BlogDecember 2020

10 Useful Holiday Gift Ideas for Anglers and Boaters

10 Useful Holiday Gift Ideas for Anglers and Boaters

By Debbie Hanson

Dec 02, 2020

New holiday gift ideas for anglers, boaters will come in handy given the boost in fishing participation, check out these useful gift-giving suggestions

New anglers and boaters have taken to the water in higher numbers this year due to the calming feelings that boating and fishing provide during uncertain times. In fact, according to the National Marine Manufacturers Association, 70% of boat dealers have seen increased sales as a result of social distancing and the pandemic. This boost in boaters and anglers means you're likely to be looking for a few more holiday gift ideas than you have in the past.

Not sure which gifts are best for new anglers and boaters? No worries, this healthy holiday gift guide for the water lovers in your life will help.

  1. Fly fishing flies and a fly-casting lesson. Buy a small fly box, along with a few flies, and then buy a fly-casting lesson gift certificate for the angler on your list who has been talking about getting into fly fishing. Put the gift certificate in the fly box with the flies and wrap with care.
  2. Fly fishing books. Books are fantastic resources for new fly anglers. Sure, there are plenty of places you can go online for information about fly fishing, but there’s nothing like cozying up in comfy chair with a cup of hot cocoa while reading about local hatches, the history of fly fishing, or which patterns work best in mountain rivers and streams.
  3. Fishing tackle. There are certain types of tackle and gear that anglers can always use. Fishing line, leader material, hooks, lures, line cutters, and pliers are great holiday gift ideas that won’t get returned. If you’re not sure which weight line or size hooks to get, take a picture of the inside of your secret Santa’s tackle box, then bring the photo into a tackle shop with you.
  4. Fish finder. You can get fish finders for small boats that cost right around $100. In fact, there are even handheld and castable fish finders that can help anglers locate fish while fishing from a kayak or the shoreline.
  5. Gift certificate for fishing rods and fishing reels. Unless you’re certain of the techniques and type of fishing someone does, it can be a challenge to pick out the best rod and reel as a gift. A gift certificate or gift card for their favorite tackle shop or outdoor retailer is a safer way to go.
  6. Fishing license gift voucher. Some states, such as Pennsylvania, allow gift-givers purchase gift vouchers for someone else that can be used towards the cost of a fishing license or related privileges and permits. Be sure to check with your individual state agency to see if this option of offered.
  7. Stainless steel reusable water bottle. Anyone who fishes, boats, hikes, bikes or takes camping trips will appreciate a stainless-steel reusable water bottle. Help family and friends reduce the amount of plastic in our waterways by eliminating single-use plastic water bottles.
  8. Digital fish scale. You can keep your family and friends honest about how much their catches actually weigh by buying them a digital fish scale. It never hurts for an angler to have an extra scale either, just in case one gets misplaced.
  9. Release flags. Conservation-minded anglers will especially appreciate the gift of a pack of release flags for the species they like to target most often. They can raise the flags on the boat after a successful day on the water, letting other anglers and boaters know that they are practicing catch and release. While release flags were once mainly used by offshore anglers, inshore anglers are now flying release flags too.
  10. Personal locator beacon. Whether on the lake, venturing out to sea, or heading out on a trail hike, a personal locator beacon with satellite precision and military durability make it a smart and practical gift for anyone who spends time in the outdoors.

Hopefully this healthy holiday gift guide will help you cut back on your shopping time – so you can also spend more time staying active outdoors, of course!

Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson
Debbie Hanson is an award-winning outdoor writer, women’s sport fishing advocate, IGFA world record holder, and freshwater guide living in Southwest Florida. Hanson’s written work has appeared in publications such as Florida Game & Fish Magazine, BoatUS Magazine, and USA Today Hunt & Fish. To learn more about her work, visit or follow her on Instagram @shefishes2.