'Tis the Season (Again) for Bad Fishing Gifts

December 13, 2009 By: Marshall Cutchin

It didn’t take me long to realize that telling someone in a Key West bar that you were a fishing guide was generally a very bad idea. Anyone within earshot — usually guys with burnt faces offset by permanently wrinkled (wrinkle-free?) chartreuse Tarponwear — would hear that and lay down a virtual barrage of great-catch stories, all unerringly similar.
In the same way, many anglers holidays are mixed with silent dread. We hope everyone will recognize that there is no fishing “lifestyle,” that it’s is just background music in our non-fishing lives. It’s not that we’re mean-spirited, we’re just not meant to be weighed down with useless, out-of-tune curios. Especially not flipping bass ball-hitch covers.
Of course, not all fisherman feel the same way. Some, like Andy Whitcomb who have learned to celebrate the tawdry. He puts together a better-than-average list on ESPN.com:
“I came in from fishing tonight in my ‘Grababrewski and fish’ T-shirt, and wiped my feet on the ‘To fish or not to fish’ doormat below the ‘Gone fishin” door sign. At the trout-shaped hat rack, I traded my ‘Women want me, fish fear me’ hat for the one that looks like I’ve been shot through the head with a catfish like an early Steve Martin bit and shed down to my ‘nice bass’ boxers.”
Anyone else have a favorite bad fishing gift? A real prize-winner?