Al Dente


I’m a big fan of oddball fishing terminology, especially when it has a regional component or consists of an inside-baseball reference. (Big shout out to Davey Wolak and his Heap Hunter buds).

For example, even 20-plus years after learning all of the synonyms, I still love the fact that you can refer to a bowfin as a grinnel, a mudfish, a dogfish or a choupique. And while I don’t have the gumption to ever call a crappie a calico bass or a papermouth, I might’ve semi-ironically called one or two sac au laits.

Similarly, I still call my electronics a graph, unable to muster my western friends’ longstanding enthusiasm for their meters.

But when you get to be old and crusty like me, new terms don’t come along all that often. Either that, or the young punks who I’ve admonished to stay off my lawn don’t share them. That’s why I’m enamored of a word that Clark Reehm told me while running me through the syllabus of one of his electronics classes: LASAGNA.

It wasn't one that he made up (he learned it from some friends in NY, but he made it his own, and once he pointed at the screen of his Lowrance graph – I mean, meter -- it was immediately obvious. The fish and bait were layered atop the Sam Rayburn brush pile he was showing me, spread out on two-dimensional sonar just like a set of flattened noodles. Once you see the connection, you can’t unsee it. Besides, it’s a lot better than “stacked like cordwood.”