fishing

The objective for rigs that are used in bottom fishing is to take your bait to the bottom, where the water hits the sand, and lure in the fish. The bait, of course, has to be appetizing to the fish, which is why live bait is often used more often than artificial lures.

Bottom fishing mostly uses live bait like squid also uses artificial lures but. Fishing is done when the boat is stopped (anchored or drifting over “spots” where fish are known to lurk in shallow water – 100 – 300 feet deep). Bottom fishing doesn’t have to be done only from boats as many anglers enjoy this type of fishing from land. Most of the fish caught are small, much smaller than the sports fishing but it’s still a fun challenge because of how light the tackle is. Bottom fishing doesn’t have to occur far from shore. The odds of catching fish are a lot greater than they are with sports fishing. Some types of fish that are caught with bottom fishing are reef fish like the gray snapper, moi’lua, barrucada, and the ta’ape.

Most of the fish are under 5lbs. when you go bottom fishing but the fish should still be delicious if you decide to cook it for dinner!

A common rig for bottom fishing is a weight tied to the end of the line and a hook that’s about an inch up line from the weight. This method can be used with handlines and rod fishing and the weight can be used to case or throw the line. The most common rig is called a “fish finder rig” while another, more rarely used rig is called a “break-away rig”. The last rig that’s often used in bottom fishing is called a “party boat rig”. This last one is often used on party boats which is why it is named that. Also, there are specialized fishing rods that are commonly used for bottom fishing called donkas.

In the end, you’ll catch more fish if you go bottom fishing but you won’t catch fish that are very big especially in comparison to the fish you’ll catch while sport fishing. It won’t be as much of a challenge as sport fishing is, especially to experienced anglers.
You can learn more about both fishing experiences if you book a deep sea fishing trip with us at Kona Fishing Charters. We can tell you about the similarities and differences between sport fishing and bottom fishing while you catch your own fish in the Hawaiian waters. Call us at (808) 960-1424 to book your fishing trip!