If you’re wondering what to get for that special fisherman/woman in your life for Christmas, here are some great gift ideas that will have them hooked on Christmas morning.

  • The classic angler gift is a rod and reel. You have tons of options out on the market, one of my particular favorites is the Penn Spinfisher reel, but if you really want to impress them, spend a few more dollars and get the combo, which comes with a Spinfisher V rod. You can find this particular rod and reel at any of your local tackle shops. I specifically use a 6500 series reel and a 30- to 80-pound rod. I like using this rod reel combo because it provides great action catching smaller fish like snapper, but it’s strong enough where you can also catch “Big Game” fish like dolphin or sailfish.
  • Another great gift idea that I like to give to the starter angler is a new tackle box filled with hooks, sinkers, swivels, lures and leaders. Head to your local tackle shop and have them help you put together a personalized box with all the items they’ll need to get started.
  • If you really like the person whom you’re buying a present for, get them the ultimate gift, a fishing trip aboard one of Marathon’s spectacular charter boats. They’ll be able to enjoy a beautiful day out on the water, catch some tasty fish for dinner, and make fun holiday memories. It’s like the gift that keeps on giving!
  • But if you ask me what I would personally want from Santa (I hope my wife is reading this article), I would like the following items: a new 12-foot cast-net with 3/8 mesh, so I can catch loads of fresh bait for my charters; a pair of binoculars to help spot frigate birds circling far in the distance; and finally, a Shimano electric hooker reel, to bring giant monsters up from the deep. For the most part, I should be on the “nice list” this year, so hopefully one of these items will appear under my tree.

As for the fishing report for the past few weeks, from the Gulf of Mexico wrecks and out to the Marathon humps, the fishing has been nothing short of phenomenal.

Beginning on the shallow reefs and out to the edge, the sailfish has been steadily improving. More and more fish seem to be arriving every day. As the water continues to cool down, the sailfish bite will get hotter.

For those of you that have never had the chance to battle a sailfish, I strongly recommend heading out this holiday season and giving it a try. These amazing fish put on a fierce fight and catching them on light tackle is fun for all ages and skill levels.

On the shallow patch reefs we’re still catching a diverse population of species including mangrove, yellowtail and mutton snapper; and the occasional keeper grouper. While I’ve said often that the patch reef fishing has been red hot, it’s only because it has been.

The colder gulf and inshore waters are pushing the fish out to the warmer waters of the reef. The patch reefs have been extremely lively and with fish steadily biting week in and week out. Fishing on the patches is a great way to load up the coolers and keep the rods bent. Just remember, if you catch fish on top of one reef one day, you may not be so lucky the next. The fish are moving up and down the reef following the schools of ballyhoo. If you’re spot from the previous day isn’t working, simply move a half mile, and drop lines in again.

Offshore, from the edge of the reef out to 200 feet, the big kingfish are slowly beginning to show up. They aren’t as thick yet as they will be when the water temperatures drop, but look for recent cool weather to really send the kingfish and wahoo bite into overdrive

Happy Holidays to everyone from Big Game Sportfishing! I’ll see you out on the water!

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