Greg James

Getting Started with Greg James - Terminology

The words you may encounter whilst talking to other fishos may seem daunting at first, but with a bit of experience you'll catch on quickly. Knowing the Greg James global fishing world of "fisho speak" will enable you to get started quickly & avoid mistakes, so here are some starters:




The business of artificial farming of fish, crustacean and other species


This is what ultimately determines whether your fishing is going to be successful. A golden rule is that all bait must be fresh & the most common forms are cockles/pipis, squid, octopus, pilchards/mulies, gents & fish itself.


A key part of fishing & not understood by many. It is a mix of grains & shells, often crushed, that is cast into the water to attract fish. Many commercial burley mixes contain the herb anise (aniseed), which is a stimulant for feeding fish. Burley is often called ‘ground bait’. The main things to understand about burley is to use a little to attract fish, rather than a lot to over-feed them & also that surface fish (tommies, garfish etc) respond differently to bottom dwellers (whiting, snapper etc.).

Dodge Tide

An occurrence that only happens in a few places around the world, one of them being SA. The sea remains at low tide a few times each year as the moon circles our earth & the tide avoids returning (therefore called ‘dodge’).

Fishing Hook (size)

The name ‘hook’ describes its shape & use. What is not well understood is the size or gauge of a fishing hook. The size (gauge) of a fishing hook is measured by the distance between the shaft/shank and the barbed end of the hook itself – the choice of fishing hook is very important when you are planning your trip.

Fishing Line

One of the key aspects is to have fishing line either on a reel (attached to a fishing rod) or on a hand line. Made from nylon, which is a by-product of the petroleum industry, there are many types & classes of fishing line. Email Greg James with any questions you have about what line to use when & where & for what fish species.

Fishing Rod

Another of the key aspects of starting out on your fishing journey & can be an expensive purchase. There are many styles, types and product ranges. Email Greg James for free advice on which rod is most suited for which purpose.


A key item if you are fishing for surface fish. There are two (2) main types:

  1. Pencil floats: thin as the name suggests & the hooks are set below the bottom end.
  2. Burley floats: larger & chunkier, these floats can be used with a burley mix inside which slowly leaks out to attract fish.


A nice name for maggots!


A term used to describe the sandy holes & ridges that frequent the surf-fishing beaches along our coast. Gutters are the deeper parts of the beach where the surging water rushes up to the beach & are often where fish (such as salmon, flathead & mullet) swim.

High tide mark

The line on a beach where the sea reaches its maximum height when the tide flows inwards to the high water mark.


A large wooden & sometimes steel structure that runs from the shore out to sea – originally built for the shipping trade, jetties are now used for recreational fishing & occasionally as a mooring for commercial vessels. Much of the timber used was taken from the jarrah & redwood forests of south-western WA in the 1800’s. The word ‘jetty’ is taken from the French word ‘jeter’ meaning to project.

Low tide mark

The low water mark which represents the lowest level the sea reaches when the tide flows outwards.


Refers to the man-made artificial bait often used for catching predatory fish like tuna, salmon, snook & bream. There are many different types & colours of fishing lures.


Another term for the set-up a fisho uses & generally means the way you arrange & present your hooks, float, sinker, etc There are many different types of fishing rigs.

Squid jigs/jags

These are the lures that are used to catch the squid (aka calamari) & can be bought from fishing tackle stores or you can make your own.


A fishing term that really means all the gear & stuff you will buy & use in your journey! Most common fishing tackle items are hooks, line, knife, burley baskets, buckets, hook removers, corks, floats, sinkers & so on.


The ebb & flow of the sea as the effect of the moon shifts our ocean at least twice per day (unless it's a dodge tide) that has enormous benefits for our seabed habitats & environment.

Tight Lines

A saying that relates to the need for your fishing line to be kept tight so that the fish cannot use line slackness to escape.