Last Minute Fishing Gifts for the Fish Aficionado in Your Life!

 Are you looking for a gift that's just a little bit fishy?  Got a special friend who's been angling for the perfect present? It happens to all of us. You get busy mulling cider and frying latkes, and before you know it you’re out of time with a boat load of gifts to give. Never fear! We’ve got some gift giving fin-spiration for all of the fish aficionados in your life. So light those candles!🕎 Decorate that tree! 🎄And prepare to dance alone under the solstice moon! 🌝 However you are celebrating this December, have a safe and totally not crappie holiday! Here are five fin-spired holiday gifts to hook for the fishing folks in your life!

Send your best fishes with a lovely electronic (or printable) holiday card!

Did you know? Black crappie are a freshwater species that prefer cover under vegetation, fallen trees or boulders. They are easily confused with the white crappie, but can be distinguished by their black splotches, silvery green color and number of spines on their dorsal fins (7-8).

Sometimes the best present of all is sharing our thoughts and a laugh with the people who matter most. Send one of our free holiday e-cards to the fish aficionado in your life and tag us @USFWSFisheries with your cards on social.  We have cards and puns for every occasion! Check our our complete holiday card library! 


Plan a winter fishing experience!

Snowshoe tours are provided in January and February at Leavenworth National Fish Hatchery in Washington - if there is enough snow.

There are plenty of local winter fishing options near you. Whether you want to head out on the ice in search of a northern pike, or chase catfish on a lake down south, fishing and other outdoor winter activities are available at hundreds of national wildlife refuges, wetland management districts, and national fish hatcheries across the country. One of the best ways to celebrate the holidays is by spending time with loved ones, so find a place nearby and make some fishing memories this year! Never been to a fish hatchery before? We got you covered, here's a beginners guide to enjoying a winter visit to a national fish hatchery! 

Give the gift of fishing with a fishing license!

A fishing license is the gift that keeps on giving. Every time a fishing license is purchased, a part of the sale goes towards local conservation efforts — from habitat restoration to improving fishing access in your local community. License requirements and purchase locations are different in each state, so be sure to check with your local fish and wildlife agency to see what’s right for the angler or would be fisher-person in your life. 

Purchase a fishing license in your state. 

You can't go wrong with gear!

You can never have too much fishing line, hooks, or lures. Period. What’s more, the sale of these supplies help support conservation projects like population surveys and habitat restoration to ensure healthy fisheries for generations to come. Since 1950, sale of fishing supplies in America has raised more than $9 billion for conservation through the Wildlife and Sport Fish Restoration Act! Here’s a list of some basic fishing gear that you can never have enough of. All of this can be found at local sporting goods stores, tackle shops, and even online. (If you're new to fishing, check out our beginners guide to freshwater fishing!)

  • Spinning rod and reel combo (light to medium light for panfish, medium action for bass or catfish).
  • Monofilament fishing line (4 to 6-pound test for panfish, 8 to 12-pound test for larger species like bass or catfish).
  • Hook assortment (size 8 for panfish, up through 2/0 for bass or catfish).
  • Bait (such as live crickets for bluegill or earthworms for bass).
  • Bobbers.
  • Sinkers or split-shots.
  • Lures (jigs or small spinnerbaits are two good options for beginners).
  • Pliers with a line cutter.

Visit the National Fish Hatchery System!

Since 1872 the National Fish Hatchery System has been at work improving recreational fishing and restoring aquatic species that are in decline or at risk. Across the country the network of national fish hatcheries work with states and Tribes to conserve, restore and enhance the fish and aquatic resources of America for future generations. Find a hatchery near you, or go all in with the Great American Hatchery Road Trip! Can you visit them all? 

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Recreational Activities