MILWAUKEE — Technology in fishing has made leaps and bounds since the days of heading out on the water with just a pole, hook and bait.
“Back in the day, we used to count on our grandpa’s secret spots,” said Brian Sticka, category manager at Fleet Farm. “Now we use products like GPS and then we also have lake maps right on our fish locator screens. We can not only see where we are, but we can see where the boat landing is, where the weedy bays are, where the rock clumps are in the middle of the lake.”
As an avid fisherman himself, Brian is sometimes taken aback by the technology available to anglers, but with advancements also come concerns.
Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst say fishing technologies could pose a risk to fisheries.
It’s still unknown what kind of impact the technology has on aquatic ecosystems in the long term.
“I think about it myself,” Sticka said. “It falls on the responsibility of the fisheries managers to maintain and control that.”
But when it comes to introducing the sport to others, the technology can be a helping influence.
“The challenge of a parent is trying to get their kids away from the computer to enjoy the outdoors,” said Sticka. “Some of this new product…almost becomes more of a video game.”
“But I think with that said, it does increase the success of the fisherman, and it does help get them off the chair and get them outdoors.”