The information age has affected everything. Entertainment, business, education, industry -- everything you can imagine has been forever changed, including fishing.
I'm not an old person but I've watched computers and electronic information exchange create the most massive lifestyle change ever recorded in human history. The first fishing book I ghost-wrote for a fishing celebrity was written on a typewriter. I didn't mind the writing so much but I detested correcting the typos I constantly made. Anyone younger than 40 cannot relate to anything but backspacing on a monitor and correcting the misspelled word.
Fishing once was a very simple sport. You rowed a wooden boat (or used a single-digit horsepower motor) to reach a visible spot next to some weeds and dangled a worm in the water. More serious fishermen drifted or trolled in the same wooden boats over unknown waters for walleye and northern pike. Getting "skunked" was common. But nobody cared. Nobody really invested much in a fishing trip, so marginal results were not a big deal.
Today, serious anglers get agitated when they catch little or nothing. It might be because they have invested thousands, if not tens of thousands, of dollars in equipment.
How fishing wisdom is exchanged also has changed dramatically. I learned to fish with my father, uncles and grandfather. After that I learned from books and outdoor magazines. Fishing television shows were rare. I remember when Curt Gowdy and, later, Virgil Ward would demonstrate lure action in an aquarium.
Now there are several cable fishing shows to choose from. And to think Major League Baseball complains that pitching talent has been watered down by too many teams! Goodness, most fishing shows (or should I say fishing home movies) are so lame and commercial I seldom watch one.
Indeed, fishing has changed dramatically, but not necessarily for the better. A return to simplicity and just plain fishing would be most refreshing.
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