Gift certificates from your local bait & tackle shop or stores like Benny's and the Bass Pro Shops make great holiday gifts for the angler. But if you are wondering what to get your favorite angler, here are my top ten choices. I wouldn't mind getting any of these gifts myself.
1. Saltwater Sportsman's national fishing seminar series with host George Poveromo, $55. The New England seminar will be held Saturday, January 18, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. at the Mohegan Sun Casino's Grand Ballroom in Uncasville, CT. George hosts George Poveromo's World of Saltwater Fishing television program and is an editor-at-large for Salt Water Sportsman magazine. Fee includes six hours of fishing instruction, a course text book, a year subscription or extension to Salt Water Sportsman magazine, goodie bag, door prizes and more. Register at www.nationalseminarseries.com.
2. United Fly Tyers of Rhode Island membership, $30. If you know a fly fisherman, fresh or salt water, they will appreciate this gift. Members meet in workshop form and learn how to tie flies each month. Beginners welcome. Meetings held the first Wednesday of every month visit www.uftri.org .
3. Rhody Fly Rodders… 50 years, 50 members, 50 flies. $32.95, plus shipping. This new book by Peter Nilsen honors the founding members of the Rhody Fly Rodders, the oldest saltwater fly fishing club in America. The book features fifty stories about these saltwater fly fishing pioneers with fifty photos of their favorite fly patterns along with tying recipes. Contact Peter Nilsen at email@example.com .
4. Fishing lures $3 to $20. I'd like to mention three types… surface lures (often referred to as poppers) that stay on top of the water splashing. Second, swimming lures that swim through the water and third, soft plastic baits of all types... all three are used for fresh and saltwater fishing.
5. Inland Fishes of Rhode Island, $26.75. New book released by DEM this week written by biologist Alan D. Libby and illustrated by Robert Jon Golder. Contains illustrations, detailed characteristics used to identify each species, habitat descriptions, life history information, and a distribution map for each species. Purchase at the DEM Office of Boat Registration and Licensing in Providence, at the Division of Fish and Wildlife Field Headquarters in West Kingston, or visit www.dem.ri.gov for mail purchase.
6. On the Water and Saltwater Sportsman magazines, $18 to $25. Saltwater Sportsman, $18 for ten issues and On the Water, $25 for printed or digital versions. My favorite saltwater fishing magazines. Both feature how-to articles, regular features on fishing gear, tackle and tactics. Visit www.onthewater.com or www.saltwatersportsman.com .
7. Membership in the Rhode Island Saltwater Anglers Association (RISAA), $50. Purchase a gift membership for a family member or friend? The association is created by and for recreational saltwater anglers and the monthly seminars and education programs on fishing techniques and how to improve catches are great. Visit www.risaa.org .
8. Cooking the Catch, Volume II, $25. Dave "Pops" Masch writes Cooking the Catch and Ask Pops columns in On the Water magazine. From stripers, bluefish, scallops, and tuna to sea robins, skates, eels and more, Pops explains the means to catch, clean, cook and eat the bounty that we enjoy in New England. Order through On the Water magazine at www.onthewater.com .
9. Museum quality striped bass photo prints, $99 by sport fishing photographer Jim Levison. These beautiful fall run photos taken off of Montauk can be seen on Jim's website at www.jimlevisonphoto.com (click Montauk). Prints are available from 11'" x 14" to 2 feet by 4 feet. Prints start at $99 for an unframed 11" x 14" glossy finish ($299 framed).
10. General fishing or learn how to fish charters, $400 to $650 (depending on number of people, species targeted, boat size, etc.) for a half day. Hire a charter to help teach adults or children how to fish or to take experienced anglers fishing. Visit www.rifishing.com, the Rhode Island Party & Charter Boat Association web site for a list of boats and captains. Can also find party boat trips there for under $100.
Where's the bite
Bottom fishing for cod, tautog, black sea bass and scup is just about the only game in town these days. Turbid and dirty water made bottom fishing difficult Thanksgiving week. However, boats did sail before and after storms and they caught fish. Capt. John Sheriff reports landing some nice tautog to ten pounds and 27 inches off Newport in deep water last Tuesday. The Seven B's party boat reports that their top tautog last week was 8.5 pounds with anglers catching tautog, cod and black sea bass. Contact them at www.sevenbs.com or 800.371.FISH. Capt. Charlie Donilon of Snappa Charters is fishing on his 46' heated sport charter fishing boat and can take up to 10 anglers comfortably. Capt Donilon said, "The afternoon bite has justified staying late as most groups have filled their quota with some fairly large fish. The largest blackfish of last week was 15.7 lbs… Depending on the type of fish you prefer to catch, we will either fish the Newport waters for blackfish or Block Island waters for a combination of blackfish and cod." Snappa Charters takes individuals and small groups too this time of yea. Call 401-782-4040 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. The Frances Fleet party boats are also fishing with success for tautog, cod and black sea bass. Updated daily fishing reports and information can be found on their website at www.francesfleet.com.
Captain Dave Monti has been fishing and shell fishing on Narragansett Bay for over 40 years. He holds a captain's master license and a charter fishing license. Contact or forward fishing news and photos to Capt. Dave at email@example.com or visit his website at www.noflukefishing.com.