New anglers and boaters have come to the water in greater numbers this year because of the comforting feelings boating and fishing can create in uncertain times. According to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, 70% of boat dealers have seen sales surge due to social distancing and the pandemic. This surge in boaters and anglers means you're probably looking for a few more vacation gift ideas than you have in the past.
Not sure which gifts are best for new anglers and boaters? Don't worry, this healthy Christmas gift guide for the water lovers in your life will help you out.
- Fly fishing flies and a fly casting lesson. Buy a small fly box along with a few flies, then purchase a fly-casting lesson gift certificate for the angler on your list who talked about fly fishing. Put the gift certificate with the flies in the fly box and wrap it carefully.
- Fly fishing books. Books are fantastic resources for new fly anglers. Sure, there are plenty of places to get fly fishing information online, but nothing like relaxing in a comfy chair with a cup of hot cocoa as you browse through local hatches, fly fishing history, or the patterns read where it works best in mountain rivers and streams.
- Fishing accessories. There are certain types of gear and gear that anglers can always use. Fishing line, leader material, hooks, bait, line cutters, and pliers are great holiday gift ideas that are non-returnable. If you're not sure what weight line or hook size to get, take a photo of the inside of your secret Santa's tackle box and take the photo to a tackle shop.
- Fish finder. You can buy fish finders for small boats that cost around $ 100. In fact, there are even hand-held and pourable fish finders that can help anglers locate fish while fishing from the kayak or offshore.
- Gift voucher for fishing rods and fishing reels. When you're unsure of the techniques and types of fishing someone is doing, choosing the best rod and reel as a gift can be a challenge. A gift voucher or card for your favorite tackle shop or outdoor retailer is a surefire way to go.
- Fishing license gift certificate. In some states, such as Pennsylvania, gift givers may purchase gift certificates for other people that can be used for the cost of a fishing license or associated privileges and permits. Check with your local government agency to see if this option is available.
- Reusable stainless steel water bottle. Anyone who fish, boat, hike, bike, or go camping will appreciate a reusable stainless steel water bottle. Help family and friends reduce the amount of plastic in our waterways by eliminating single-use plastic water bottles.
- Digital fish scale. You can keep your family and friends honest about how much their catches actually weigh by buying them a digital fish scale. It never hurts an angler to have extra scales just in case one gets misplaced.
- Share flags. Conservation enthusiasts will particularly appreciate the gift of a pack of release flags for the species they most commonly target. You can hoist the flags on the boat after a successful day on the water and let other anglers and boaters know they are practicing catching and releasing. While release flags were once mainly used by offshore anglers, coastal anglers now also fly release flags.
- Personal location signal. Whether on the lake, at sea or on a hike – a personal location signal with satellite precision and military durability makes it a smart and practical gift for anyone who spends time outdoors.
Hopefully this healthy Christmas gift guide will help you cut your shopping time – so you can, of course, spend more time outdoors!
Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, advocate of sport fishing for women, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide in southwest Florida. Hanson's written work has been featured in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit shefishes2.com or follow her on Instagram @ shefishes2.