The fishing has really slowed down. Most of our lakes and rivers have not been terribly productive the past couple of weeks because of turnovers and vegetation dying off.

The weather, with the exception of a couple of days, has also been uninviting.

Today, then, something more interesting: holiday shopping for the angler in the family – in this issue, a few gifts for the beginning angler. The next issue will consider the seasoned anglers out there.

Online shopping is often easier these days for people with busy schedules, and most everything suggested here is available at www.Cabelas.com or other sites on the internet.

A good-quality basic rod and reel combination is a good place to start: the Zebco 202 Spincast Combo for $29.95. This is a solid rod/reel combination that will last years and is easy to use and maintain.

Another possible rod/reel combination for about the same money is the Skeet Reese Spincast Combo. It comes with a good fishing hat and, more importantly, a DVD from one of the best anglers in the country on how to fish with the rod and reel.

Around here, finding bait to go fishing with is pretty tough early in the morning – a holiday gift from Berkley Bait Co. such as a selection of packaged “Berkley Gulp” artificial baits may be just the thing.

These are available in variety of baits: mini earthworms, redworms, nightcrawlers, and wax worms. And the best part is they’re fresh whenever you need them.

They work better than real bait, last longer on the hook and are a lot cleaner.

For most of our fishing waters, stay with natural-looking baits.

A small/medium tackle box might be good for someone starting to collect all the new lures; Cabela’s has a medium Soft Tackle Bag that comes with four plastic utility trays to hold lures, baits, pliers, etc., and it’s selling for $39.

Well, good luck shopping this holiday season. Until next time keep a tight line.

Contact Dick at hookedonfishing@comcast.net.