Gifts for fishermenPublished 6:40pm Thursday, December 19, 2013
By Fred Bonner
Several years ago I was visiting a very well known sporting goods store when a very well dressed woman approached the proprietor and asked for one of those “fish hooks with some of those squiggly little legs and cute little tails on them. I want one as a stocking-stuffer for my boyfriend who likes to fish and I think those fish hooks are pretty.” I watched the expression on the salesman’s face as he choked back a laugh and asked the obviously inexperienced angler just what kind of fishing the boyfriend liked to do?
It only took a few minutes for the very experienced salesman to extract enough information from the woman that he could help her pick out an appropriate lure to gift-wrap and put in the boyfriend’s Christmas stocking. I felt that the salesman had done exactly the right thing to help a customer who obviously didn’t know much about fishing.
Stocking stuffers are usually not very expensive items that friends and relatives like to wrap up and place in the Christmas stockings that have been hung by the mantel with care where the gift receivers can dig through the smaller gifts after opening the really big and expensive presents that are usually placed under the tree.
I don’t know of many fishermen who don’t collect a huge variety of fishing lures that are carefully stowed in tackle boxes that are marked with labels denoting that that box is for speckled trout or largemouth bass or whatever kind of fish the angler likes to catch. Having outgrown the matchbox toys I suppose we fishermen have to collect more adult toys.
With that in mind I’d like to recommend to the buyer of smaller, less expensive gifts as stocking stuffers for that angler in their lives that they go to their local fishing tackle store and ask the salesperson for some help in picking out the kind of gift that the person will genuinely use and have a lot of success with when he uses it to fish. It would be rare to find a salesperson in a store that handles specialty items like fishing lures that doesn’t know what he’s talking about and is anxious to help the buyer to make the right choice. Giving the wrong information to a buyer will usually result in that buyer visiting another store next Christmas.
On the other hand it should be the responsibility of the prospective buyer to do a little homework and try to be more specific in helping the salesperson to recommend the right gift. Try and know exactly what kind of fishing the angler likes. What king of fish (if any) does the fisherman bring home? Does he fish in salt water or fresh water? What kind of rod and reel does he use? Having ready answers to these kinds of questions will help the salesperson a lot in helping you to choose a stocking stuffer that will get good use.
Buyers should be prepared to find that fishing lures that used to cost nominal amounts of cash now have met inflation head-on. That old reliable Tony Acetta silver Pet Spoon that used to cost about one dollar now cost more like six dollars and some of the newer really lifelike lures that could be considered to be works of art can cost vastly more. Some offshore trolling lures go for more than a hundred bucks and that ¼ ounce Yozuri shrimp lure that looks good enough to eat cost upward of fifteen bucks.
One fishing tackle salesman recently encountered a well-meaning woman who asked him if he had any pink chicken lures. The salesman didn’t take long to establish the fact that the person who was to be the receiver of the gift was a big speckled trout fisherman who used light spinning tackle in brackish water. With that small bit of knowledge in hand he knew exactly what the perfect gift was because he’d sold hundreds of 17MR MirrOLures in the known to be productive electric chicken color to respected fishermen who took lots of specks home.
The woman bought not only that electric chicken MorrOLure but several other lures by the same manufacturer that were colored Carolina Blue or N.C. State red because she thought that those colors were also “cute.” That should make some interesting gifts for that lucky angler.