I‘m a liberal leaning outdoorsman attempting to open the minds of right wingers to the idea that libs fish too. Anglers come from all walks of life, left, right, and center. Not everyone who fishes for bass is a redneck fond of Nascar, country music, and religiosity. Expect posts about largemouth bass fishing, techniques, reviews of lures and other products, but not any condemnable conservative rants. I hope to inspire the online angler community to dial down rhetoric which will do more harm than good to our sport.

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

• Technology & Bass Fishing

My goal for this post is to discuss technology and whether bass fishermen are really using what is out there. This post also came out of frustration with the medium I chose to publish my content in that it is out of the scope of many bass anglers. Let's see if you generally agree with some of my thoughts. I expect to offend and possibly confuse some of the old dog new trick guys.

Let me start by running down the list of things I can think of that we use in fishing that we have technology to thank for. One obvious tool at our disposal is the sonar fish finder with color screens, water temperatures, thermocline lines, built in hard drives for map storage, waypoint markers, and many other imaginative features. Some of us carry portable devices that give us weather reports even if it is as simple as a portable weather radio. Imagine all of the science that goes into making reels, fishing line, rods, lures, salted or scented plastics, reflective blades, weights, and lubricants. There is even a chip in the Shimano Calais for digital cast control. We pay attention to moon phases, participate in online forums, view and post You Tube videos of our catches, and take pictures with digital cameras or cell phone cameras. Although the reviews are sketchy, there are even underwater cameras that you can lower to see what is swimming around beneath the boat. I'll even toss in that motor that pushes a bass boat to get you to your honey hole that you marked on your GPS. Are you into managing your own lake or pond? Have a fiberglass replica? Loads of technology! Were you the one that was bored sitting in science class?

Now I'll ask a very important question. How much of what I just mentioned is part of your life as a bass fisherman? Unless you're a grab and go angler and use the bare essentials, the things I just mentioned are day to day tools at your disposal. We sometimes have an absurd dependence on technology and lose the real ability to do things without a fancy gadget. I don't think I left anyone out though. I bet you never thought of yourself as a tech junkie like the guy with the iPhone, bluetooth headset, and home wifi network. They speak an entirely different language, don't they? Guess what? So do we.

Seeing as how a blog is an online source of information, your ability to use a computer to find this information already puts you a step ahead of the rest. How many anglers are actually tapping this resource? The numbers of people online are surely growing, but who has the skills? Here is the problem I have. I don't think many anglers are all that tech savvy. The bass fishing forum posts I read are littered with typos as if something as simple as spell check is beyond their technological grasp (or they just can't spell and don't care). The images people post or email could have been cropped and resized and the barrage of smilies and animated images in their post give you a headache. They may or may not have a MySpace page. To many, that is as far as they go. Would you know how to subscribe to my blog for instance? It's a well known fact that readers unfamiliar with blogs either don't know about leaving comments or simply don't know how. Anglers are even more interesting in this regard because they tend to keep their trade secrets.

For the reader that is familiar with blogging, you are aware of many sites out there designed to drive traffic to a blog and generate readers by offering feed subscription management and bookmarks. I don't think many anglers use those services. Do a search related to bass fishing and you'll notice forum based communities do quite well, although I'm sure they struggle with the same issues I do. The best way to draw traffic to my blog is sitll probably word of mouth, quality posts, and joining as many forums as I can to advertise little by little when I participate.

Thinking about these things led me to the idea of publishing a podcast on top of the blog. It's not something that takes two seconds to do, so I got to wondering whether it was really worth doing. I doubt many anglers listen to podcasts.

Lastly, I chose to write about technology because there seems to be a growing opposition amongst various groups across the US towards the scientific community and concern for what students should be learning in schools. That demographic likely contains a higher percentage of bass fishermen than the general population. I only say that after being a member at several bass fishing forums where I observed those kinds of disturbing discussions. I recognize a connection between technological advances and a willingness to accept science. I am writing this post to remind fellow anglers that much of what we use to improve our fishing experience relies on the scientific community and in addition, we should be concerned about things like global warming, pollution, and the environment in general because science is going need to be a very close friend in the years to come. Hopefully I made you see things in a new light.

So are you a bass fishing tech junkie?

3 comments:

JM Ridlon said...

I absolutely agree that bass fisherman must become tech savvy. Given the competition in this sport, anything that can give you a few ounces at weigh in mean the difference between payday and nothing. Information in this sport is key. What is the latest technique, lure, rod? I enjoy your review of products because fishing equipment is expensive and it helps to know what to buy and what not to buy. Again, this can mean the difference between catching fish and not catching fish. I have been out of the loop for some time while in school-I don't know how you do it being in med school and all. I also appreciate your comments on the environment, as fishermen we must be protect the resource that gives us so much pleasure.

I thought you might be interested in a recent post of mine:
http://sciencethegapfiller.blogspot.com/2007/11/high-point-of-my-fishing-year-2007.html

bwelde said...

I randomly came across your blog by doing some Google research. We're attempting to further the way anglers use and have access to technology by supplying interactive web-based fishing maps. Our goal is to integrate location based content so that you can analyze all of it in the context of a map. We've got a small but growing base of enthusiastic users but our service is not for everyone - slow internet connections or limited computer skills keep some from getting involved.

Anonymous said...

I've become a rabid bass and salmon fisherman over the past year after letting living in a big city stiffle my fishing for the past 20 years...I live 3 blks from Lake Michigan in downtown Chicago and have a small fishing boat where I visit family often in middle-TN as well (although my largest smallmouth catch...19 in...came out of lake michigan last fall)...I've watched the pros on tv, read books, watched videos and read every fishing article I can get my hands on...based on all that "absorbed information" I have reached the conclusion that without sonar/fishfinders, an angler is fundamentally crippled vs. the results that you can see with one of these devices...so I'm installing a mid-tier Hummingbird unit that I've purchased on my boat prior to this spring's first outing and have been reading up on interpretting sonar and what to sorts of structure/scenarios to look for...surprised that I can't find a single book or video on that topic...anyway, I expect with my new technological investment to have a very productive 2010 fishing experience...while it's clear that on one ever learns everything there is to know about fishing, I'm on the trail of some good initial knowledge after this past year and intend to increase that body of learning significantly this coming year....thanks for your blog...lots of great info for we "absorbers"....