Into the Outdoors - Great Ideas for Dad


With Fathers Day coming up very soon, it might be fun to look at some gift ideas for the dad on your list, something we have not done for a couple of years. This time around, let’s focus on some gizmos and gadgets that a lot of guys would like. It’s hard to believe that Father’s Day is almost here again, but it is.

One of the biggest problems facing anglers is how to keep your bait, especially minnows, alive for the duration of your fishing outing. A few years ago, I came across the Aerobait. This is a minnow bucket with a built-in aerator. It will run for a very long time on a single D cell battery. It allows you to purchase your bait the night before your trip and keep it good and lively, especially if you occasionally add a bit of ice to the water. I’m on my second one, as I forgot and submerged the base of the first one in water, which is a definite no-no. Water and electric motors just don’t seem to mix. Anyway, these buckets are not very expensive, and they are a really handy thing to have.

Another really useful item, which costs even less than the Aerobait, is a wire mesh fish basket. Instead of using a stringer, you just put your fish into the basket and then put the basket in the water. The fish will stay alive all day long. These are available at just about any sporting goods department or outlet.

Minnows are not the only live baits of concern to today’s angler. Redworms and nightcrawlers can succumb rather quickly as well, often with horrific odors in the process. Some of the worm containers on the market today are truly remarkable, keeping the worms nice and lively for weeks at a time, with only a little bit of basic care.

An item which I’ve owned for over thirty years, and find indispensable, is a filet board. These are made out of wood or plastic, which I find to be the better material, and feature a powerful clamp. You put the head of the fish in the clamp and it’s held firmly while you remove the filets. It beats the heck out of trying to hold the fish with one hand and filet it with the other. The reason I prefer plastic over wood is that it is impervious to moisture, and doesn’t split and crack like wood sometimes does.

Here’s another neat gadget if your dad does any shore fishing. A number of little metal rod holders are on the market today. We all know what it’s like to fumble about, trying to find a forked stick or some rocks on which to prop the rod while fishing. The rods fall off of them, and they are a general pain. The little metal ones stick in the ground and hold the rod rock steady. Also, they are reusable for many years.

A neat little gift I got a while back is a spool box. The little plastic box is divided into sections, each of which will hold a spool of fishing line. Each section has a hole in it through which the end of the line protrudes. Whoever thought this up is really clever, as it eliminates a lot of the tangling problems which plague most of us anglers.

These are by no means the only possibilities. All you have to do is look. The main point here is that you don’t have to spend a fortune to make an angler happy. A few of these little gadgets will do the job.

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