10 Best Fishing Gifts for Anglers on Your Holiday Shopping List

best fishing gifts

If someone you know owns a freshwater fishing boat or a saltwater fishing boat, what to get them for the 2021 holiday season is a no-brainer: they’ll love unwrapping some cool new fishing gear. That said, non-anglers may have a tough time deciding just what sort of fishing gear will make the best gifts.

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Don’t worry, we’re here to help. Check out these 10 top fishing gift ideas that will make any boat-owning angler grin from ear to ear.

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1. A New Tackle Station

If your favorite fisherman has a boat with a bare spot beneath the leaning post or an opening at the transom, he or she would be overjoyed to fill that gap with a tackle station. Teak Isle Manufacturing makes a wide range of tackle stations with drawers, tackle boxes, leader holders, and more, in all sorts of shapes and sizes to fit virtually any boat. These are high-quality units (many boat manufacturers purchase them from Teak Isle and include them as equipment on new models), and they make an incredibly nice addition to any and every type of fishing boat.

2. A Bow-Mount Electric Trolling Motor

It’s true that bow-mount electric trolling motors don’t fit on all the different types of boats out there, but it’s also true that recent advancements in shaft construction and tech makes them applicable to the majority of fishing boats under 30 feet. And having one of these aboard can literally change the way you fish.

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Sure, they can make your boat far stealthier. Yes, they allow you to slowly prowl down a shoreline or weedbed edge. But more impressive is when you fish with a model like the Minn Kota Riptide Terrova or Ulterra (which won a National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) Innovations Award when it was first introduced), which has uber-advanced features like iPilot autopilot and Spot-Lock virtual anchoring. Press one button on the key-FOB-like remote and go where you want, then press another and the motor uses GPS to “lock” the boat in place while you cast. How cool is that?!

Learn More: How to Use a Trolling Motor


3. Rods and Reels

What sort of angler needs more rods and reels? All of them. Choosing the right ones for different fisheries can be a challenge, however, especially for people who don’t fish on a regular basis.

For this reason, we’d recommend sneaking into the garage when he or she isn’t looking, and taking a quick survey of the types and sizes of rods and reels you see. Then, visit a large online retailer specializing in fishing tackle, like Capt. Harry’s Fishing Supply, and “match the hatch,” so to speak. Or, if you want to get really fancy, consider checking out an outfit like Connley Fishing and getting the gift of custom-build fishing rods.

4. Fishing Kayaks

Would a fishing kayak make a great addition to your adored angler’s fleet? In all likelihood the answer is yes. Plenty of people who own fishing boats also have kayaks, for those days when they want to target fish in shallow water, go after a species that requires extreme stealth, or just get some extra exercise as they fish.

There are lots of quality fishing kayaks out there, but before you make any decisions be sure to consider the Old Town Predator PDL. This pedal-drive model has every fishing feature you could want from rodholders to an integrated fish finder transducer mount, and fishing from one is a joy.

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5. Cockpit Organizers

No matter how organized an angler is, there always seem to be hooks, jigs, pliers, and snippers floating around in the cockpit of a fishing boat. The reason? Wherever you sit this stuff down, it bounces free or slides off when the boat hits a wave.

Enter: hook/knife/pliers/tool holders. We love the ones that stick onto fiberglass with suction cups, like the Boatmates Caddies, or Tackle Titan Lure Holders, because they stay put in rough seas and make sure everything else stays put, too. Magnetic versions are available, as well.

Boat Storage Ideas: 10 Ways to Stay Organized Onboard


6. Downriggers and Outriggers

Which of these two goodies would make a better gift likely depends on where your loved one does his or her fishing. Downriggers are commonly used for freshwater applications, although some salty anglers employ them as well. Cannon makes them, and they also have a great section on downrigger basicson their website.

Outriggers, on the other hand, are exclusively used in saltwater and commonly only for fishing offshore. You can check out a wide variety of outriggers from the likes of Gemlux, Lee, Taco, and Tigress, in aluminum, fiberglass, and carbon fiber. If you want to get a gift that’s on the spectacular side, consider going with those carbon fiber models. Sure, they’re expensive, but they’re the latest and the greatest.

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7. Rod Holders

How many rod holders are enough? Most anglers would agree that there’s no such thing as having enough rod holders. Clamp-on models can be added to virtually any boat with rails, but if the angler in your family chases after large saltwater fish be sure you get stainless-steel versions like those from Smith or Fishmaster.

8. Foul Weather Gear

Serious anglers like to go fishing even when the weather is less than ideal, and that means donning foul weather gear. But all bibs and jackets are not created equal.

We’re jazzed about the Pro Tournament line from Gill, which includes a new set of three-layer bibs with reinforced knee pads, hand-warming pockets, and Aquaguard zippers. It’s time to go fishing—let it rain, let it rain, let it rain.

9. A New Fish Finder

Marine electronics gain new tech advantages year by year, and if your favorite fisherperson has had the same fish finder at the helm for more than a few years, there’s a good chance its tech is totally out of date. The solution? Put a new fish finder under the tree.

No matter what type of angler he or she may be a unit like one of Humminbird’s Solix CHIRP MEGA SI+ G3 model line will get their blood pumping, with down- and side-imaging that provides views off to 250 feet of either side of your boat.

How to Use a Fish Finder

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10. Gaffs, Nets, and Taggers

These aren’t three different fishing gifts, they’re actually one. The Shurhold System is a longtime favorite of boat-owning anglers, because it allows you to pop the boathook or scrub brush off the end of the pole, and replace it with a gaff head, nets for landing fish or crabs, or a fish tagging stick. One pole, lots of uses—nifty!

Which of these 10 best fishing gifts will be the ideal choice for your favorite fisherman? That’s a call you’ll have to make. But we know one thing for sure: these are 10 fishing gifts that would make any angler smile this holiday season.

Read Next: 2020 Holiday Gift Guide for Boaters

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Editor's Note: This article was originally published in November 2020 and updated in November 2021.

Saltwater Fishing
Freshwater Fishing