I seem to see a lot of people on social media complaining about anglers keeping too many fish or frying up ones that are too big.
And, on the other hand, everyone is wondering why they can’t catch trophy fish. Remember all the old black and white photos with huge fish that grandpa caught wearing that funny looking fishing hat. Or that old mount on the wall of the cabin of a huge walleye that used to be plentiful in Minnesota lakes.
But, before you point fingers at people who keep fish remember this—that is why fishing started and many of us were raised eating fish and game and still do. There are a few easy answers on why I think there aren’t as many big fish. First of all everyone fishing today can find every secret spot on the lakes in minutes using their GPS or even their phone—every drop off and deep hole is there at their fingertips. Back in the day when you found your secret spot you were the only one who knew and would mark it by lining up a certain house with a tall tree. Unless another fisherman saw you, it was your personal honey hole.
Another reason is sonar. In today’s world if you see a mark on your screen, you better believe it’s a fish. Find a weedline and troll it or cast into it and you will find fish. And with a quick pass over the center of the lake find the deep hole and chances are you will find the crappies. It doesn’t always work that way but it can be that easy.
And finally lure selection, and yes you can still catch fish on the old ones. The old red and white Daredevle, Mr. Twisters and some days just a plain gold hook can be the most effective. But now you can match what the fish want way more precisely. From colors so real they look exactly like the real thing or glow different colors and even in UV, to plastics designed and tested in labs that are proven to make fish bite and even hold on longer.
And even sound. They have lures that rattle and vibrate to mimic the sound of bait fish or just get their attention.
Fishing is evolving just like everything else in the world. Cars, TV and medical breakthroughs—they are all changing. Some for the better, some for the worse, but I guess they are all things we will have to get used to.