Well, there are only 16 days left until Christmas. Are you perplexed about what to buy that fishing enthusiast in your life? Being a fisherman, I have received many gifts over the years that have been used as White Elephant exchanges.
Here are a few ideas for that bass, crappie or trout fisherman that might solve your dilemma and will be a welcome addition to their tackle box.
For those stocking stuffers, there are a number of inexpensive accessories that light up a fisherman's eyes for less than $5. Soft baits for jig fishing or drop shotting made by Zoom or Robo will always catch bass at Roosevelt or Green Valley Lake.
High quality sharp hooks made by Owner or Gamakatsu are a fisherman's choice. There are specific weights for drop shotting in one-quarter, three-eighths or one-half ounce that are always needed.
The soft baits used by crappie fishermen at Roosevelt are Kallins, Little Fishies or Power Grubs. The best bait for the fall and winter has been the one-and-a-half inch Little Fishies in red and white, blue and white or shad color. If you buy the crappie soft baits, then a fisherman needs jig heads in packages of one thirty-second, one-sixteenth, and one-eighth ounce in a variety of colors.
The trout fisherman can always use various colors of power bait, spinners and flies that will catch trout in the spring and summer on our Rim lakes. All of these stocking stuffers can be purchased in the $2 to $5 range.
There are some real quality hard baits in the $5 to $15 category made by Norman, Rapala, Lobina, and Luckycraft. The latter two have really made a recent impact on the bass fishing community with the effectiveness of and demand for their baits. You can't go wrong if you're buying for a bass enthusiast and choose Luckycraft or Lobina Rico.
If you are looking for that one gift for that special person, a quality rod or reel for freshwater fishing will be the right choice. Spinning rods made by Shimano, Fenwick, or Rogue range from $50 to $225, depending on the quality and precision that your fisherman normally desires. High quality rods are a must for the serious fisherman.
Another unique bass fishing rod is the lengthy and sturdy "flipping stick" for pulling those fish out of the heavy cover. Flipping for bass is an effective way to catch fish in the spring with the right equipment. It is a great rod to have in your fishing arsenal.
Reels are improving every year and the new models are out for 2006 and would be another of those special gifts under the tree on Christmas morning. For baitcasting, the Cadillac of them all is the Chronarch Mag 50 made by Shimano. I might add this is the reel used by most of the pros at the highest level of bass fishing on the Bassmaster or FLW tour. It is easy and smooth to operate and rugged enough for the most demanding bass fishing. The price for the Chronarch Mag 50 will be at the high end of reels at about $250, but Shimano makes other very good baitcasting reels starting at $100. There is a wide range to choose from for all levels of fishing.
Shimano also makes an excellent spinning reel and the two in greatest demand at the Tackle Box are the Sedona or Symmetre in the 1500 or 2000 series. The price on these spinning reels will range from $50 to $100 and will make fishing a more pleasant experience trying to catch crappies, bass and trout.
The bottom line in shopping for fishing equipment or accessories is that high quality does have a price tag and quality products make the fishing experience even more enjoyable. If you are not sure, ask someone who knows so that you can have that perfect gift for the casual or avid fisherman in your life. If you are not sure of what to buy, then a gift certificate might be the answer. Remember, take someone fishing and enjoy God's creation.