If you find something you like, just leave the magazine in an obvious place and open this page. Mark the item in a way it has to be noticed and wait for Christmas morning to find it under your tree or in your stocking. The other side is you have to pay attention to gift hints from family members who read this. If everyone pays attention and does their part, there will be smiles all around on Christmas morning.
Less than $25
Lures are always a good choice for any fisherman. On the inshore side, grab some of the new MirrOdine C-Eyes, Betts Mullet Spins, Back Bay Thunder and Flats Intruder Spoons from Precision Tackle and more. Soft plastics, topwaters, suspending lures and sinking lures are all welcome.
Offshore fishermen always need wire and fluorocarbon leader, and it a rare bluewater fisherman that won't appreciate Ilander Lures and sea witches. Check with your favorite local tackle shop for lures and fishing gear.
A subscription or renewal to North Carolina Sportsman magazine is a great gift. There's a special gift subscription deal somewhere in this issue, and there should be a Christmas subscription offer at www.northcarolinasportsman.com.
Survival bracelets make unique gifts that could prove very beneficial. There are many of these, and one of my favorites is Survival Straps, which are American-made and help fund the Wounded Warrior Project. They are available online at www.survivalstraps.com and in Great Outdoor Provision Company stores across the state.
Up to $100
I have mentioned the ZTR Series (Zero Tangle Reels) reels from WaveSpin Reels before, and I still believe they are a bargain for the beginner to intermediate fisherman. Designed to eliminate tangles when using braided lines, they come in 1500 and 3000 sizes with a "No tangles guarantee" and a year's. Your local tackle shop can order them or they are available online at www.wavespinreel.com.
Fishing schools can straighten the learning curve to catching more fish and there are numerous ones held across every winter and spring. North Carolina Sportsman holds a school each year in conjunction with the Cape Fear Wildlife Expo at the Wilmington Convention Center and Coastline Convention Center in Wilmington (March 15-17); information is available at www.northcarolinasportsman.com. Saltwater Sportsman will hold its National Seminar Series (www.nationalseminarseries.com) Jan. 26 in Wilmington.
Capt. Jimmy Price and I will do an all-day fishing school for the Oak Island Recreation Department on Feb. 2, and I will be back there with an all-day kayak fishing school in March and a weekend-long ladies-only fishing school at the end of April. For information, visit www.captjerry.com or www.oakislandnc.com/recreation.
Up to $250
This is the range of gifts for close friends and family. Last year, Star Rods released the first of the Seagis Series, and they are releasing a series of rods with shorter butts for use in a kayak or other situations where a shorter-butt rod is preferred. These rods are super lightweight and feature Fuji K-series tangle free guides and fast action blanks.
Waterproof digital cameras are a must for fishermen and hunters. A regular camera, or the camera in a smart phone, kept in a baggie to keep it dry, often just doesn't quite cut it. There are numerous waterproof digital cameras available from the major camera companies and the features fit every desire and budget. Go Pro just released their Hero 3, and there are some real deals on Hero 2 versions.
Polarized sunglasses are almost a necessity for fishermen and hunters, and I mention them every year. The latest thing is to add magnifying readers at the bottom of the lenses to help tired old eyes with tying knots and such. Ono's Trading Company pioneered this a few years back, and many eyewear companies have added readers also. My optometrist recently told me he now can make glasses that combine photogray sensing and polarization and give the best of both worlds. Check with your eye professional for details.
More than $250
This is the land of specialized gifts, and they may require more than a hint to be just right. Fishing kayaks are in this category, but I wouldn't recommend buying one for someone unless you know exactly what they want. Offshore rods and reels, marine electronics, shotguns, rifles a hunting dog puppy and lots more fit this category, also.
Guided fishing and hunting trips are always good gifts for sportsmen. You can find a listing of guides and lodges at the back of this issue and at www.northcarolinasportsman.com.
A Final Suggestion
Every year, I am asked for gift recommendations by the families of many of my hunting and fishing buddies. When I can't come up with a specific item for that friend, I advise their families to buy something that is new, looks exciting and they think they (or I) will have fun helping him use or learning how to use. This philosophy works amazingly well. If anyone receives a gift they need help using or a trip where they would like a camera along, just give me a call.