The Beginner’s Guide to Fishing Terms You Should Know Before Your First Fishing Excursion

You don’t need to be a professional to enjoy a Sointula Lodge fishing excursion. In fact, you don’t even need to have cast a line before! Our experienced staff is ready and able to guide you through everything you need to know to reel in your very own salmon catch.

Of course, if you want to get ahead of the game, it doesn’t hurt to learn a few things about fishing before your trip. Here are just a few terms you might hear on the boat so you can feel like a pro from your very first day on the water!


Luckily, this is one term that most people, whether they’ve fished before or not, understand. Bait refers to anything added to a hook and line to attract a fish. This might mean live or dead bait, as well as artificial baits. When fishing for salmon in British Columbia, roe, or fish eggs, are a popular choice.


With just 3 or 4 guests allowed on each of our fishing boats, you aren’t going to be waiting in any lines for your turn to cast. Instead, if you hear this word mentioned, your guide is referring to the fishing line. This thin, delicate-looking string is actually incredibly strong, able to help you reel in that champion Chinook.


If your guide doesn’t have you adding bait to your hook, you’ll probably be using a lure instead. These artificial baits are often colorful, with attachments like heads, metal spoons, spinners, and, of course, hooks.


While “fishing pole” is acceptable, if you want to sound even more experienced, the long pole you’ll be holding when you nab that Sockeye is actually called a rod. At Sointula Lodge, we use two different types of rods; a 10’6 Lamiglas, which you’ll use when trolling for salmon (more on that soon), and a 6’ Lamiglas rod for halibut.


Attached to your rod near the bottom where your hands will be holding on is a mechanical device called a reel. The reel holds your fishing line, spooled up tight under a protective cover. Once you learn how to cast, you’ll flick your rod and the line will unspool. Then, you’ll use the level on your rod to reel the line back in, hence the name.


The first time you hear one of our staff mentions this word, you might be expecting them to break into a dance. In reality, this refers to a type of fishing you’ll be doing during your excursion.

Jigging is a method of casting that involves dropping a lure into the water near where you think the fish are. Then, you’ll move the line up and down to attract the fish. This up and down motion is referred to as “jigging” your line.

In Blackfish Sound, jigging is the best method for catching halibut. Halibut are bottom-dwellers that stay in one place for long periods of time. This means that a depth finder can be used to track down a good spot, and then the line can be dropped, hopefully just over a waiting halibut.


While halibut is a popular catch in Blackfish Sound, most visitors to Sointula Lodge are eager to catch something else; salmon. For that, we opt for trolling rather than jigging. Trolling is a method of fishing in which the boat continues to move slowly while a lure or bait on a line is pulled behind it.

This method of fishing allows you to cover much more water in search of fish. Unlike halibut, salmon don’t stay in one place for long, instead moving through the water. Trolling increases your chances of catching the eye of a salmon with some tasty bait or a lure.

Limit Out

Like many governments today, Canada regulates how many fish each individual can catch, based on the size and type of fish. You won’t need to worry about learning these limits yourself. Instead, your guide will let you know when you’ve “limited out,” which means you’ve reached your limit for that type of fish. If you are interested in learning more about the limits in place, you can check out the British Columbia regulations guide.

Depth Sounder

To make jigging for fish a bit easier, and to help us navigate the waters of British Columbia, our boats are equipped with depth sounder units. These devices not only let you know the depth of the water below, but can also help our guides spot debris underwater, like trees, rocks, or a sandy bottom. They use this information to choose just the right spot for you to drop your line.

Preparing for Your Sointula Fishing Excursion

Learning these terms might make those first moments on the water make a bit more sense. But there is by no means a test when you arrive! Whether you’re an experienced fisherman or giving the sport a try for the very first time, we’ll make sure that your first Fishing Excursion is relaxed and comfortable every step of the way.