By Dustin Wilks
Special to BassFan
(Editor's note: "Catching Bass with Dustin Wilks" airs four times per week on Sportsman Channel – 6:30 a.m. ET Monday, 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, 5 a.m. Saturday and 4:30 p.m. Sunday. The six-time Bassmaster Classic qualifier writes about various aspects of the sport in these periodic submissions.)
I may have been one of the last converts there was to a smartphone about 5 years ago and certainly have to have been the last to embrace social media. If you have not yet gotten a smartphone, you are my hero and I’d like to go fishing with you. The only reason I got one was to take pictures of my kids to send to my family. About that same time, I quit getting fishing magazines – no time to read with a young daughter getting all my attention.
I’m one of the last try new technology and do so only reluctantly. Some of these things are great time-savers, although none come to mind at the moment.
I literally only got a GPS for my truck after B.A.S.S. quit giving little maps in their tournament packets of how to get to the pre-tournament meeting, only giving an address instead. Stop laughing, low tech is great! I still have some paper maps in my truck, which of course has a giant screen that I don’t know fully know how to use, and no key — which infuriates me. I’d still prefer buttons if you could get them – that little delay in the digital radio is enough time for me to change the channel like three times before I realize I need to wait for it. Technology is great, huh?
To further my old-school point, I’m saving a flasher in my tackle stash in case I ever get the urge compete again. For you kids out there, a flasher is not a bad guy with a long coat, it was once state-of-the-art fishing technology. I can tell what the bottom is made of, see vegetation and structure all at warp speed on plane. Sensitivity was the only knob — up or down or off and they were … they are great. As soon as you turn it on it's reading the bottom, no waiting for anything. In all fairness, the new stuff is awesome, just not simple.
Craving simplicity, I recently went back to how I was as a kid and ordered all the major fishing magazines.
The first to come in was In-Fisherman. I sat down at 10:30 after the kids went to sleep and read that magazine cover to cover — skipping the catfish and crappie sections like a true bass fishermen. This was literally the first magazine I’ve gotten in years. Reading without the glare of screens I found refreshing.
Reading it brought me back to when I was a kid, devouring the info as quick as I could. Although I was reading it fast as lightning, I learned all kinds of information from the great research. I can’t believe the level of work the writers put into the information on those pages, finding experts and relaying that information to me while I sit on the couch dreaming of fishing.
The next day, after reading, I went to the garage and rigged up some tackle in the manner I’d read to give it a try, just like I did as a kid.
I have to hand it to the In-Fisherman staff, they are way ahead of the trends in fishing techniques. Doug Stange, was preaching swimbaits on jigheads years and years ago (like at least 10, maybe 15 years ago) as well as countless other techniques like mushroom heads and finesse baits, that are just now getting to the tournament fishermen en masse. As you know, tournament guys are secretive. In-Fisherman holds nothing back. Bassmaster, Game & Fish and local magazines are coming to me soon as well. Looks like I have some reading to do!
The great thing about magazines is you are not searching for the info, it is coming to you and is filtered without the nonsense of all the social media hype.
I can’t wait for the next magazine already! Just like a little kid.
I still prefer the old ways, and I bet millions of others still do too – or would if they gave it a try.