Best Fishing Gifts 2017


Shopping for the angler in your family can be difficult. Most fisherman that are serious about it are very particular about the products they want and many are quick to buy any new toy they desire. Here are 10 of the best fishing gifts of 2017. All are very affordable and universal!

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Best Fishing Shirt

Columbia Men's Tamiami II Long-Sleeve Shirt

Columbia Men’s Tamiami II Long-Sleeve Shirt – $26-$35

Columbia makes outstanding fishing clothes. They can be a bit pricey but they are extremely comfortable, durable and lightweight. They have “Omni-Shade” sun protection technology that protects your skin on sunny days while still being light and breathable. The shirt comes in over a dozen colors and in sizes up to XXL. Columbia also makes a short sleeve version but I prefer the versatility of the Tamiami II.


Best Fishing Sunglasses

Flying Fisherman Maverick Polarized Sunglasses

Flying Fisherman Maverick Polarized Sunglasses – $22

Every angler needs a good pair of sunglasses. I always recommend a curved wrap-around style that allows you to see without glare coming from the sides or above. Flying Fisherman, a company based out of the Florida Keys, is highly regarded as one of the best fishing sunglass manufacturers in the world. Their sunglasses are specifically designed for anglers and very affordable.


Best Fishing Magazine

In-Fisherman Magazine

In-Fisherman Magazine – $10

If the fisherman in your life is still old-school and prefers books and magazines to a computer screen, then In-Fisherman is the best bet. All of the articles are written by true experts. Their articles are tangible and contain amazing innovations and ideas for catching more fish. All freshwater species are covered in the magazine.


Best Fishing Book

Best fishing gifts - Twenty-Eight Unforgettable Fishing Tales

Greatest Fishing Stories Ever Told: Twenty-Eight Unforgettable Fishing Tales – $12

These twenty-eight stories are incredible. Any fisherman, freshwater or saltwater, will enjoy this collection of amazing tales. The book contains stories from a variety of different authors from around the world. I can’t say enough good things about this book.


Best Fishing Pliers

Rapala 6.5 Stainless Steel

Rapala 6 1/2 Stainless Steel Pliers – $10

As I’ve stated before, a good set of pliers is one of the most valuable tools any fisherman has. They are used to remove hooks, cut line, adjust equipment and even open pesky bags and containers. Rapala makes a variety of affordable pliers that work great. Even if your angler already has a pair or two, they will still appreciate this gift. You can never have too many pairs of good pliers.


Best Electric Fillet Knife

Mister Twister 120V Electric Knife

Mister Twister 120V Electric Knife – $28

Okay, there are probably better (and more expensive) electric knives out there. However, the Mister Twister is the best value. You can also purchase replacement blades which is something you can’t easily do with most other brands. In addition to cleaning fish, these knives can be used to cut other meats, bread, foam and just about any semi-soft item you can think.


Best Rain Gear

Frogg Toggs All Sport Rain Suit

Frogg Toggs All Sport Rain Suit $30 – $60

Anyone that has been out on a lake or river during a rainstorm knows how valuable a good rain suit is. Rain pants aren’t the most stylish clothing item in the world but they beat wet pants. Frogg Toggs make great sets of no-frills combos in a variety of colors.


Best Water Shoe

Teva Men's Churn Performance Water Shoe

Teva Men’s Churn Performance Water Shoe – $76

Going in and out of the water and don’t wear waiters? Water shoes are your answer. These work great when docking/undocking a boat or hiking through wet terrain. Unlike most water shoes, these actually don’t look too bad as well.


Best Home Fishing Decor

Ambient Weather BA212 Weather Station

Ambient Weather BA212 Wall Mounted Weather Station – $28

If you’re looking for something for a home office or den, this is the perfect gift. As most fisherman know, fish generally get active when the barometric pressure is falling (and in some cases rising). This is an affordable item that also looks great.


Best Key Chain Item


Backcountry Line Nipper

Backcountry Tackle Line Nipper – $8

This affordable and practical item is a great small gift. Every dentist will tell you – it’s terrible to bite line with your teeth. Don’t do it! A nipper allows you to make clean, close cuts on your line and has a pin that is great for painted over jig heads.


Do you have any great gift ideas for an angler in your life? If so, share them below. Also, what’s are some of the best fishing gifts you’ve received?

Late Summer Bluegill Strategies

Late Summer Bluegills

As the dog days of the summer roll by, fishing strategies change. By late July, water temperatures in most places have reached their peak. The days begin to get a little shorter. Fish change their habitats. Knowing how to target late summer bluegills can lead to some great action on the water. Here are some late summer bluegill strategies.

Go Deep

While small bluegills stay shallow all year round, big bluegills move deep in the summer. Locate large humps, the edge of sunken islands or deep weed beds. Bluegill can be as deep as 40 feet (or deeper) when water temperatures are warm. Larger bluegills will school together and be intermingled with bass. Pike will likely be in the neighborhood as well. Early in the morning, bluegill may be a little shallower but will certainly move to deep humps as the day goes on and the sun warms the water.

Try Spoons

While live baits are always a top choice, spoons are a great alternative when you haven’t stopped by the bait shop lately. Spoons can be both vertically jigged and retrieved. Try a Johnson Splinter Spoon with a modified hook. Swap out the standard hook with a smaller, single hook setup. A simple Eagle Claw Aberdeen hook works great. Add a small plastic trailer to finish off a great presentation. I suggest Berkley PowerBait Power Nymphs but really any small plastic works if moves cleanly.

Stay Mobile

Bluegill schools move fast in the summer. As mentioned earlier, fish will start out shallower when water is coolest in the early morning and move to deeper water as the sun comes out. When you catch a fish, get your bait back down to the same spot right away. If you go 10 minutes without catch another, move on to different location or another angle on your hump or weed bed. If the fish are at least somewhat active, you should catch multiple fish in the same area.

Don’t Forget About Slip-Bobber Rigs

Slips are great for controlling depth and keep a bait in a single spot. While it can be challenging working with 30 feet of line while slip-bobber fishing, it can be extremely rewarding. Walleye fisherman use these rigs regularly to catch slow bite ‘eyes. Floats are great ways to locate fish. After catching a fish or two, use a marker and analyze the spot, time of day and depth. This allows you to replicate your success for future trips out. I recommend using an unweighted Thill Pro Series Float and add your own weight based on your bait, depth and body of water.


While shallow water fishing in the spring and early summer is a blast, your best bet to locating big bluegills is in late summer. Large humps and deep weed beds are your best bets to locating these fish. Remember to move on if you aren’t catching multiple fish in one spot and take note of the depth, structure and time of day that you are slaying them at. Enough talk, get out there and fish!!!

3 Bluegill River Fishing Tips

bluegill river fishing tips

River fishing is almost like an entirely different activity than lake fishing. Elements like water levels, current, changes in structure, and recent weather like heavy rainfall all dramatically affect your ability to catch river fish. Bluegill river fishing, in particular, is challenging. Locating concentrations of bluegills on rivers is much more difficult to many than on lakes. Also, many believe that river bluegills simply do not get as big as lake gills. While that may be the case in many areas, several state records were caught on rivers. Here are 3 bluegill river fishing tips to help you land more river bluegills.

1.Tight Lining

“Tight lining” is a technique many fishermen use on rivers that involves a sinker and live bait off the bottom. Floats are extremely effective ways to catch panfish on lakes but current on rivers makes this challenging. Many river fisherman prefer tight lining to keep baits in honey holes or spots where fish are likely to pass through. Use the lightest weight you can that will still keep your bait in place. Attach a nightcrawler or cricket to a #8 hook about 9 inches above the sinker.

2. Think Like You’re Ice Fishing

Anyone that has experienced river ice fishing know how challenging and rewarding it can be. Ice anglers focus on backwater channels and dips in the river where a sand bar or natural curve come into play. This can be a good spring and early summer tactic as well. Early season bluegill will be concentrating in these shallow areas to spawn (or attempt to spawn). In-fisherman created a great graphic that shows where gills congregate. Later in the summer, oxygen depletion can set in to backwater areas which causes fish to move back into the main channel of rivers.

3. No Live Bait? Try Spoons

If you’re out of live bait or just don’t like using it, try spoons. Small ice fishing spoons work best when concentrating on bluegills. A 1/12 ounce Acme Kastmaster is deadly. For river fishing, you may want to modify it by changing to a single hook (from a treble). The nice thing about the Kastmaster is it can be cast and retrieved as well as vertically jigged. Cast out down current and retrieve slowly. It’s important to keep your bait up as snags on rivers are ruthless and a good way to be out of a few nice spoons in a hurry.

Bluegill River Fishing Tips - Acme Kastmaster LureLet me know if you have any bluegill river fishing tips and tricks in the comments box below. As always, get out there and fish!