Are you having difficulty finding a gift for a fisherman on your holiday shopping list?
Here are a few ideas that might bring a smile to any angler's face on Christmas morning:
Fish finders (sonar) are the perfect gift for anglers who have difficulty locating fish. The viewing screen indicates bottom readings and water depth, and it actually shows fish under the boat. Prices begin at $50 for black-and-white units. Color models are more expensive, depending on screen size, quality and features. Popular brands are Hummingbird, Eagle, Lowrance and Garmin.
GPS/fish finder combination units not only show bottom readings, depth and fish but also can track an angler's location on a map. When a good fishing hole is located, the exact spot can be marked to allow the angler to return to the location another time. Prices start at $199 for black-and-white models. Functional color units can be purchased for a few hundred dollars more.
Underwater cameras are easy to use. They show underwater action and bottom structure and are popular with anglers who like to explore new fishing areas. Many lake residents enjoy using them to watch the fish that swim below their boat docks. Portable units, complete with camera, cable, viewing screen, battery and charger, are priced beginning at $100.
Wooden rod racks are perfect for anglers who wish to display their favorite fishing outfits or need a place to store them in an orderly manner. Wall-mounted six-rod racks begin at $14.99. The free-standing 12- and 24-rod floor racks are priced beginning at $19.99.
Landing nets make great gifts, even if they are a little difficult to wrap. Nets can be purchased for less than $10. The price increases as the hoop size, handle length and depth of the net increases. Regardless of the one you choose, be certain the handle is long enough to reach the swimming fish, whether you are wading or fishing from a boat or pier.
"How to Fish" DVDs and books.
Plastic storage boxes for terminal tackle, soft plastic and other lures.
Soft- or hard-sided tackle boxes.
Fishing knife with sheath.
Minnow bucket with battery-operated aerator.
Marker buoys. These colorful plastic buoys are thrown overboard to mark a place where fish were found.
If you are not exactly sure what to buy the fishermen on your gift list, ask a fishing buddy. If he doesn't know, he can find out.
Spotted bass fishing is good to excellent. Anglers casting toward riprap banks are finding limits of nice bass. Others, using jigs, shaky heads and diving baits, are finding fish over deep points, humps and brush. Striper fishing is improving; the best results have been upriver. Use small jigs and minnows around brush piles for lots of crappie and white perch.
The lake level is about 3 feet below full pond. Water surface temperatures are in the 50s.