Gifts for a Commercial Fisherman

I received a wonderful email from a reader (Hi, Lydia!) who found 9 Things To Know When Dating A Commercial Fisherman while Googling, “Gifts to get for Commercial Fishermen.”

I’ll post her letter next week because it’s so cool to know of other partners-of-commercial-fishermen out there. (Seriously, I’d love to meet you! Please keep your emails coming – it helps to know we are not alone!).

But Lydia’s email got me thinking what a great idea it would be to list a few gifts that would come in handy for our commercial fishing loved ones (and helpful for the partners, too).

I immediately asked my fiancé – a commercial salmon in Alaska and lobster fisherman in California – what he thought and here’s a handful of ideas we came up with:

Gifts For Commercial Fishermen

InReach – If the boat does not have a satellite phone, the InReach allows your loved one to text you for, I think, $12 a month. The device is kind of pricey up front, but cheaper than a satellite phone.

I love this gift because it ultimately means your partner has no excuse not to text you when out at sea! I wig balls a lot less when I receive a message at the end of the day that he’s safe.

I still wig, but it’s more tolerable.

We had an InReach on our sailboat, which Chris now uses when he’s lobster fishing the Channel Islands (about 20 miles from the coast of Santa Barbara, California).

Another bonus? When he messages on the way back to port, I have enough time to figure out dinner plans – to cook or order in. Winning!

Books – And not just any books. Try a historical fiction series about the seafaring life. C.S. Forester is a popular author of this genre and wrote an entire series based on the character Horatio Hornblower, a Royal Navy officer.

Sure, sounds like a snooze. But we bought one for one of our saltiest sea captain friend and he’s hooked! (Pun intended. 🙂 ) There are similar authors out there, but this is the only one I’ve gotten feedback on to recommend to you. Plus, if your man likes the book, you can give the entire series like a gift-giving slow drip.

(*Also, it’s easy to order books from Amazon but for good karma, call your local bookstore to see if they have in store.)

Movies – This is a good one. Download movies on a thumb drive for him to watch whenever he has a moment to zone out. According to someplace on the internet, movies can be from 1 to 4 + GB each, so depending on the movie and the memory of the flash drive, you can fit a good amount of content on there. Or, as the internet says, “about 21 movies lasting two hours each” on a 64 GB drive.

Ball caps – Chris rips through one or two hats per season. The proceeds from this company – bdvibez – support mental health. Good vibes with bdvibez! (It stands for, Beat Depression with Positive Vibes.) We would all use more of that!

Gift Card to GrundensXtraTuf, or Carhartt. Anything from these rough-and-tumble companies is helpful, but who the hell knows what fishing guys really need when it comes to clothing? Gift cards let them get what they want. (Duh, like you didn’t know the meaning of a gift card.)


Bama XtraTuf Sokkets – They look weird, but I can’t express enough how amazing these little booties are – “Bamas” help pull sweat from feet to keep them dry and cozy. I use them when I’m wearing my XtraTufs, and this saves me from clunking around in my boots or freezing my toes off. (They work great for rainboots, too!)

It also helps to prevent, um, athlete’s foot since it keeps the foot dry. (Gross. Yeah, sorry I just went there.)

Care package “with homemade stuff”– This is a direct quote from Chris. Cookies are preferable. And believe me, they will eat them even if they are a week old because it gives them the slightest feeling of home, which is all they want while battling rough waters, high winds, and unending sets!

Trader Joe’s: Not homemade, yet delicious (almost) just the same.

And if you don’t have time to bake, go to Trader Joe’s and load the F up as I did in the photo above.

What not to give: A sexy book that you meticulously created and sent to Apple to get printed in hopes no human would see the personal nude photos you took for him.

Yes, I totally did this thinking it would be a thoughtful gift. But Chris has never used it on the boat because there’s no privacy to actually “use it,” if you know what I mean.

The book is currently sitting in a Rubbermaid container in storage.

Go figure.

Here’s a blog that explains how to make a photo book of your own – nudes, family, pets, whatever!

Did this help or do you have any other ideas that would be great for gifts? If so, please share in the comments below! You’ll be helping loads of commercial fishing partners like you in the process. 🙂 #karmapoints.

Catch up on the Commercial Fisherman Series!

[UPDATE] 9 Things to Know When Dating A Commercial Fisherman

Dating A Commercial Fisherman: Q&A w/ Photographer Bri Dwyer

How-To Long-Distance Date a Commercial Fisherman

Sex & Dating a Commercial Fisherman

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  1. I got an Inreach last year for around 500. Then, I found out that Costco has them for about half that price! So keep an eye out. Don’t know if they still carry them or not.