The Stick Trout

When I was young, Dad would call any branch that I landed while fishing, a “stick trout” and pat me on the back. We had other names for snags but I eventually learned that some of these labels really were fish names, such as a “rock bass,” and “logperch.”

In visiting with some of the Bassmaster Elite anglers, I learned Greg Hackney uses the term “limb bream” for landed sticks. Edwin Evers says he is “fishing for squirrels” if his lure lands in a tree. Though he did not have a name for it, Casey Ashley once hooked an aluminum can that actually fought like a large fish. “It fooled me,” he said, “right up to the boat.”

Stick Trout

If you fish as “thoroughly” as I do, it is not unusual to reel in something that isn’t a fish. Some days, in fact, it is the biggest thing we bring in the boat. We generally keep, rather than release, our snags but check the regulations. It might not be wall-worthy, but just part of fishing so might as well have fun with it.

Do you have any fishy names for your snags?

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Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb

Andy is an outdoor writer ( and stressed-out Dad has contributed over 380 blogs to since 2011. Born in Florida, but raised on banks of Oklahoma farm ponds, he now chases pike, smallmouth bass, and steelhead in Pennsylvania. After earning a B.S. in Zoology from OSU, he worked in fish hatcheries and as a fisheries research technician at OSU, Iowa State, and Michigan State.