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About Fishing: New wave for information on fishing; technology trumps know-how?

By Gary Korsgaden / For the Enterprise

This past January, at the walleye workgroup meeting for Minnesota DNR, we learned of a application that anglers can sign up for on their smart phones.

What it will allow is for anglers to report their day’s catch, the lake, time and conditions to the DNR.

Reason given, fish creel surveys are costly to conduct, not all lakes are getting surveyed, especially the smaller obscure ones. Minnesota DNR Fisheries personnel like the idea anglers being part of acquiring creel data. Sounds like a good plan, creel catches from lakes otherwise missed will be available.

It also points to how the informational craze is very evident in the fishing world. Take a look at Facebook. Anglers report their success, methods and bait and tackle selections instantly.

A far cry from the past when visiting fisherman relied on tackle and bait shops for their information.

Park Rapids had Fuller’s tackle shop window, successful catches put on ice for everyone to enjoy. At the end of the year the Fuller’s Fishermen’s Golden Book was a welcome source. Fisherman could review the catches, time of year and determine a trend for a body of water for the coming season.

Blue Lake, for example, gained statewide recognition for its huge walleyes as a direct result of the Fuller’s Fishermen’s Golden Book. Page upon page of trophy walleyes registered and reported to come from Blue Lake drew the attention of anglers from the state and region.

During that time would share that I enjoy fishing the Park Rapids lakes area. Blue Lake would always enter into the conversation.

Fishing tackle, boat and motor manufacturers benefit from the free advertising they get on Facebook.

Sponsored pros daily have their photos posted touting their sponsors wares. Before subtle product mentions only occurred in print, radio or TV ads. Today anglers are hit hourly and daily either on Facebook or on the Internet.

Today’s electronic depth sounders have built in maps and the capabilities to save fishing spots on SD cards. For the consistently successful anglers these spots recorded on a SD card are only the start. It takes persistence and time on the water to develop techniques and develop the fine points to catch fish. While it is nice to have a horseshow in one’s pocket, luck becomes less and less of the equation.

Frankly, I feel we are losing a huge part of the successful fish equation, technique.  The sport has become so focused on the personalities and buying the newest and greatest.

Their endorsement and visibility drive tackle and equipment sales. Anglers are particularly vulnerable now until the start of the open water season to purchased equipment they don’t need. Find myself slipping into buying the newest and greatest equipment right dreaming my fish catches and enjoyment on the water will increase, only to find the product I was so hyped about wasn’t as good as I envisioned it would be.