Holiday Guide

Hook Some Holiday Gifts for Anglers

Nov 10, 2017

As local anglers know, when the weather gets colder, the fishing gets hotter. The dropping temperatures also signal the start of the holiday season, meaning it’s time to consider what to track down, wrap up and place under the tree for the fishermen and fisherwomen in the family. Luckily, the tackle shop owners on Long Beach Island have some suggestions.

“Fishing here on LBI really gets good when the weather turns cold,” said Greg Cudnik of Fisherman’s Headquarters in Ship Bottom. “We offer top-quality, all-weather protection to keep anglers warm, dry and comfortable. We’ve got boots and gloves to keep your extremities warm, as well as jackets and bibs. Some of our top brands we carry are Guy Cotten, Grundens, Stormr, XtraTuff and Glacier Gloves, among others.”

Bill Heitzmann, owner of Bill’s Surf and Tackle in Harvey Cedars, said apparel is always a smart gift. He sells waders, boots, hats, gloves, sweatshirts and T-shirts – and among the shirts are those that represent the north end as well as the popular Wicked Fish line.

John Castrati, owner of Surf City Bait & Tackle, Dan Yaniro of Captain’s Quarters Bait and Tackle in Brighton Beach and Steve Palmer of Jingles Bait and Tackle in Beach Haven also mentioned clothing, including the white, short-sleeved 63rd Annual LBI Surf Fishing Classic shirts they carry as the participating tackle shops (along with Fisherman’s Headquarters).

“They’re really nice,” said Palmer.

As Palmer also mentioned, anglers can be somewhat hard to shop for: “Fishermen and women are very superstitious. For example, if I use a purple lure and catch a big fish, then the only color lure I want to use is purple.” His thoughts on presents, then, veer toward “covenience items, the stuff that makes it easier to fish.”

“Fishermen always needs coolers,” he suggested. “And a new fillet knife is also nice.”

Cudnik agrees: “An angler always needs a new knife. We’ve got a great selection from Dexter and Bubba Blade” at Fisherman’s Headquarters.

“Other great gifts would be tackle organization – like tackle bags or boxes – from Plano. We’ve got lots of options.”

At Bill’s, Heitzmann stated, “People will ask us to put in $40 or $50 worth of items in a tackle box for their husband or son or daughter, so we’ll do that.”

Yaniro, meanwhile, mentioned a couple of bigger-ticket items, including Fish-N-Mate beach carts. “They’re a really good present,” he remarked. “They’re especially nice in the summer; you can put five rods on it, a cooler, and it has a cutting board. And you can load it up with beach chairs” and whatever needs to be lugged up for the kids.

He also suggested Penn Battle 2 reels: “They last forever. They’re top of the line.”

Palmer said Jingles has Partarod and Angler rod racks for vehicles, which make it easier to chase the striped bass up and down the Island.

Castrati pointed to Temple Fork Outfitter surf rods and aluminum sand spikes from Over the Waves as items that would please an angler. The store carries various other rods and reels, and pre-mounted combos.

And, said Castrati, don’t forget the stocking stuffers: rigs; lures, including Pappy’s Pride Custom Plugs; and tire deflators.

“Bomber lures, Salt Pro (SP) Minnow lures, Yo-Zuri, bucktails,” said Heitzmann. “And Gulp. That’s always a good stocking stuffer. It doesn’t go bad, and it works like magic.”

“For boat fishing, you have mojo rigs, bunker spoons, umbrella rigs, bucktails and Tsunami tackle,” Yaniro mentioned.

He also plugged plug bags, stating, “You can carry all your lures if you want to do some plugging up and down the beach.”

Heitzmann, meanwhile, suggested large hotel crab traps. “People love to give them as Christmas presents.”

“As always, we have gifts cards for those that just can’t decide,” said Castrati. “They never expire and can be used for anything in the store.”

The other shops offer gift cards as well, the owners noted.

And if you need the perfect angler’s stocking, Bill’s carries stockings in the shape of a fish. “We sell them every year,” said Heitzmann. “They’re pretty cool. They come in red, green and blue.”

Many of the businesses are gearing up for wintertime sales, including between 40 and 60 percent off beginning soon at Bill’s, and a 25 percent off sale from Dec. 1 to 24 at Surf City Bait & Tackle. “The 25 percent off is store-wide,” said Castrati, “with only a couple exclusions of high-end items that have set pricing from the manufacturer.”

Stop in as the deals, the fishing and the holidays heat up.

— Juliet Kaszas-Hoch

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