I read an interesting article in my current issue of Outdoor News yesterday. The topic was new technology in depth finders for fishing. With advanced GPS mapping and side viewing functions, anglers can see more and more detail in the water than ever before.
The author, a muskie fisherman, said how he used it to find a small rockpile on a point that went from 20 to 40 feet. Soon afterward, he learned that muskies related to this rockpile throughout the summer. That ultimately helped him catch more fish, which is the idea of these advancements in electronics.
Of course, such technology comes with a hefty price tag, which means that the high-end units likely won’t be mounted to my console anytime soon.
But, there’s a bigger reason why I am reluctant to employ such devices: I’m old-school when it comes to fishing. I got my start before flashers were even invented, and quite a few years went by before my Dad purchased the famous Lowrance “green box.”
I still have one of those units in my garage and may actually use it this summer. The most sophisticated device I have on my boat is a Vexilar flasher. An improvement over the Lowrance, but it does essentially the same thing.
Though the new technology would undoubtedly help me catch more fish, I’m not drawn to it like others are. I have always had a fascination with the underwater world, and a big part of the appeal was the mystique.
I remember looking down into the clear waters of Lake Koronis in Stearns County as a youth and wondering what finned creatures were cruising the depths. And, whenever someone in the boat had a fish on, I would peer over the gunwale straining for the first glimpse of whatever it was on the end of the line.
That’s what captivated me about fishing. Still does. I think, if I knew too much about what that underwater world looked like, it might take away the sense of awe and wonder that I’ve always had about it.
In other words, I think it’s possible to know too much about what’s going on in the depths below. That can take away the element of surprise – not knowing when or where a fish will strike. Playing this guessing game is a big part of the appeal for me.
Same goes for trail cameras used by hunters. I would rather not know that a particular buck walks down a certain trail between 8 and 9 a.m. every day. I like the element of surprise – and, good, old-fashioned scouting to help you determine where deer travel.
Besides, once the rut kicks in, the predictable late summer and early fall deer movement patterns fall apart anyway. And, that’s just the way I like it.
I know that declining the use of some of this high-tech gear means I may end up going home empty-handed from the field or the lake, but it also keeps alive the mystery of what’s lurking in the woods and waters.
And, it makes success that much sweeter!