So, 2020 is coming to a close and some might say good riddance. We have been forced to endure a crazy rollercoaster of pandemic fear, unprecedented economic conditions, an incredible tropical weather season, and political turmoil unlike anything we have ever seen in America – the latter of which I will not address here.
Despite all this it is December with Christmas just a few weeks away. Fishing has been good throughout the year for most Texas anglers; thank God fish have no access to newsfeeds.
Fishing participation soared during the summer months with hundreds of thousands of Texans idled or working from home. I mentioned fishing license sales and CCA STAR participation setting new records in this column last month. These are good things in my opinion.
All this brings me back to the topic of Christmas and holiday gift giving. Online shopping has grown incredibly and this includes fishing tackle and all the related gear that goes with it. But, please, let’s not forget our independent tackle retailers as we do our shopping in the coming weeks.
Independent fishing tackle dealers are an important component of the Texas retail marketplace and I want to stress the ways anglers benefit from their contributions.
Let’s look at the fisheries conservation angle first. Most reading this have likely attended a CCA Texas Fundraiser Banquet. Have you ever seen a raffle package donated by an online fishing tackle concern among the offerings? Apart from Academy Sports and Outdoors who have a history of generous support, have you ever noticed goods or prize packages donated by any other national outdoors retailer?
When you are planning a fishing trip and discover your supply of the hottest new lure or fishing gadget is running low, where do you stop on the way to the bay?
What about a new pair of waders, wading boots, or fishing jacket to protect you from the elements? Will browsing an online tackle dealer’s website assure the fit of these garments or will you end up needing to exchange them?
Selecting a new fishing rod can often depend on how it feels in your hands…you know, the old whip and wiggle routine to test the action. Can you do this online?
Last but certainly not least is the category of expert sales staff. We can read reel specs in promotional literature until we turn three shades of purple, and then hope we’re making an informed decision. The person behind the counter is a technical expert and likely a fisherman just like you.
I could go on but I believe you get my drift – please support your local tackle dealers this holiday season!Merry Christmas, and may the Good Lord bless you in the New Year!
December ’20 Texas Saltwater Fishing Magazine – Trophy Trout Season!