What's Biting Report: Gift Ideas for the Saltwater Santa
Christmas and fishing are two of my favorite things.
Yep, I’m that guy who probably goes a little over the top to combine the two. My wife even tolerates me decorating our Christmas tree with fishing lures. Some are lures that I still use today while others are hand carved antiques that date back to the early 1900’s. I think a part of her tolerance of my less than traditional hanging of a marlin lure on our tree is that fishing makes shopping for me quite easy.
Most fishermen have a list of items they would like to have that is longer than the gaff on their boat. If you are playing ‘Saltwater Santa’ this year, I recommend buying your favorite angler what I call fishing consumables.
Fishermen probably don’t think they deserve a lump of coal in their stocking, but most would gladly wake-up Christmas morning to find lumps of lead. Egg weights aren’t the prettiest of gifts, but they are needed to go bottom fishing. With break-offs, sharks, fish, and tackle swiping porpoises, there is always a need to replenish these items in the tackle box. The same goes for circle hooks and a spool of fluorocarbon leader. The hook, line and sinker of holiday gifts.
Offshore fishermen rig a lot of lures during a season. Partly because most of us have a lot of lures, but it’s also a form of year-round tinkering. Fishermen are notorious tinkerers. A stocking full of rigging supplies including crimps, nylon, and stainless thimbles along with wire and mono leaders will provide hours of rigging enjoyment and ensure lures are ready for business when spring arrives.
It seems every year I need a new cheap fillet knife for the boat. This knife is not for cleaning fish at the end of the trip but rather for cutting bait, fishing line, or anything else that needs to be cut while on the water. These knives usually last about a season so one in the stocking will always be a welcomed gift.
One very consumable item I started using this year were disposable lens cleaning wipes. Using these wipes to clean the salt spray off your sunglasses makes life so much simpler on the boat. They can also be used on your electronics or anything else that needs to be cleaned without being scratched. These wipes come in a box of two hundred and are easily stowed on any size boat.
If you’d like to deliver some gifts under the tree instead of in the stocking, here are some must have items for every offshore fisherman. A nice set of fish cleaning knives including one with a serrated edge. Having the proper knives will result in better-prepared fish and reduce the chance of injury while cleaning big fish. I’d also recommend a quality crimping tool, pair of mono cutters, and a good set of pliers. Spend a few extra dollars on these tools, and they will last forever or can easily be serviced instead of replaced. Rods, reels, and lure choices can all be very personal to fishermen. A gift card to one of our local tackle shops from ‘Salty St. Nick’ is always a good choice which results in the perfect gift.
Fishing, like the holidays, is best enjoyed with family and friends. I hope you can do both this and every year.