Christmas time almost is upon us, and every angler will be having dreams of soft baits and new reels dancing in their heads. Buying for an angler is quite a chore unless you are their fishing buddy. There are so many different forms of fishing, and anglers usually concentrate on one type of fishing or another. I am an exception to the rule as I get bored easily with one type of fishing. My other hobbies tend to go that way as well. If you know your angler well you may feel obliged to purchase him or her the Christmas present of their dreams, but you need to be sure of what they want and/or need.
Hot gifts for the inshore (soundside) angler would be:
nReels – Shimano CI4+ 2500 or 3000. This has been the hottest inshore reel, and every inshore angler I know wants one. They are super light, have a fast retrieve, waaay more torque from any reel its size and a smooth sealed drag system.
nBaits- Vudu Shrimp in Pink / White & Pink / White & Chartreuse. Mirrolures and Gulp make great stocking stuffers. If you need some I suggest the 17M-808, 17M-EC and a topwater Mirrolure in Trout color. New Penny and Pearl White 3-inch shrimp in Gulp as most every inshore angler I know uses them.
nRods are probably the hardest piece of equipment to pick out for someone. I know my wife of nine years couldn’t pick one out for me, and I don’t expect her to because it is all personal preference. There is no one-size-fits-all rod. I could say this or that rod is a good one, but every angler needs to feel the action of the rod for themselves. I suggest a gift card if you want to get your angler a new fishing rod.
Hot gifts for the offshore angler:
nReels – The new Penn Squall reels in various sizes. These are awesome and come in at a reasonable price. You will need to know what kind of fishing your angler usually does. Bluewater anglers who fish for wahoo and tuna will need a larger reel than those who fish inshore for king mackerel.
nBaits are so varied in the offshore category I suggest buying terminal tackle. If the tackle shop you frequent is worth its salt the employees can help you pick out the correct leader material, hooks, swivels and weights your angler may need.
nRods again are so varied it is hard to pick one out for your angler so get a gift certificate.
These of course are only a few suggestions and your friendly neighborhood tackle shop employee (if they are worth their salt) can be an invaluable resource for your angler to have a very merry Christmas and/or happy holiday.
Fishing the surf right now at night can produce good numbers of gator (big) speckled trout. The soundside has a few legal specks but most are undersize. Look for the creeks to start loading up with black drum. The reds should be on the shoals in good numbers here, so be ready.
Tight lines and fair winds.
Capt. Chris Medlin is a third-generation tackle shop owner and charter captain. He makes his home on Topsail but loves fishing all over. Most of the time you can find him at East Coast Sports in Surf City or just contact him through his website at Eastcoastsports.com.