Once out in the sea fishing, I heard a fisherman saying something like 'red sea' or 'black sea' when we weren't getting a good result. Also, I think it's called 'blue sea' or something when we have good catches. Does anybody know about this?

  • Dunno. But, if you wanted, you could say Dead Sea to describe a catch of zero, since no fish can live in it: "The lake's saltiness means that larger organisms such as fish and frogs can't survive in the Dead Sea." (National Geographic) – Alan Carmack Dec 2 '16 at 5:01
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    How about a great catch / haul / bag? By the way, the Dead Sea is a lake between Jordan, Palestine and Israel known for its very high salinity and buoyancy. – Pantelis Sopasakis Dec 10 '16 at 1:48
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    This may not be relevant, but I learned about geomancy in geography at uni, and our professor asked us if we knew why the Yellow River was named so. Long ago, nomads in the middle east attributed colours to 5 directions: eg. yellow= centre, red= south, black=north, white=west, green=east. As they shifted east and entered China, they named landmarks according to these directions - so when they named the Yellow River, they did so to mean 'central'. The Red Sea and Black Sea also indicates where the nomads were. So anyway, a bit tangent, but it may open another line of thought;) – lightawake Dec 27 '16 at 14:21
  • I have always heard the term "Optimal Catch Rate". – Vitolo Dec 31 '16 at 17:14

I'm only a casual fisherman, but we usually refer to a good 'patch' when out on a boat fishing and find a spot with plenty of fish. I've got a friend who has a favourite spot he calls the 'salad patch', because you catch such a variety of fish there.

Another expression is to 'bag out'. The 'bag limit' is the number of fish of a particular species you're allowed to catch in a day - if you bag out, you've caught your limit, and have to either fish for something else, or head home (it's never happened to me!).


good haul From The Free Dictionary, the definition of haul:

  1. (esp of fish) the amount caught at a single time

(Just now saw the comment of @Pantelis Sopaskasis)


It is possible that its a similar phrase to "Black Friday" or "I'm in the Red" as Black represent profit and Red represents debt. If one were catching plenty of fish one could liken it to making a profit in a business and say "black sea" or if one were not catching an adequate amount of fish like a business who's production costs are greater than their profit and losing money one might exclaim "red sea". I'm not a fisherman but the red/black concept has been used in many other similar circumstances.

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