Translating Common "Dock Talk" Phrases Uttered By Countless Bass Anglers

Even though I know better than to get wrapped up in “dock talk,” I have to admit I enjoy it for no other reason than the comedic value of what bass anglers will say when searching for the right way to describe—yet simultaneously hold sacred— their pattern and results from a day on the water. Though I’ve heard some pretty wild phrases uttered, there are those few that seem to pop up more than others. So I thought I’d help with a little translation of some of the most common. Granted, these are just my opinions of meaning (but I’m right most of the time).

dock talk

1. I got on a little deal that I had all to myself
Translation: "I'm not saying anything." This is dock talk 101, and there's no limit to what that "little deal" could be. Bottom line, you'll never know, because once that phrase is thrown into the conversation, don't even bother with follow up questions. If you do prod for more info, assume everything following the phrase is pure B.S. Just congratulate the angler and move on.

2. I caught 'em shallow or I caught 'em deep
Translation: You can be 99% sure he caught 'em opposite of what you were just told. This phrase is reverse psychology at its finest. To further the mind games, if you legitimately tell an angler you caught them shallow and aren't lying about it, the other guy will say he had them deep most of the time. It's all just mental jabs that make you question your confidence in your pattern.

  1. I didn't catch many because all my fish suspended
    Translation: This poor guy spent the day confused. He probably found fish in a particular area not long ago, went back, marked fish, but couldn't get them to eat. Thing is, good bass anglers know suspended fish are the hardest to pattern, therefore they don't spend too much time trying. Furthermore, just because you're marking fish on the graph doesn't mean that they're bass. Phrases like this can also be translated into, "please give me some useful information, because I'm really struggling."

What's your favorite dock talk phrase?