by Sentinel Sportswriter Ray Merckx
If you’re like me, you usually wait until the last minute to get gifts and getting gifts for the anglers that you love can be tough. Yet anyone who fishes could always use certain things that they may already have that they never really replace until they have to. Many of our local stores like Wal-Mart and Dick’s Sporting Goods have plenty of quick last minute gifts that you can get for anglers in your life.
In all fishing departments within these stores, a few packs of plastic worms, lures and hook/weight packs will always make for a great stocking stuffer. Don’t waste your time trying to find the best colors that you’d think they like because many times, anglers have days where they are trying almost everything in their tackle box to catch a fish. The lures or packs you can get might actually help out on one of those days especially if it’s a tournament they are competing within the upcoming years. For worm/lizard packs stick with Zoom, Berkley or Yum as these are usually the cheaper ones but they do catch fish. Gary Yamamoto worms are the more popular ones and are a little more on the pricey side of things. Most packs of worms/lizards will cost between $3-$7 a pack. As for lures, spinners, spinnerbaits, rattling traps, crank and stick baits are always staples when it comes to bass fishing. Many of these lures run between $2-$10 depending on the brand and usually all work the same way and also helps build a variety.
Another great quick stocking stuffer gifts for the anglers are a pliers/filet knife kits that you can find in almost any fishing department. A decent pair can run you anywheres from $10 to $25 and it’s not something many anglers get for themselves unless they need to. Pliers help with getting the hooks out of a fishes mouth as well as fixing or replacing lures. Rapala and Berkley usually have decent kits for that price and are usually within the same isles as the lures.
Now if getting gift cards is usually your type of shopping, gift cards to Wal-Mart, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Bass Pro Shops or Cabela’s are usually the best ones for anglers to receive. Many of us who do receive them during the holidays always use them to stock up on new lures, or put it towards those nice new fishing poles. If you want to get one more personal, the two bait shops in our area, Blackwater Sports in Vineland on Delsea Drive near Garden Road and Sportsman’s Outpost in Williamstown on Fries Mill and Pitman Downer Road, also have gift cards available and are probably two of the top places that they will go to to get fishing gear. You can also visit these places to get some of these other great last minute gifts which helps in supporting local businesses.
Finally if you’re the kind person who likes to give cash for a gift, a fishing license only cost $22.50 without a trout stamp and all fishing licenses have to be renewed for the 2017 fishing season. Any angler who is between the ages of 16 and 69 years of age needs a NJ Fishing License to fish within the freshwaters of New Jersey. A trout stamp is an extra $10.50 for anglers who wish to fish for and keep the trout.
I’d like to wish all of our loyal readers a safe and happy holiday season, and hope that the new year is full of plenty of new and exciting fishing adventures for all of you. Merry Christmas.