monkeyfishing n. catching fish by first charging water with an electric current, then netting the stunned or panicked fish. Editorial Note: It is possible this term is specific to Florida. This term is apparently unrelated to monkeyfishing described in a hoax perpetrated on the online magazine Slate. (source: Double-Tongued Dictionary)

  1. Dan Hiscock says:

    Having spent many many nights “Monkey” fishing back in the 50s and 60s, I feel qualified to comment on the subject.

    Monkey fishing only effects Catfish and does no apparent harm to them. Different species of Catfish respond in different ways to the electrical current. Some come to the surface and turn around in circles slowly. Others come to the surface and swim rapidly away in a straight line. If the current is too strong (turning the Monkey too fast) the fish will be driven away and you won’t catch any.
    The term “Monkey Fishing” comes from the fact that early monkeys were hand cranked like the organ grinder and his Monkey. Later versions were turned by an electric motor thru a rheostat connected to a battery.
    I have been writing down some of my experiences during this time of my life. If anyone is interested in reading or sharing such stories, or asking questions,please e-mail me.

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