KVD’s gift guide

Last week I talked about frying fish and said we’d discuss grilling fish this week. However, with Christmas rapidly approaching, I felt it would be timelier to share things I use regularly and that you might want to sneak onto your wish list. Next week I’ll provide those grilling tips.

Obviously, a Bass Pro Shops/Cabelas Gift Card can fit everyone’s budget and is an easy stocking stuffer. But here are 10 items that help make me a better angler and will put a smile on your face Christmas morning:

1. Tackle storage should be on ever angler’s wish list radar. The Plano 3700 waterproof series is a good investment and fits nearly all tackle systems. It’s a great way to keep hooks from rusting and protect those valuable hardbaits.

For soft plastics, the KVD Speed Bags are super-efficient because you can store those baits in original packages and organize by bait style.

2. Strike King makes just about every style of bait imaginable, but none is more valuable than the KVD 1.5 Square Bills. It’s my winningest crankbait and one I use everywhere and during all seasons.

3. Yeti’s Rambler 26-ounce bottle keeps your drink cool in the summer and warm in the winter. It holds a good volume and the screw-on lid prevents spills.

5. The rope handle that comes on trolling motors is sufficient, but they break after a few years of use. The T-H Marine G-Force handle with a coated cable is a good replacement, more durable and comfortable in the hand.

6. The T-H Marine Wave Away cleaner removes those water smudges and dirt from your graph screen and works great on sunglasses, too. It comes with its own case and shammy.

7. I’ve tried all the different sunglasses, but the Oakley Shallow H2o Prizm is my favorite lens in the Split Shot or Turbine frames. The Split Shot has an integrated lanyard system with rubber inserts for the nose and temple.

8. You won’t be disappointed if Mustad Grip Pin hooks are stuffed into your stocking. There are styles for finesse and flipping baits that have the molded bait keeper epoxy-coated to keep plastics from sliding down the hook. Plastics last longer on the Grip Pin so you can catch more bass on one bait.

9. Huk’s new Pursuit Mossy Oak Camo Vented Long Sleeve shirts protect you from the sun and keep you cool on hot days. The angler camo pattern keeps you hidden from the bass in clear, shallow water. You can also get that pattern in a neck gator for face and neck protection.

10. Quantum Smoke S3 PT Baitcast reel is extremely light, super smooth and easy to control backlashes. I prefer the oversize spool to maximize inches per turn and the reel comes in both right- and left-hand retrieves and variety of gear ratios.

10. My last item is not exactly a stocking stuffer, but definitely a game-changer for bass anglers – the Minn Kota Ultrex Trolling Motor. Sure it’s expensive, but there hasn’t been another tackle innovation that has changed how we fish in all the years I’ve been fishing. The Spot-Lock feature allows you to hold in one spot; the built-in GPS allows the motor to automatically follow a breakline and the power assist steering will make you incredibly more efficient. It belongs on your bucket list!

Want to become a better angler? Gear up this winter and remember - it’s all about the attitude!

Kevin VanDam on FacebookTwitter and Instagram.