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Go fishing, hook, line and sinker

Abbey Friedges landed a beautiful Lake Belle Taine largemouth bass while using a basic approach. She kept her bait in the water and concentrated on what she was doing, instead of focusing on the technology in the boat. Except the fact her cell phone played music through the boat's speakers. (Jason Durham / For the Enterprise)

By Jason Durham / or the Enterprise

People are typically impressed when they step aboard my boat. With the latest technology at hand, it’s nearly overwhelming.

A super-charged 300-horsepower, four-stroke Mercury Verado outboard, 36-volt trolling motor that’s programmable to follow routes or keep you anchored in place, controlled by either a low-profile foot pedal or remote control, touch screen sonar and GPS units with side imaging and down-scan capabilities, all mounted inside a 20’2“ Crestliner boat with all the bells and whistles.

Sometimes people become so enamored with all of the technology that they forget to concentrate on the most important part of the day, which is putting the line in the water.

Technology is a great asset on the water. The advances made in the past 20 years are phenomenal and equally overwhelming.

For people just beginning to fish, technology can be a negative aspect of the sport or pastime of angling.

Though the construction methods and materials used to create hooks, lures, boats, motors, rods reels and electronics has changed drastically in the past few decades, the focus of fishing hasn’t. Enjoyment.

People just getting into fishing might think they need the most expensive rod and reel paired with the newest rage in fishing line and tackle boxes suited with every accessory available. In reality, to get into fishing, you need a rod, a hook and water.

Our ancestors were the masters. It wasn’t many generations back that fishing was performed with a small, sharp, straight bone pierced through a piece of meat and tied to the end of a string. No rod required.

Once a fish bit, the angler allowed it to swallow the bait. With one sharp yank, the bone would lodge sideways in the fish’s throat and the angler earned dinner.

Today we call that action “setting the hook.” Hook-sets are less important now than ever in history. With laser and chemically sharpened hooks created from the highest quality materials, keeping tension on the line and reeling fast enough to make the rod bend will usually result in a fish in the net.

Yet that doesn’t necessarily mean dinner, compared to decades ago. Anglers have a much greater understanding of the positive impact of catch and release.

In the realm of tournament angling, catch and release is simply protocol. Some tournaments today utilize technology such as digital cameras to capture a photo of each fish on a measuring tape to determine length. The fish are immediately released, eliminating the duration spent in a livewell or on a scale.

When I was 12-years-old I fished my first fishing tournament. My dad and I had a 14-foot boat with a 6-horsepower outboard that we rented. One of the anglers in that event had a 100-horsepower engine. I watched over my shoulder just to see him take off. It was the biggest engine I’d ever seen.

Today my engine is three times that size. And I’m not ashamed to say I still enjoy taking a few casts from the shoreline or dock. No bone required.