Christmas is such a wonderful time of year. It’s the season for giving, for joy and for being with family and friends. Of course, it’s also a season filled with the excitement of seeing what’s left under the tree and in the stocking on Christmas morning. Many walleye fishermen get fishing tackle for Christmas, and just as many give gifts of fishing gear as gifts. Whether you’re looking to give, or receive, we’ve put together a gift list that’s sure to bring a smile to any walleye angler this holiday season.
With ice fishing season right around the corner (or right on top of us depending on where you are), it makes it a perfect time to fill the space under the tree with some great ice fishing gear. At the top of our list of great gifts for your angler is the Clam X2 Pro Thermal Ice Shelter. This shelter is roomy, tough and very easy to set up. It features 1800 total denier fabric that retains heat and yet reduces condensation. It comes with two swivel seats making it a great shelter for dad and his little fishing buddy, and includes a long list of features that make this a pleasure to fish in.
Electronics seem to always be on the wish-lists of anglers for the holidays. For a unit that’s as useful on the ice as it is on the boat, check out the one we have been hitting the ice with the past couple of seasons; the Lowrance Elite-7 HDI fishfinder and chartplotter. The Elite-7 fits nicely on the dash and/or bow of most any fishing boat, and is a perfect size for viewing inside an ice shelter. For ice fishing, Gary mounts his on a Genz Box and uses the Lowrance “Ice-ducer” (model PTI-WBL) transducer with the Ice Transducer Float accessory. For a little more compact package, there’s the Lowrance Elite-5 Ice Machine that comes ready to hit the ice in its own carrying case, or be used as a handy portable unit for open water applications.
Fishing line is not often thought of as something you’d give someone as a gift, but think about; with all the different walleye fishing tactics out there that all use different lines, wouldn’t it be a big help to your angler to boost his or her line supply before the next season? One line we have become very fond of is Berkley FireLine Tracer in 6 pound test. This line is colored so that there is 5 feet of Smoke color then 5 feet of Flame Green, over and over. This is great for jigging in clear water because you can tie the jig on to the smoke colored section for stealth, and still see the line above water thanks to the sections of Flame Green. You can do the same thing for trolling, just move up to the 10 pound test.
Another fishing line that gets a lot of duty in our fishing arsenal is Berkley Nanofil. This is a Uni-filament line making it even thinner in diameter for pound strength than FireLine. It’s also a very “slick” line, making it great for casting light jigs or other lightweight presentations as it comes off the spool very smoothly. Another thing about Nanofil is that it is much closer to true pound test in breaking strength than FireLine – so we typically bump up a size; using 8 pound test Nanofil as opposed to 6 pound test when jigging.
Of course stocking stuffer gifts are always popular, and one we are hoping to see plenty of this season is Berkley’s new Gulp! Alive! Marinade. Scents have become increasingly important in walleye angling as more and more anglers are using artificial tails instead of live bait for jigging presentations. The Gulp! Alive! Marinade is a combination of Gulp! scents and powerful fish attractants designed to make your Gulp! tails even more deadly. Just be careful that you don’t let your favorite fisherman open it up in the house … its likely to drive the cat crazy and everyone else out of the room.
If there’s one rule most every walleye angler has it’s that one can never have too many crankbaits. That said, why not stuff your angler’s stocking with a few very popular Berkley Flicker Shads and Flicker Minnows. Over the past couple seasons these lures have proved time and time again to be serious walleye catchers. If you are a walleye angler – be sure you have a list of your preferred colors and sizes on your wish list and be sure to share that with your family and friends.
Another bait that we would encourage you to consider this holiday season is the Moonshine Lures Shiver Minnow. If you follow our careers at all you know we dominated a tournament earlier this year near Escanaba, MI using the #3 size of these “glide” style baits. Normally thought of as an ice fishing lure, this style of bait is growing in use and popularity for open water too. Visit their website at moonshinelures.com to learn more.
When it comes to fishing tackle for gifts, the list just goes on and on. So while kids around the world are fast asleep with visions of candy canes and sugar plums dancing in their heads, the walleye angler in your life is no doubt dreaming of a Christmas filled with enough fishing goodies to bust the seams on his favorite tackle bag. Don’t let Saint Nick pass by his stocking this holiday without leaving at least a handful of new fishing tackle items. It’s a gift guaranteed to keep your walleye angler ready for The Next Bite.