RU ready for gr8 high tech angling?
Cellular phones, once used for the sole purpose of calling others, can now assist anglers in the quest to catch more fish.
The first call ever placed on a cell phone was on April 3, 1973. Martin Cooper, a visionary for Motorola, called his rival at Bell (AT&T) from the bustling streets of New York using the 30-ounce wireless device.
In 1983 the company introduced the DynaTAC, a much lighter version that still weighed one pound (and cost $3500 to buy).
Today's cell phones are not only lighter, weighing as little as 3-ounces, but much more reasonable in price.
The capabilities for cell phones have blossomed in the past few years. Dialing a number has arguably become one of the lesser- used functions.
What used to be a 6 a.m. phone call to see if a buddy wanted to fish, which subsequently woke up the entire household, is now simply a chime indicating a text message--want 2 fish 2day?
Most cell phones have built in cameras so when an angler lands the fish of a lifetime, a photo is snapped and often sent to friends and posted on social sites like Facebook instantly. Shooting live video is also an option.
"Smart phones", which are essentially office computers packed into a cell phone, have wireless internet access and "apps" that can be added on.
With wireless internet access, users can check the weather, find maps, even answer e-mails from the comfort of the boat or fish house.
Yet the available "apps" are even more intriguing. Short for "applications", apps are essentially programs that the cell phone owner can add to the phone, many of which are free.
For instance, an app named Creel Card allows anglers to save information about their fishing exploits, such as the weather conditions, what lure was used, even GPS coordinates so you can find the spot again.
Navionics, a company that makes GPS mapping chips, now has an application for Apple's iPhone that essentially turns your cell phone into a handheld GPS, with a library of lakemap contours included.
For $10 cell phone users can download the same information that's included on a $150 GPS chip (and the company updates the information annually).
A few other apps include Astroclock and Fish & Moon, which offer an overview of current and future moon phases in addition to solunar tables.
While shopping for fishing gear, an application called Goggles lets the user take a photo of a product or barcode and the phone will compare prices for that item in other stores.
Many cell phones can store music libraries as well, so your playlist of "muskie music" can serenade the sunfish and persuade the pike.
Of course a cell phone is a good idea for true emergency situations, but in non-emergencies, and especially when the fish aren't biting, you can always resort to Flick-Fishing, an angling game requiring the player to "cast" and "set the hook" using their cell phone.
Just make sure the phone doesn't sail into the water.