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Innovations in angling allow for creativity

One reason I am passionate about fishing is the undeniable fact that it is truly a dynamic sport.

Every day, every hour, delivers change for those who go to the water to fish. Even the individual preferences of our planet’s anglers are diverse and personal.

Change is a given for those of us who fish. What’s good today may be tomorrow’s failed choice; and if today is a bad day, tomorrow likely will be better.

The dynamic nature of fishing is the flywheel of creativity for the innovators in our sport. Since our earliest human experiences in catching fish, anglers have sought and secured ever-better tools and techniques — all of them compounding our opportunities to achieve our simple, common goal of catching more and bigger fish.

I find it interesting that just as we settle into satisfaction that we’ve reached the pinnacle of what fishing can offer, something new comes along. That is especially true in the technology that goes to market.

Not so many years ago, the best we could do to “see” under our boats was to drop an anchor and measure the length of rope to the lake bottom. Then along came basic sonar technology that sent pings of sound from a transducer to bounce off the bottom or the fish and received those pings back to be translated and displayed as blips of light on flasher screens.

Most anglers embraced sonar. Some, however, grumbled that it gave us too much of an advantage over the fish.

But “fish finders” were here to stay — and certainly to flourish and advance.

Fast forward 50 years and today we see technology that makes the old Lowrance and Humminbird flashers seem like ancient relics.

Side-imaging, 360-degree, forward-facing, down scan and other fish-finding technologies have joined the accessories available for today’s anglers. Even the sound signals themselves have expanded, with CHIRP joining traditional sonar as options for those who wish to fish with every advantage they can buy.

With the diversity of fishing technology and experiences available in our 21st century, it is interesting that camps of folks faithful to certain styles and techniques may scrunch up their face and utter disdainful comments about others.

It shouldn’t come as any surprise in 2022, but, yes, all anglers don’t agree. We fishers can be catty. Flyfishers might scoff at trollers: “They just drive around and drag lures.” Bass snobs might sneer at live bait dunkers. Saltwater anglers might dismiss freshwater fishers

and purists might ridicule the sophisticated fish-finding electronics for taking the mystery out of the fishes’ locations.

All of this, of course, is baloney.

I’ll fish the way I want. I’ll toss the lures I think are most likely to produce. And I’ll employ whatever technology my checking account can afford. I believe the fish still own the advantage, regardless of the intellect, skills and tools we employ.

What’s more, I don’t care how you fish. I just hope we all follow the rules and have a barrel of fun.

Jack Wollitz’s book, “The Common Angler,” explores the fun stuff that makes fishing a passion for so many people. He appreciates emails from readers. Send a note to jackbbaass@gmail.com.

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