The Fisherman staff gives a sneak peek at what’s on our wish list this season.
Remember when you were a kid, and you had those inch-thick fishing catalogs that you flipped through endlessly, mentally filling your tackle box with new colors and shapes? Remember lying on your bedroom floor with the magazine open, circling your must-have items so that your relatives literally couldn’t mess up your holiday shopping? You’ve heard the saying, ‘the more things change, the more they stay the same,’ and you can apply that theory to our latest installment of The Fisherman’s Holiday Gift Guide. We’ve done all the homework for you!
Whether you’re dropping hints about a new kayak or electronics for your boat. If you want a perfect albie setup for next fall or a small pile of plugs and plastics for the spring striper run. Or maybe you’re sick of freezing your butt off during wintertime or early spring fishing trips and you want to layer up in style and comfort this year, it’s all in here and there’s a lot more than that!
You can pretend that you’re doing this to make things easier on your spouse, friends and family…but it can be our little secret that you’re actually mapping out perfection. Fishermen are a different breed, we never fully release our inner child and that means daydreaming about a pile of beautifully-wrapped boxes this December, all of them containing exactly what you want…is perfectly normal. So make a list, check it twice and strategically leave it where you’re significant other will practically trip over it. And then start checking your online banking record, just to be safe. It’s the most wonderful time of the year, especially when you stack the deck for a royal flush!
RODS & REELS
AVET RAPTOR PLUS
AVET has released their new Raptor Plus series reels, a refresh of the current Raptor with new look and several spec modifications, at the same $450.99 starting Raptor price (minus 10% year-end savings!) The JX, LX and HXJ models feature larger handles with thumb relief for better comfort and agility, while the gear on the SX and MX models was increased from 3.8:1 to 3:1. AVET has released a limited edition run of two-tone Raptor Plus reels, with black end housing or silver end housing both with red spool and arm, as well as gunmetal end housing or blue end housing both with silver spool and arm. The original AVET Raptor price is also 20% off this holiday season.
PENN CARNAGE III OFFSHORE RODS
The new PENN Carnage III Offshore and tournament models feature LS2 rod construction developed specifically for the brutal offshore environment. The Offshore models offer a total of 17 models (from $229.95 to $449.95), with 10 in a blade-only design allowing anglers to customize the butt section of the rod according to their preferences and needs for any fishing situation. The remaining non-blade rods come with slick butts, except for the white marlin rod, which features an EVA butt tailored to that specific fishery. The Carnage III Offshore models are equipped with top-notch components like Fuji HB Guides, Sea-Guide HBS reel seats, AFTCO rollers, and Rubber Shrink tube handles, making you’re your go-to workhorse rods on the offshore grounds.
PENN SPINFISHER VII REEL
The PENN Spinfisher VII reel sets the standard for inshore fishing as well as surfcasting. It features a sealed HT-100 carbon fiber drag system that provides robust stopping power, complemented by the recently upgraded CNC brass gearing and 5+1 stainless steel ball bearings for enhanced durability against formidable saltwater fish. Spanning 18 models, from 2500 to 10500 sizes priced from $179.95 to $289.95, the Spinfisher VII encompasses diverse variants like Long Cast, Live Liner, and Bail-less options, boasting drag pressures ranging from 15 to 50 pounds, suitable for a wide spectrum of angling scenarios. Its IPX5-rated sealing system fortifies it against splashes and sprays, safeguarding the gearcase and drag mechanism, ideal for fishing in all conditions.
SALTIGA LEVER DRAG (LD) 55JP
Daiwa’s new Saltiga lever drag (LD) 55JP is geared to give anglers the advantage when jigging, both inshore and off. Intelligent design is at the core, starting with the Saltiga LD55JP’s distinctive profile, which is noticeably taller and narrower than other conventionals. That comes from the upsized spool with massive line capacity for deep jigging, while the narrowness reduces line piling on the spool to one side or the other, contributing to inches-per-crank and power to speed ratio. The Saltiga LD55JP (MSRP $749.99) features one-piece machined aluminum frame with side plates for unmatched strength, and its easily thumbed lever-drag calibrates effortlessly for quick tension adjustments without awkward reaches. Jiggers will appreciate oversized, soft-touch Offset Power Handle.
JIGGING WORLD NEXUS 2.0
For the belated buyer, the all-new Jigging World Nexus 2.0 inshore rods will be available in early 2024! Now constructed with Japanese Toray Carbon Fiber, Fuji O Ring guides, Custom Carbon Fiber Reel Seats, and Premium Ergonomic EVA Grips, Jigging World took the original Nexus technology and created a lighter, stronger, and more “tip sensitive” rod that’s visually appealing and boasts the same overall action that Nexus owners demand. Best of all, Jigging World is offering this new and improved Nexus 2.0 at the same price point starting at $149.95, a somewhat unheard of offer to consumers both technologically and aesthetically speaking. Bottom line, a great rod that won’t break the bank.
OCEAN TACKLE INTERNATIONAL END STANDUP RODS
Looking for the perfect gift to impress the offshore angler on your holiday gift list? Ocean Tackle International, or OTI, has you covered. The OTI End Standup Rods meet all the needs to land tuna, mahi and other pelagics, as well as other big game species they may be hunting down in the New Year. Equipped with Alps HXN guides, X-Wrap Foregrip, 10-inch Slick Butt, and Alps CAH Aluminum Reel Seat, the only thing this rod is missing is the wrapping paper! Available in 6-foot lengths and three different weight classes, you’ll surely find one to meet your angler’s needs for seasons to come. Check them out at your local or online retailer at $299.99.
FENWICK WORLD CLASS
Focusing on the importance of weight, balance, and sensitivity, Fenwick’s new World Class rods are crafted from ultra-premium materials combined with a blend of high-modulus graphite and Fenwick’s proprietary reinforcing resin, providing perfect actions for each application. Designed for performance, Fenwick has skillfully crafted the lightest weight blank possible without disrupting sensitivity or responsiveness, with a unique handle design that fills the hand perfectly, optimizing leverage and action. An ergonomic grip offers soft surfaces and a seamless in-hand feeling that enhances the angler’s ability to detect changes in structure, lure movement, and, most importantly, bites. Bottom line, the Fenwick-designed reel seat fits the crux of the hand for a natural feel and increased sensitivity through the fingers, starting at $419.95.
Shimano Ocea Plugger Big Game Series
With a strong trend of large bluefin pushing closer inshore from Jersey to Maine, more and more anglers have started upsizing their gear for the ultimate challenge of targeting XL tuna on spinning gear. Until very recently, anglers had to find a custom builder or look overseas to find rods capable of subduing standup tuna that paired up well with reels like Shimano Stella SW 20K and 30K. We’ll the hunt is over, Shimano North America Fishing has introduced a new line of powerful, lightweight, high-performance rods with their new Ocea Plugger Big Game Series, these rods are capable of landing true giants! These two-piece rods range from 7 feet to 7 feet, 10 inches, and retail for $729.
Okuma Tesoro Saltwater Spinning Reel
If you’re looking for a waterproof spinning reel that won’t break the bank, check out the Tesoro line from Okuma. This reel features Alumilite body construction which reduces torque and increases durability. It is also rated IPX-7 waterproof, submersible under 3 feet of water for 30 minutes. They upped the ante with 12 high performance bearings that are 10 times more impervious to saltwater than conventional stainless. The Tesoro boasts an ultra-smooth feel thanks to a hollowed out pinion gear and gearing stabilization throughout. Their high-output drag allows for maximum pressure while maintaining a smooth run. A one-piece aluminum bail arm allows for seamless direction of the line to the roller with their manual bail. A great reel for many saltwater applications starting at $359.
Accurate Valiant Reels
With the exploding popularity of slow pitch jigging, there’s a ton of chatter about the perfect reel, the Valiant is commonly listed among the top choices. The Valiant threads the needle between lightweight and power. It’s incredibly smooth TwinDrag system puts the angler in control, and the ‘fits-in-your-hand’ design offers easy access to features, you have the star drag, right there on the handle and the Directshift Instagage lever, allowing you to adjust the drag to preset strengths with the flip of a switch, right on top. Available in single-speed and two-speed models there’s a Valiant that will fit the needs of any hardcore jigger and you can expect the same rugged and elegant design standard present throughout the entire Accurate catalog. Priced from $485 to $785.
Tsunami SaltX Spinning Reel
Crafted with precision engineering, the Tsunami SaltX Spinning Reel boasts a rugged, corrosion-resistant body and side plate that can withstand the relentless assault of saltwater, ensuring it remains a reliable companion on every fishing expedition. Its cutting-edge technology includes a sealed body and spool, safeguarding your investment against the corrosive effects of salt and sand. While supplies lasts, the 4000 and 6000 sizes will be retailing for only $299.99 at dealers across the region!
Van Staal VR Series
Crafted to withstand the harshest saltwater environments, these reels are a testament to durability and reliability. From battling trophy-sized gamefish to casting with finesse, the VR Series delivers a seamless experience. With a waterproof design and cutting-edge drag system, they ensure you’re ready for whatever gets thrown your way. Engineered for the most demanding anglers, Van Staal VR Series Reels are the ultimate companions for both inshore and offshore adventures. Available in left and right hand retrieves in sizes 50, 75, 125, 150, 175 and 200.
Tsunami SaltX Surf Spinning Rod
The ultimate tool for conquering the roughest surf conditions. This exceptional rod is meticulously designed to meet the demands of saltwater anglers who crave power, precision, and performance. Crafted with state-of-the-art materials and cutting-edge technology, the Tsunami SaltX Spinning Rod is crafted for the surfcaster. Its high-modulus graphite construction delivers unmatched strength and sensitivity, ensuring you can feel every subtle nibble and respond in a timely manner. The rod’s precisely calibrated spread of actions cater to a wide range of saltwater species in the Northeast. The rods also feature a 70/30 split for that one piece feel along with top of the line Fuji components. All five models retail for $199.99 at dealers while supplies lasts.
Century Vertical Jig Series
An essential part of making the vertical jigging technique work properly is having a rod that is able to dance the jig just right. The Century VJ series is one that will absolutely get it done on a number of different fronts. Full carbon and graphene design along with anti-twist technology, Textreme outer armor and autoclave processing create the backbone of the rod while titanium guides ensure line will run smoothly through them. The end result is a jigging rod that will be top-notch with longevity and strength, all while maintaining a light weight. Six models are available in the series from $640 to $749.
St. Croix Avid Inshore Series
Dramatically re-engineered for 2024, the next generation of St. Croix Avid Inshore includes 23 dialed-in models — 17 spinning and six casting — handcrafted start to finish in the USA on stronger and lighter SCIII+ hybrid carbon blanks and incorporating all top St. Croix technologies. Angler-driven ergonomic improvements include all-new full-handled grip designs crafted from new, ultra-durable agglomerated cork. Lengths, powers, and actions have also been updated to better support popular and emerging inshore techniques and presentations. The ASIS60MF model is a prime example and is ideal for snap-jigging with retail prices ranging from $240 to $340 with a 15-year warranty.
SEVIIN GSW Series Saltwater Spinning Reels
Available in February of 2024, the all-new SEVIIN GSW Series will encompass four exceptionally smooth, powerful, and versatile saltwater spinning reels (3000, 4000, 6000 & 8000 sizes), precisely designed and crafted to elevate the saltwater fishing experience with uncompromising performance and reliability. Features include strong and durable aluminum construction, 6+1 shielded stainless-steel bearing system, fully gasketed side plates and blade seals, multi-stack carbon and stainless-steel drag, S-curve slow oscillation, aluminum braid-ready spools, and premium machined accents. The versatile 4000-size GSW weighs 13.2 ounces and features a 6.0:1 gear ratio, 22-pound max drag, and holds 230 yards of 30-pound braid. Retail price is $160 with a 1-year warranty.
TOOLS & ACCESSORIES
Visser-Grip Titanium Pliers
Reliable pliers are an integral part of every anglers tackle. If you want to buy the last pair of pliers of your life, look no further than Visser. These lightweight titanium pliers are impervious to saltwater and feature a jaw design that will not torque out. The cutters are super sharp and feature a split ring notch that facilitates hook changes ‘in the field’. The ambidextrous holster is made from Kydex, an impact-resistant tactical plastic used in the firearms and aircraft industries; it’s the perfect material for the job. Suitable for all fishing situations, including surf and kayak, the Visser-Grip Pliers come in two sizes (6.5 and 7.5 inches) that are the lightest in their class and feature a lifetime warranty. $329 to $359.
Dexter 8-inch Max Flex Dextreme Fillet Knife
All the knife you need! Tackle any fish with the Dextreme series. Developed specifically for anglers, the DX8MF 8-inch Max Flex Dextreme features a single edge with maximum flex and an ergonomic handle, engineered to deliver great cuts with no compromises. The single-edge blade gives you the perfect flex to glide over bones, resulting in better yield of the meat, and the wide profile blade flexes in just the right spot for cleaner skinning of the fillet. The comfortable, non-slip handle accommodates any hand and finger position for greater control. The DX8MF includes a sheath and is priced at $49.65. Find them at your local or online retailer.
Fuji SIC K Series Guide
Elevate your fishing game with the FUJI GMKWSG 3 LEG SIC K Series Guide. Crafted to perfection, this guide represents the pinnacle of angling technology. The Silicon Carbide (SIC) ring offers exceptional durability and unparalleled smoothness, reducing friction to a minimum and ensuring longer casting distances and enhanced sensitivity. The three-leg design provides exceptional stability, so you can confidently battle even the toughest fish. Whether you’re a seasoned angler or a novice, the FUJI GMKWSG K Series Guide is your key to unlocking the full potential of your next custom fishing rod. Available in sizes 7 through 50mm.
PLUGS & LURES
Game On DuraTech Eels
The soft plastic eel has been a game-changer in recent years, as boaters, yakkers and surfcasters have all found them to be a suitable replacement for the real thing. Game On Lures changed the game again by fashioning their eels out of their DuraTech plastic blend, giving them more stretch and greater durability than the rest. They also incorporate a unique V-shaped body design that keeps the bait horizontal in the water and their belly slit makes perfect rigging a breeze. They’re available in two sizes, 10 and 13 inches, and five fishy colors, 3-packs are priced from $9.99 to $12.99. They can be rigged weightless or on a jighead to cover a variety of situations. Best of all, striped bass love them!
NLBN Big Mullet
By now most anglers are familiar with NLBN’s (No Live Bait Needed) paddletails and their ingenious jighead rigging system. But did you know that they also make an amazing soft plastic jerkbait? Well, they do and it’s called the Big Mullet. Not only does it look just like a mullet, but it also takes the soft plastic jerkbait to a new level! Angled pectoral fins drive the bait closer to the surface and can even make the lure leap out of the water; lust like a real mullet. Rigged on a 10/0 swimbait hook, this soft plastic can be fished on top like a spook or allowed to sink a little deeper and fished like a traditional jerkbait. Both techniques draw vicious strikes from stripers. These NLBN Big Mullets come in 2-packs and sell for $8.99.
FISHBITES FIGHT CLUB
I once got coal in my stocking as a kid – dad thought it was pretty funny! The tables are turned this year with natural bait stuffed in his stocking, specifically the 6-inch grubs from Fishbites Fight Club Lures made from natural flavor/scent technology and tougher than all other scented lures on the market. Deadly on the fluke grounds, 6-inch grubs from Fishbites Fight Club are available in eight colors – including new Pink Shiner, Cheap Shot & Slugger- each lasting fish-after-fish (four grubs to a pack, $6.99). Fishbites are made in the USA and biodegradable, which means unlike the billion years it takes to turn coal into diamonds, this stocking stuffer become priceless again on the fluke grounds come spring.
TONY MAJA DRIFT SPOON
The “flutter” spoon has become one of the most effective boat lures for striped bass, probably the next big thing since the bunker spoon. It stands to reason then that Tony Maja – the name behind the Tony Maja bunker spoon – knew to take the boat out of gear to deploy his own spoons on the drift. Tony Maja Drift Spoons flutter enticingly down to where stripers are on the feed, and come in five colors (white, chartreuse, gold, chrome, and multi-colored). Weighing in at just under 5 ounces and featuring 5X strong 5/0 Mustad Treble, 200-pound split rings on both sides and 175-pound barrel swivel on the top split ring, these $25.99 lures are built to last!
STERLING TACKLE DIAL TRACKER
If you’re looking for the perfect gift for a tuna fisherman this season, look no further than Sterling Tackle’s 22-inch Dial Tracker, the most flexible, versatile, and productive Tracker Bar on the market today. Sterling’s patented rotating keel allows fine tuning so that the Dial Tracker Bar can be pinpointed anywhere in your spread, from far port all the way to far starboard. No tuna hunter ever leaves the harbor without the wide trackers, and at $139 the 22-inch Dial Tracker Bar is another “must have” for any tuna fisherman. Sterling Tackle creates custom offshore trolling lures for pelagics using top of the line materials and components from Momoi, Mustad, American Fishing Wire, and more. Find them online.
Shimano Armajoint 190
The Armajoint 190 was designed to conquer the challenges of casting a big jointed swimbait in search of trophy fish. The Armajoint leverages Shimano’s Armaboost technology to increase casting distance by reducing unnecessary air resistance and spinning during flight. Armaboost technology facilitates the lure to disconnect from an internal magnet and forces the body to fold into a compact shape. Once the lure hits the water, the magnet reengages to create a smooth and natural swimming action. It can be retrieved fast or slow to fit any situation, and features Flash Boost technology that emits fish-attracting flash, even on the pause. Designed with purpose, the Armajoint 190 improves angler performance while drawing strikes from monster fish and is priced at $42.99.
BERKLEY SALTWATER POWERBAIT POWER SWIMMER
With the bunker population at a 60-year high and peanut bunker being the hatch-to-match this season, the newest Saltwater PowerBait Power Swimmer from Berkley could be just what you need affixed to your favorite jighead. At $6.99 a pack, the Power Swimmer boasts a general baitfish profile with a large paddletail that produces an amplified displacement of water, significantly enabling fish to track the bait’s movement. The ribbed bait’s action delivers substantial roll with its high-frequency tail kick, and can be rigged either on a jighead or a weighted EWG hook. And if presentation alone isn’t enough, it also features the PowerBait saltwater formula, scientifically proven to attract fish and trigger strikes.
DAIWA ZAKANA KO JIG
The whole concept of jig fishing is based on covering the entire water column, from top to bottom. To facilitate this type of saltwater “finesse fishing,” Daiwa has just added the Zakana KO Jig to its already expansive library of jigging spoons. The Super Light Jigging (SLJ) bait is a dynamic performer, showcasing gymnastic moves travelling both up and down in the water column, capturing currents while fluttering and tumbling on its way into the strike zone. Best fished on spinning gear with 3000 to 5000 series reels, and most effective in depths of 150 feet or less, the tail-weighted Zakana KO Jig is purposefully erratic, just like a live baitfish, and comes in four colors and sizes at $12.99.
Savage Gear Freestyler v2
Glidebaits have become a mainstay for striped bass fishermen and one of the early favorites was the Savage Gear Freestyler, which was taken off the market a few years back. Earlier this year, Savage re-released the Freestyler with some new features and a whole new color palette to the delight of striper fishermen everywhere. The Freestyler v2 is thru-wired and comes in six natural colors with realistic eyes and is also now available in three sizes; 4.3, 5.1 and 6.3 inches. Another new feature is the Vivid Movement Spring System which causes the bait to vibrate and pulsate on the pause. Nearly neutrally buoyant, the Freestyler swims with an erratic walking action that draws angry strikes from predatory fish in fresh and saltwater. Priced from $15.99 to $17.99.
Spro Sashimmy Swimmer 125
More and more multi-segmented swimbaits are making their way into saltwater arsenals every year, their natural ‘s-shaped’ swimming motion and perfect profiles make them a dead ringer for various inshore baitfish species. With the great peanut bunker runs we’ve seen over the past few seasons, the Sashimmy Swimmer from Spro is another swimbait that inshore anglers should take a close look at. This 4-segment swimbait measures 5 inches and weighs 3/4-ounce. It comes in 10 fishy colors and can be fished fast to keep it right on top or reeled slower to swim below the surface. Its sink rate (6 inches per second) makes it very versatile, and it comes equipped with Gamakatsu trebles, perfect for light tackle anglers chasing backwater stripers. Priced at $18.99.
Yo-Zuri Hydro Twitchbait
At 6 inches and 2-5/8 ounces and with its deep body, this lure has the profile needed to attract big gamefish species. A slow sinking, lipless bait with a seductive side-to-side roll/wobble combination on a straight retrieve and a quick darting action on a twitch and pause retrieve. This lure features through wire construction and 4X strength saltwater grade treble hooks and split rings that can handle any inshore or offshore big game species. It casts extremely well, with no tumble even in the wind, it has a great swimming action on a fast or slow rolled retrieve and has the terminal to tackle big fish. It’s a game-changer for anglers chasing striped bass or bluefish inshore or yellowfin and bluefin tuna offshore. Suggested retail is $17.99.
Fishlab Mad Eel
From the Cape Cod Canal, the inlets of Long Island to the sand beaches along the Jersey Shore, the Mad Eel was designed to be the best jigging/search bait on the market. The Mad Eel family of swimbaits was designed for most coastal and intracoastal markets with an impressive swimming action to cover a ton of water. The Mad Eel lineup consists of five lengths featuring 5, 6, 7, 7-1/2, and 8-inch models. Nine different color schemes will cover all the baitfish possibilities. Each package contains one head and two bodies.
Al Gag’s Twitch It Eel
The newest addition to the Gag’s product lineup is the Twitch It Eel. You might be familiar with his original Whip-It Eel and its fish-catching abilities. This soft plastic features an entirely different formula, resulting in a different action and technique — it’s all in the name! This heavier plastic eel comes in at 2 ounces, making it castable without any added weight and an excellent twitchbait. The 12-inch plastic is slow sinking but can be fished in several different scenarios including inshore, surf and even offshore for pelagics. Al recommends Texas rigging this plastic for optimal performance. The lure is available in four popular color patterns and retails for $11.99.
SUNGLASSES & APPAREL
HUK Icon X Collection
The HUK Icon X Clothing Collection isn’t just about performance; it’s about making a statement. With its sleek, modern designs and versatile color options, you can seamlessly transition from the water to casual settings without compromising style. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a weekend warrior, the HUK Icon X Collection is your ticket to mastering the art of fishing with confidence, comfort, and a touch of sophistication. Dive into the future of angling apparel with HUK Icon X — where performance and fashion unite on the water.
Engineered with superior Lateral Line lens technology, Cleat sunglasses from Fin-Nor are designed for extended outdoor activities, on land or on water. They effectively shield your eyes from glare and blue light, helping to minimize fatigue caused by outdoor conditions. These lenses are equipped with oleophobic and hydrophobic coatings on both sides, significantly reducing the impact of smudges, scratches, water spray, dust, and more. Fin-Nor sunglasses incorporate lightweight and flexible materials, adjustable nose pads, and integrated spring hinges with all-day comfort in mind. Starting at $189.95, the discreet, low-profile side shields provide sun protection and ensure optimal airflow throughout the frame, the clear choice for hardcore anglers.
Bajio is an independent sunglass company with a mission to protect and restore the saltwater flats of the world. Bajio says their lenses are the clearest in the industry thanks to a reengineered polarization process that filters out blue light rather than yellow like other manufacturers. The result is a clearer lens and deeper penetration through glare. Bajio offers a 24 frame styles, made using sustainable and eco-friendly materials, to meet the needs of men and women from the boat to the beach, one style we really like is the style called, “Nato”. Sunglasses make a great addition to any angler’s holiday bounty. Priced from $209 to $259.
SKELETON OPTICS OUTLAW
Equipped with blue lenses by Zeiss set in a highly durable Grilamid TR-90 frame, Skeleton Optics’ Outlaw polarized fishing sunglasses are designed to withstand the rigors of active outdoor activities. Each special edition Outlaw frame features a hand-painted design by artist Ely Yerian – American Flag, Wahoo, Yellowfin, Mahi Mahi, Brown Trout, Rainbow Trout or Cutthroat Trout – which are available in limited batches this holiday season. To ensure long-lasting finish, the frame undergoes a Cerakote Firearm Coating process, which provides a nearly indestructible layer of protection against the elements. The collector’s Outlaw frames are priced at $379, but Skeleton Optics’ full line of polarized fishing sunglasses start at $209 with the Decoy frames.
SALTX SEAHOOK SPLASH TOP
The folks at Bimini Bay Outfitters and Tsunami Tackle have just expanded their tactical apparel lineup this season by adding the new SaltX Seahook Splash Top, a performance-packed top made for the harshest beach, boat, and kayaking environments. The SaltX top is made from a lightweight nylon material coated on the inside to make it waterproof and comfortable, cast after cast, and all interior seams are taped to ensure watertight seal, featuring neoprene gaskets with Velcro straps on the wrists. This top also features a gusseted closure around the neck and waterproof chest pocket, a great surf option at $135. Excellent for foul weather fishing when paired with the $80 Boca Grande Waterproof Breathable Bibs released last season.
Aftco f1 Midweight 1/4-Zip BaseLayer
When temperatures drop, the best defense always starts with a solid foundation. The F1 Quarter-zip Baselayer from Aftco does just that. The hexatron fleece is made from 92% recycled polyester and 8% spandex and is designed to keep anglers warm in even the harshest situations. It is designed with an ‘active fit’ that moves with you whether you’re wading the river or placing the perfect cast from your boat. The cuffs even feature thumbholes to keep your sleeves firmly in place on those extra cold and windy days. A moisture wicking inner layer completes this design that will keep any year-round angler warm during the toughest times of the year. $65.00
HOOKS & LINE
Gamakatsu G-Finesse Feathered Treble Hooks
The G-Finesse Feathered Trebles feature either white or chartreuse premium feathers and complementary tinsel, hand selected to tempt even the most finicky fish. These hooks feature TGW (Tournament-Grade Wire) construction, which is thinner, stronger and sharper than the standard wire. To complete the job, they come with a Nano Smooth Coat finish that makes penetration even easier. Add them to any fast-moving lure to create a fluid appearance or to lures that demand pauses so the motion will continue in place. Northeast anglers will love them for small and medium topwaters along with metal and epoxy jigs. The innovative “Magic Eye” design features a beveled hook eye, so they slide right onto split rings without pliers. Available in sizes 6 through 1/0, from $8.99 to $11.49.
P-Line EdurX Braid
Innovations in braided line are rare, but P-Line found a way to innovate over and above the rest. Their newest braid comes with a lifetime warranty against fading. Most braided lines are gel-spun with white fibers and the color is added as part of the coating process. The downside is that the color wears off with use and time. But the EndurX braided line will not fade because the fibers are dyed before they are braided. This innovative line is available in all the usual sizes; 10, 20, 30, 40, 50, 65 and 80-pound test, can be purchased in 150, 300 and 1500-yard spools and comes in three awesome colors: hi-vis yellow, monster green and midnight black. EndurX Braid is available December 1.
Owner Single Replacement Hooks
These Single Replacement Hooks from Owner are perfect for replacing trebles on inshore lures intended for stripers, bluefish and weakfish. These single hooks are less damaging to fish when practicing catch and release. And it’s a lot safer for the angler, too, as there are fewer hook points to deal with. Always rig the front hook with the point facing forward and the rear hook-point facing the rear. These hooks feature a black chrome finish and a super needle point, so you know you’re getting a great hookset every time. Available in sizes 6 to 9/0; prices start at $3.50 a pack.
BKK LONEDIABLO Bucktail Teaser Hook
The BKK-LONEDIABLO Bucktail Teaser Hook is the ideal choice for replacing trebles on hard baits when targeting stripers, tuna, and other gamefish in the Northeast. Built on 5X saltwater grade BKK-LONEDIABLO hooks, these teasers combine the dynamic motion of genuine bucktail with the flash of holographic fibers, proven to drive fish wild. The binding thread is covered with a hard epoxy resin to improve durability, even after many strikes. They’re offered in sizes from 2/0 through 7/0 and range in price from $11.99 to 13.99.
Made with the finest raw materials and put through an exclusive extrusion process, the result is a well-rounded fluorocarbon that is manageable and easy to tie, yet extremely strong and abrasion resistant. It is a high molecular weight fluorocarbon that features excellent knot strength, shock absorption and overall durability. SuperFluoro is the result of a collaboration between their Japanese and U.S. product development teams and has been thoroughly tested by top fresh and saltwater pro anglers worldwide. This natural clear leader is an excellent choice for targeting trophy inshore species like striped bass around structure or chasing big game pelagic species including bluefin, yellowfin and sailfish.
To address the inherent lack of stealth many anglers lament when using braid, Seaguar built this line using multi-color earth tone fibers with heat-set dyes that hold their color for a long time. The result of four fibers sporting random camo coloring is a very natural and stealthy finish that will blend into nearly every underwater environment. It comes in all standard sizes: 10, 15, 20, 30, 40, 50, 65, and 80-pound tests and is available in both 150- and 300-yard spools. TactX was released alongside Seaguar’s BasiX Fluorocarbon as part of their Seaguar 101 series. This series of lines is intended to help new anglers or those who have been away from the sport for a while to enjoy the latest technologies without breaking the bank. TactX retails for between $17 and $32.
EAGLE CLAW BAITHOLDER Circle Hooks
One frustrating aspect of the new circle hook regulation on bait fishing for striped bass is finding the right hook for every situation. When dead-sticking with soft baits like worms or clams for example, finding baitholder style inline circle hooks has been a challenge. Eagle Claw was probably the first hook maker to address the issue with softer baits sliding down to the hook bend with their Lazer Sharp L704 inline circle baitholder hooks. American-made with platinum black finish, snelled to 12 inches of mono with easy-to-attach loop for rigging, they’re available in sizes to 8/0 at about $4 for a pack of six. A holiday gift that will get the angler on your list geared up for the spring bite.
MUSTAD RUTHLESS INLINE HOOKS
Want a stocking stuffer idea that leads to constructive time at the winter workbench? Designed exclusively for use on saltwater lures, Mustad’s Ruthless inline single hooks provide unmatched hook-up ratios and secure hook-sets. From size 1 for those smaller Finnish style hard plastic swimmers, through size 6 on the heavier woods, on up into the 5/0 and 6/0 category when popping bluefin, the Ruthless inline gap and bend has been maxed out, with Mustad’s newest point to the Opti-Angle family (AlphaPoint 4.8 Technology) honed to be sticky-sharp. Swap those trebles for Mustad Ruthless inline hooks boasting a Titan Steel finish for unmatched saltwater corrosion resistance, second only to stainless steel. Five hooks to a pack starting at $4.99.
SHIMANO MASTIFF FC
For bass and ultra-light tackle anglers on your holiday list, consider stuffing their stockings with a few spools of Shimano Mastiff FC Fluorocarbon Line, the brand spanking new premium 100% fluorocarbon line from Japan. Voted best fishing line in the New Product Showcase at ICAST 2023, Shimano’s Mastiff FC is made through a unique processing technology called Nanoarmor with increases the binding strength of knots through nano-sized ridges across the outer surface of the line. In addition to coming out with a tougher fluoro, Shimano’s Mastiff FC is also incredibly smooth and will undoubtedly become a favorite on the tournament bass circuit. Available in 200-yard spools ranging from 4- to 20-pound test ($22.99 to $30.99 a spool).
BAIT & TACKLE MANAGEMENT
American Fishing Wire Deluxe Rigging Kit
Coming off another outstanding offshore fishing season, anglers are searching for items to restock their offshore arsenal. Part of the offshore game is rigging and if your rigs are not on point it can sometimes make or break the one fish you connect with while in the deep. Hi-Seas is offering a Deluxe Rigging Kit that will provide offshore anglers with all the essentials to build strong and reliable rigs. The kit comes in an organized plastic box with dividers to make selection easy assorted sleeves, thimbles and a mini hand crimper round out the package. Suggested retail is $154.49.
Engel Pro Series Live Bait Cooler
If you fish with live bait, fresh or salt, you really need to check out the Pro Series Live Bait Coolers from Engel. There are three sizes: 7.5, 13 and 19 quarts and all of them come with their new, extra-quiet lithium-ion rechargeable aerator pump. These things will run continuously for 24 hours between charges. Additionally, they have upgraded the hinges to stainless steel which is especially important in cold or salty environments. These coolers will keep your bait lively at a consistent temperature regardless of outside conditions, from the winter hardwater to fluking in July; your baits will not freeze or overheat. Try one and find out why the Engel Pro Series Coolers won ‘Best Fishing Accessory’ at ICAST in 2023. $109.99 – $129.99.
PLANO EDGE 3700 SWIMBAIT BOX
The innovative Plano EDGE 3700 Swimbait box sets a new standard for protecting and organizing swimbaits. Revolutionizing swimbait storage, the Plano EDGE 3700 Swimbait box provides a reliable and secure environment for storing and protecting up to 24 swimbaits in the horizontal position and 10 in the vertical position. The box utilizes gravity to suspend swimbaits and glide baits, keeping them separated and shielded from tail deformation and preserving bait action during transit and storage. Equipped with Plano’s advanced Rustrictor corrosion and rust-preventive technology and Dri-Loc O-ring watertight seal, with DuraView crystal-clear transparent polycarbonate lid for quickly finding those baits when you need them most. Released in October with an MSRP of $49.99.
YAKATTACK BLACKPAK PRO
Any and every kayak angler ever could use a little more onboard storage, which is the type of problem-solving that the folks from YakAttack have been tackling since 2009 just as the sport of kayak fishing was exploding. Now after a rear of collaboration with anglers and hardcore research and development, YakAttack has introduced the completely redesigned BlackPak Pro kayak fishing crate; the original hard-sided kayak crate just got better, a whole lot better. This 13X13, fully riggable unit boasts a hinged lid, 25% weight reduction, and three rod holders with built-in leashes optimized to fit eight Plano 3600 tackle boxes. With GridLoc Mounting Platform located on every panel, you really can take it with you for just $125.
OUTSIDE OF THE TACKLE BOX
GRAY FISH MOUNT
With a 28- to 31-inch slot limit on striped bass in effect along the entire striper coast, those “personal best” beasts you’ve caught and released are out there getting even bigger! Perhaps you have a cellphone photo to commemorate that big catch, but why not showcase a realistic replica of that catch to put above your desk or fireplace? A striped bass trophy fish mount from Gray Taxidermy is handcrafted in the U.S. to look just like the one that swam away (up to 50 inches), with fire enamel glass eye and incredible detail down to the fins and scales. Order a realistic fish mount starting at $225 from the American craftsmen at Gray Taxidermy.
Minn Kota Riptide Terrova QUEST Trolling Motor
The newly redesigned Minn Kota Riptide Terrova QUEST is loaded with new features to make your time on the water more efficient and enjoyable. The Riptide Terrova QUEST is renowned as one of the most trusted, proven, and capable motors on the market. It consistently delivers results, moving when anglers need it to move and keeping them in place when they need to hold their position. Now, with longer shaft lengths and increased power and torque, the Terrova QUEST provides anglers with enhanced flexibility and control to tackle bigger tasks and overcome greater challenges, on deeper and rougher waters. Priced from $3,799.99 to $5,499.99.
Hobie Mirage Pro Angler 14 with 360 Drive
Everything elite anglers are looking for in a fishing kayak – total control, power, stability, performance, stealth, comfort and feature rich. A truly unique experience. It’s wide, rock-solid standing platform comes decked out with noise reducing EVA traction pads. Explore wherever you want to go with Kick-Up fins that automatically retract upon impact. Hobie’s ergonomic Vantage Seats take adjustability and breathability to a whole new level, with Boa lumbar support technology that provides unrivaled comfort for a full day on the water. Dual steering, Guardian Retractable Transducer Shield, horizontal rod storage, mounting boards, standing pads and an extra-wide beam are just a few of the features. Mount your rod holders, accessories and electronics on the patented 12-sided Hobie H-Rail bars. Staying on top of the fish has never been easier at $5,799.
Old Town Sportsman AutoPilot 120
The Old Town Sportsman AutoPilot 120 motorized kayak utilizes a 45-pound Minn Kota integrated trolling motor and leverages Minn Kota’s Spot-Lock technology; motoring you to your fishing spot faster, and holding your position, no matter what the conditions. Anglers can effortlessly control the kayak with a touch of a finger using the Bluetooth connected i-Pilot remote. Foot brace steering offers exceptional maneuverability and a truly hands-free fishing experience. The adjustable seat features dual-layer Textilene which is UV resistant and naturally breathable. The large open cockpit and aft tank well provide a platform that is easy to organize with plenty of room to fish! Beyond that there are four 18-inch tracks that enable easy on/off mounting of accessories. The AutoPilot 120 offers the ultimate motorized kayak fishing experience at $4,349.99. oldtownwatercraft.johnsonoutdoors.com
Boaters in the Continental US can subscribe to SiriusXM Marine’s satellite-delivered Weather and Fish Mapping services via the $849.99 Garmin GXM 54 satellite weather receiver. The Weather service displays radar, lightning, storm warnings, sea surface temperatures, wind/wave info, and more directly on your MFD. The Fish Mapping service provides fishing and weather info for anglers on their boat’s display. Plus, for no additional cost, subscribers can use the Fish Mapping App onshore using a Wi-Fi or cellular connection to view the same eight fishing features available on your MFD with the addition of ocean currents and historical data before heading to the boat. You can also add over 150 channels of SiriusXM entertainment at a discount.
Humminbird Apex 13 Mega SI+ Chartplotter
The Humminbird Apex 13 Mega SI+ Chartplotter includes industry leading MEGA Imaging+ and Dual Spectrum Chirp Sonar giving you the clearest picture of what is happening beneath the surface. An ultra-clear 13.3-inch Full-HD touchscreen that provides a customized display of information from advanced network options like NMEA 2000, HDMI In/Out, WiFi and Bluetooth. Compatible with both Humminbird Lakemaster and Coastmaster along with the power of the One-Boat Network the Apex 13 Mega SI+ Chartplotter is perfect for every fisherman at $4299.99.
Nightwave is a first-of-its-kind color digital night vision camera built around SIONYX’s patented Black Silicon CMOS sensor that offers unparalleled <1 millilux moonless starlight sensitivity. This advanced technology displays high-resolution color images and videos with exceptional clarity, allowing heightened onboard visual acuity at night. Unlike thermal imaging, which relies on temperature gradients to create images, digital night vision employs state-of-the-art sensors and advanced image processing algorithms to capture detailed and vibrant visuals, showcasing an impressive level of color accuracy, contrast, and depth perception for a true-to-life scene representation. With Nightwave, now mariners of all levels can spot obstacles and debris in moonless starlight for an MSRP of $1,995 without white light or more expensive thermal cameras.
CANYON RUNNER TRACKING SUBSCRIPTION
A little bit of intel goes a long way on the offshore grounds; just imagine what a lot of intel will do. Canyon Runner has introduced their CR Tracking app with weather, water temps, warning system, and every CR member and pro-staffer in one spot. Built by fishermen, for fishermen, the Canyon Runner team has put together – and tested throughout the ‘23 season – what they think is the most exciting enhancement to date with your CR Membership, with everything from real-time tracking to a comprehensive fishing log database, with all the bells and whistles you need for offshore success. Combined with Canyon Runner’s Coaching and Reporting Membership, CR Tracking is game-changer on the offshore grounds. Membership rate varies.
MUD HOLE ROD BUILDING KITS
How about a custom rod this holiday season, built by hand by your gift recipient? Mud Hole’s All-In-One Rod Building Kits include all the tools, components, and supplies needed to start building a custom fishing rod. From the rod blank, handle, and guides to the hand wrapper, rod dryer, and epoxy, Mud Hole’s rod-building experts have assembled everything into one easy, affordable package starting at $199.99. From spinning and casting, to fly and ice applications, you’ll find the perfect all-in-one rod kit to get started in custom rod building, along with online instruction through Mud Hole’s YouTube videos. Your rods, your way, it’s never been easier to build your own custom fishing rods!
Sea Eagle FishSkiff 16
This craft is a game-changer in the world of angling. This innovative watercraft is designed for serious fishermen who crave the perfect blend of performance, stability, and versatility. With its rugged construction and spacious deck, you can confidently navigate a variety of fishing environments, from tranquil lakes to open waters. The FishSkiff 16 offers exceptional portability, allowing you to explore remote fishing spots effortlessly. Dive into your angling adventures with this exceptional craft that sets a new standard for convenience, durability, and fishability. Packages start at $2,380.
Furuno Echo Sounders
Furuno Echo Sounders lead the way in underwater technology, offering unparalleled accuracy in depth measurement and seafloor imaging. These marine sonar systems are trusted by professionals and enthusiasts alike, providing essential insights for successful fishing, navigation, and marine exploration. Dive into the depths with Furuno Echo Sounders and unlock the mysteries hidden beneath the surface and enhance your fishing results by revealing it with precision and clarity. Available in FCV-600 and FCV-800 sizes.