Photos © Ken Schultz
When looking for a fishing or boating gift for someone, don’t give them the same old thing, a fishing rod, reel, tackle box, or boating accessories. Give him something that will be useful to him all his life and he will always thank you.
Most of the people who give a fisherman are unaware of the different types of fishing, methods or products used for boats and they end up buying a gift card. But why not give away something that you will truly treasure for a lifetime? Here are some useful gift options for those who love fishing and boating.
- Give a fishing license
A lifetime fishing license is a good idea for people of all ages, especially the teenagers who you know will be using them. This gift will last a lifetime and the money the licensee will save during their lifetime is very significant. In many cases, the license will remain valid even if the owner leaves the state in which the license was issued.
By purchasing a fishing license, you’re not only making a great investment, but you’re also helping government agencies fund more conservation programs, fishing courses, navigation, or other educational programs.
- Give a book
As the author of many books and someone who has given many books on birthdays and Christmas, I am in favor of giving a printed or electronic book to friends who love fishing. The books will inform and entertain you with all aspects of sport. Find out which fishing and navigation books are out there and give away a book this year.
- Enroll a friend in an outdoor class
Taking a general class for new anglers, especially women and girls, is a great way to learn how to fish, sail, and other basics of this outdoor activity in a supportive, non-pressure environment. Many government agencies hold interactive outdoor fishing workshops. You could find out what kind of fishing and sailing lessons they offer and give it as a gift.
- Invite someone to a fishing lesson
Most fishing schools are for fly fishing. Orvis is the undisputed leader in fly fishing courses. More than 1,500 certified instructors in retail stores across the country teach free courses on specific dates. I attended a fly fishing school (not Orvis) decades ago and it was very helpful because I learned how to cast fish and fly. While a class is a good idea for anyone new to fly fishing, it’s especially good for young people and women.
- Give an online navigation course
Certain boating courses are required in some states, but not all. It is advisable to have taken a boat safety course (usually through the U.S. Coast Guard employee or online). You can ensure that they are learning about boating and boating safety and that they are given the necessary knowledge. In addition to a card or certificate for operating a motor boat or motor boat.
- Make a gift of membership in a local club
Find out what types of local clubs there are and what the person you want to give to this membership would like to have. Some clubs only organize fishing trips or tournaments and other clubs organize regular meetings for beginners and guests (better for learning). Some have regular sessions to learn specific activities, like tying flies or learning different fishing techniques.
Annual memberships to a local club vary in price, but come in very handy as you meet people and make friends who also enjoy fishing and boating.
- Give a certificate to a beginner in fishing
There is nothing better than giving a certificate to someone who enjoys the sport of recreational fishing. It can be a fishing class certificate to buy fishing equipment, tackle, bait, or anything else that is useful when fishing.
- Give a subscription to a government agency as a gift
Many government agencies have subscriptions to monthly, bimonthly, or quarterly magazines that cover different areas, sports such as fishing and boating, and information about the state’s natural resources. Some magazines cover interesting fish or wildlife topics in the state. Most of the magazines are very informative for those who enjoy outdoor activities.
These publications may be available in print via an online digital subscription. Check the website of your state fisheries department or the website of the State Department of Natural Resources to see what publications they offer.
- The best present
If you are a seasoned fisherman, maybe your time is the best gift you can give. Fishing with a beginner at fishing can be your biggest investment and best gift from everyone. Not only will you be spending time with this person, but you will also develop a passion for the sport. Fishing and sailing are always fun activities to share with your friends or family. This is the best gift of all.
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Ken Schultz was a longtime contributor to Field & Stream magazine and is the former fishing editor of ESPNoutdoors.com. He has written and photographed nineteen books on sport fishing subjects and an annual fishing tips calendar. His writing has appeared on various websites for nearly two decades. His author website is kenschultz.com.