Trying to find a holiday gift for someone who loves to fish?  That can be one of the most difficult tasks of the year.  First, because they probably have too much stuff already, and it would be almost impossible to buy a lure, a reel, or a fishing accessory they really need.  And second, because whatever you buy them will most likely end up on a shelf, gathering dust.  Buying me $25 flashy lures that I’ll never use, is kind of a waste of money…at least for me.  And I’d bet many folks who fish on a regular basis might tell you the same thing.  Anglers can be a fickle group of folks.   I know because I am one.

So, I searched my memory for things that I use a lot.  Stuff I need to replace regularly because it wears out, or gets used up, or I drop it in the water and lose it.   Sound familiar?

Here’s a few Gifts, Gadgets and Doohickeys you can stuff in your favorite angler’s stocking, or put under the tree this holiday season.  I’d be really happy to get any of these.

Fishing pliers.   Get the really good ones. The cheap ones will rust after one fishing trip. Get titanium or aluminum so they are less prone to rusting.  Cuda and Project-X make good ones for less than $40.   Or produce a very big smile by giving a set of Van Staal titanium pliers for around $350.

A good multi-tool.   Again, stay away from the cheap ones that have 30 blades and cost $10.   Go with a quality brand like Leatherman or Gerber and choose one that just has a few tools on it.

FoodSaver vacuum sealer system.  Frozen filets will keep longer.  Get a couple extra rolls of sealing bags too.

If your angler owns a boat, get them a gift certificate for a full clean and wax from a boat detailing company.  Nothing looks better than a shiny boat on the water.

Practical gadgets are always appreciated.  A LED headlamp that clamps on the bill of a ball cap.  Get one with both red and white LED’s.   Line clippers on a retractable spool.  A pair of compact binoculars…the Nikon Aculons are about $60, and they are great.

Stepping up in the price category…for less than $250 you can slip a Scotty Downrigger under the tree.  A Scotty Strongarm manual deploy/retrieve downrigger will put baits and lures down deep at precise depths.  The Scotty DepthPower electric provides fully automatic retrieve with the click of a button and runs around $550. 

If your angler ventures offshore, an EPIRB (Emergency Position Indicating Radio Beacon) is a must-have.  When things go wrong at sea, and you need help quick, an EPRIB sends a satellite signal to the Coast Guard and relays your position.  It’s the best way to have peace of mind to know you’ve got a means to reach out for help, because cell phones don’t have service miles offshore.  And ACR GlobalFix will run about $450.

And something every boater should have is a membership with TowBoat US.  The basic freshwater membership is around $90 a year and includes towing, jump starts, soft ungroundings, and fuel delivery.   Saltwater membership is around $150 per year.  

If you’re still having trouble finding the perfect item, gift cards from Bass Pro, Cabela’s, West Marine are always a good back-up.  I personally love gift cards because I can buy exactly what I want.

Be sure to throw in some sunscreen, bug spray and single use lens cleaning wipes.

Then put it all in a 5-gallon bucket that has a lid with a seat cushion on it.  A 5-gallon bucket is one of the most useful items on a fishing trip.  It helps carry gear to the boat, then it becomes a trash can or bait tank, and ultimately the soap bucket for washing the boat at the end of the day.

Wishing you and yours a very Merry Christmas!

Capt. Cefus McRae & Buck The Wonder Dog

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