How Has Modern Technology Changed The Sport Of Fishing?

Posted on: 25 August 2022

Fishing is one of the world's oldest and most enduring sports. Even today, when most people get their seafood from a grocery store, the allure of catching "the big one" continues to pull fishers to lakes and rivers. But the modern sport of fishing looks quite a bit different than the simple boats and waders of past decades. Cutting-edge technologies have given fishers more powerful tools than ever before. So what's changed, and what gear could make your next fishing trip a wild success?

GPS Mapping

GPS technologies power more than your favorite map app. They can also be used to chart the fine details of underwater terrain and pinpoint promising fishing spots. GPS devices for fishing pull freshwater and coastal terrain maps from sources like the NOAA and then match them to your precise location. This allows you to see deep spots, hidden nooks, and terrain contours to set your line in the perfect place.

Sonar Scanning and Imaging

Where GPS provides previously recorded information, sonar devices show you the water below in real time. Sonar detects fish underwater much the same way dolphins do. An ultrasonic wave emits in all directions, bouncing off whatever it comes across. The reflected echoes return to the device, which pieces together a composite image. Sonar can reveal schools of fish and large individuals to experienced eyes. Besides all-around sonar systems, side-scan and down imaging hardware provide similar effects in more limited scopes.

Underwater Camera Viewing

Sonar shows you where the fish are swimming, but it can't always tell you details like numbers, species, or individual size. That's where underwater cameras come in. A typical fishing camera sits at the end of a long cable, which can be lowered into the water. At its other end, a screen displays everything the camera sees. A camera tells you exactly what kind of fish you're dealing with, letting you know if you've found the perfect spot or need to move on.

Knowledge Sharing

Perhaps the most valuable fishing benefit provided by technology today is the sheer breadth and depth of knowledge available. Experts with hundreds of catches to their name can share their wisdom, techniques, and favorite locations to a global audience almost instantly. Videos, books, and vast databases all bring niche knowledge right into your home. In many ways, there has never been a better time to start fishing or get back into it.

Of course, there are also plenty of old-fashioned fishers who prefer the simple thrill of finding fish without technology's help. Others take a hybrid approach and use only what they like. Wherever you stand on the technology debate, call up your local fishing service to learn more about the equipment.