“You’ve come a long way baby.”
Some of you may remember that iconic line as the centerpiece of a marketing campaign by Virginia Slims cigarettes, specifically targeting women during the early days of the feminist movement.
But for fishermen the phrase more aptly applies to electronics.
Who remembers the “Little Green Box,” the first-ever flasher unit created by Lowrance in 1959? The crude circular flashes on the screen revealed fish directly beneath your boat, at least for those who could interpret the gobblygook (which I never could). Lowrance sold more than a million of them in the next 20 years.
Since then all the major manufacturers continually strive to “build a better mouse trap.” But unlike mouse traps, they have succeeded. In 1982 I bought one of the first-ever Lowrance X-15’s, a paper graph with a tiny (easily broken) electronic stylus and expensive paper that ALWAYS seemed to run out when you needed it most.
Then came the digital age and LCD screens along with high-tech transducers that could see up, down, sideways and even all around with 360-degree models. The latest Humminbird Helix models (highlighted in Ed Mashburn’s story in this issue) [READ MORE] provide side and down scan images that seemingly allow anglers to count the scales on a fish.
Then in 2019 came the latest enhancement with the Garmin LiveScope and the Lowrance LiveSight – units that provide real-time, moving images of fish swimming beneath and around your boat. Whether it’s technology or marketing, Garmin seems to be leading the latest techno race. In this issue Brent Frazee highlights LiveScopes [HOTLINK TO FRAZEE STORY] that some complain turns fishing into a video game. The most ardent naysayers even express concern the live image technology may actually negatively impact fish populations in certain situations, although there is no science-based proof of that so far.
Love ‘em or hate ‘em, they are here and the new super line of depth finders aren’t going away. And who knows what might be coming next?
Even if you are an old school angler there’s a good chance someday, you’ll figure, “If I can’t lick ‘em, I might as well join ‘em.”
As always, we appreciate your support and welcome your feedback. Please send it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org
Richard Simms, Editor
“The outdoors is not a place, it’s a state of mind.”