The snow has been falling; the temperature, too, has been steadily dropping like a lead sinker. These are usually the signs that the holidays are just around the corner, so I thought I’d share some thoughts about gifts for the fishermen out there.

If you’re considering shopping for the fisherman in your life, know first what not to buy: DO NOT BUY FISHING LURES. These items are way too personal. They require many hours of deliberation before a purchase can be made, so leave this task to the fishermen themselves. (That’s how we spend the long winter — shopping for fishing lures.)

There are, however, a lot of things every fisherman needs and will always appreciate getting as a gift. A fishing tool kit — long-nose pliers, line cutter and hook sharpener (Rapala makes a nice one) — is great to have and is always needed. Think about a digital scale for weighing those big catches. Area fishing maps such as Fishing Hot Spot maps are really great gifts, too. If your fisherman has a boat, consider an extra dock line or two — these are always appreciated. The best part of all these gifts so far is that they are all priced under $20 – not bad.

Every good fisherman knows that knowledge is the best tool, and the guys at In-Fisherman magazine offer online a great collection of instructional DVDs and books on every aspect of fishing for beginners to tournament pros.

For the fisherman with some time and ability, there are many lure-building kits available, mostly online from such shops as Cabela’s or Bass Pro. There is something special about catching a fish with a lure one has designed and made oneself, and it’s not that difficult. For the really adventurous there are also rod-building kits for a fisherman to custom-make his or her own fishing rod or a special gift for a child. And if money is not a consideration, for a couple hundred dollars there are some great deals on underwater video cameras (the ultimate fish locators).

Hope these ideas provide a few tips for the holidays. Next time we’ll talk a little about fishing hot spots for the winter getaways. Until then keep a tight line.

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