What would be the fishing word or phrase that describes pulling a fish out of water?

  • btw, an ambiguous question.
    – Gigili
    May 5, 2011 at 13:15
  • Also, a large fish can be gaffed. Jul 15, 2011 at 2:38

5 Answers 5


In angling terms it would be "landing a fish".

You do talk about "landing a sale" or "landing a new job" so it should be clear in non-piscine usage


Words or phrases used for pulling fish out of the water might depend on the intent or purpose of the angler, the method the angler is using to catch the fish, and/or the type of fish that is being caught. Here are some examples:

"catching fish"

"lifting a fish out of water"

"catch and release"

"taking fish"

"capturing fish"

"hand gathering"


"pulling the fish in"

"reeling the fish in"




"gill netting"

"trap netting"


"purse seining"

"cast netting"

"drift netting"

"angling" - catching, or attempting to catch fish








"long lining"




"poaching" - the unlawful taking of fish

"overfishing" - act whereby fish stocks are depleated


"ice fishing"

"fly fishing"

"bow fishing"

"kite fishing"

"fish farming"

"electrofishing" - stunning fish with electricity to bring them to the surface - primarily used in freshwater by fisheries biologists


"noodling" - fishing for catfish using only bare hands, practiced primarily in the southern United States - also called "grabbling", "graveling", "hogging", "dogging", "gurgling", "ticking"' and "stumping". The term 'noodling' can and has been applied to all hand fishing methods, regardless of the method or species. - From Wikipedia for "Noodling"

"flounder tramping" - flounder a captured by stepping on them

"trout binning" - rocks in a stream are struck with a large hammer - to stun fish nearby

"trout tickling" - in the plays of Shakespeare

"gigging" - using small trident shaped spears with long handles - to take suckers and other rough fish in shallow water


"whaling" - catching whales - which are marine mammals, not fish

"recreational fishing" - fishing for pleasure or sport

"sport fishing" - recreational fishing where the primary reward is the challenge of finding and catching the fish, rather than the culinary or financial value of the fish flesh

"competitive fishing"

"trophy fishing"

"game fishing"

"big-game fishing" - fishing from boats for large open-water species such as tuna, sharks, and marlin

"commercial fishing" - fishing for profit

"subsistence fishing" - fishing for food for survival

"artisanal fishing" - fishing using traditional, low-tech, small scale methods, for survival in third world countries, and as a cultural heritage in other countries


"To reel out" as in reel out of the water would be the next best thing since the verb reel is closely associated with drawing in a fish out of the water using a fishing rod, however you can technically use reel out for any action involving removing something from its familiar surroundings. Alternatively, you can use reel in to mean catch or trick someone or some creature for your own purposes and usually not in the best interest of that someone or creature.


Netting a fish is another term for this:

verb ( netted |nɛdəd|, netting |nɛdɪŋ|) [ trans. ] 1 catch or land (a fish or other animal) with a net. • fish with nets in (a river) : he has netted the creeks and found them clogged with fish.



A fish out of water is someone who is in a situation that they know nothing about or are not used to.

American English synonyms or related words for this sense of fish:

Not knowing about something: ignorant, unacquainted, unknowing, unsuspecting, unfamiliar, uninformed, lost, hazy, illiterate, ill-informed

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