The fishing aisle has plenty to offer for Black Friday shoppers

  • Wearing enough layers to be comfortable is important to any fisherman and can make for a perfect option for Black Friday shopping.

    Wearing enough layers to be comfortable is important to any fisherman and can make for a perfect option for Black Friday shopping. Courtesy of Bob Cowman

By Evan Gregor
Daily Herald fishing writer
Updated 11/24/2020 6:47 PM

Given the newfound popularity fishing has found in 2020, it's a safe bet there might be a new angler or two on your holiday shopping list. Now is the time to prepare.

In the fishing world, gear shopping is already a big enough chore for those who partake in the sport. With continued innovation comes a market saturated with new products, purveyors and overwhelmed consumers. Fret not, there are plenty of options that can be had without headaches and return receipts.


Proper attire: Though it might seem odd to discuss clothes shopping in a fishing article, the blatant disregard for the elements I have witnessed by Chicagoland anglers is stark. While a riverbank or casting deck will likely never be mistaken for a catwalk, there are a lot of new and innovative products that can aid in protection and performance on the water.

It is important to note that layers are a Midwest angler's best friend. In the colder months, a sturdy, waterproof jacket is crucial, as are thermal base-layer tops and underwear. As things warm up, breathable long-sleeved tops are very good at protection from the sun, as well as thwarting pesky insects.

Subscription boxes: The venerable holiday classic "Christmas Vacation" made the case that it's inherently rotten to gift someone a monthly subscription product, but that does not apply here.

Fishing-oriented subscription boxes have become popular the last couple of years and are a great gift option for new and seasoned anglers. Highlighted by a new assortment of lures, attractants and terminal tackle every month, subscriptions are a great way to help an angler build a tackle box. Many boxes also allow for customization depending on region and target species.

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Gift cards (think small): Often derided for being too impersonal, gift cards work on multiple levels. Not only do they give your beloved angler the opportunity to try out or restock supplies, gift cards also provide needed help to the greater fishing community.

Just as many small businesses have been negatively impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, the same case is true for independent fishing retailers and guide services. Purchasing gift cards from local shops benefits the business and angler alike. Smaller, local bait and tackle stores are havens for local fishing information and products, and guided fishing trips always provide educational opportunities.

Everyday essentials: Being prepared is critical when it comes to fishing success. Having a stockpile of essential fishing goods is always ideal for an angler and that should be remembered when shopping for one. If you're looking for great stocking stuffers, forget the flashy stuff and focus on terminal tackle-fishing line, hooks, sinkers, swivels and floats. Best of all, your angler will thank you when they don't have to waste time picking up these items on the way to the spot.

On the flip side, if you've grown tired of finding bell sinkers in your washing machine or treble hooks in your carpets, a good tackle box is a reasonable alternative. Organization is key to effective angling and having all your gear available at a moment's notice will only help you catch more fish. These days, tackle boxes come in all shapes and sizes for mobile and stationary anglers alike.

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