Equipment January 2021 News/Columns

Readers Respond to ‘Advanced Electronics’ Editorial

Advanced Electronics – Sonar, down-imaging, side-imaging, 360 and Livescope have all taken the fishing world by storm. Will high-tech advanced electronics lead to a decline in game fish populations? (Photo: Richard Simms)


In our December issue, CrappieNOW Editor Richard Simms shared an editorial about the potential impact of high-tech electronics on fishing.

Some well-known anglers have expressed concerns about the effectiveness of advanced electronics, fearing they could make anglers TOO good at what they do – to the detriment of the fish. Simms, however, shared that he doesn’t believe advanced electronics will have much, if any, overall impact on fishing and fish populations – at least in large, mainstream reservoirs.
As always in our “Opening Casts,” we invite reader feedback. Apparently, Simms touched a nerve with the December editorial as the feedback came rolling in via e-mail and Facebook.
Here’s what readers had to say:

Christian Upchurch writes, “We are really just now getting to a point where advanced electronics are becoming affordable to the masses. I read the article and you essentially say that mother nature and large bodies of water have a way to protect themselves, but look at the overharvesting of fish in the oceans, i.e., tuna, etc. I don’t necessarily think that fishing as a sport is in decline but I think that it could be over time … this is not my field but when I watch people on their livescopes tearing it up out there, it makes me think that eventually there will be limit reductions in 10 – 20 years.”

Michael James said, “I agree with you Richard Simms. Electronics will not make the fish bite. If anything, they will make you waste time on inactive fish. They are a tool, not a silver bullet.”

Tim Smith said, “I respectfully have a question. If fishermen are a blip on the radar, why does Weiss lake have to sell tickets for tagged fish and have to buy a ton of fingerlings every single year? Years ago, I saw the same thing happen in softball. Everyone wanted better bats and balls and after a while, they got it. It got to a point where guys that walked on a field in a short time could hit as far as ones who worked out all their lives to get to a certain point. Now the game is dead, no one wants to play anymore.”

(Footnote: Alabama Dept. of Natural Resources does not routinely stock crappie in Weiss Lake. However, Smith says private organizations do buy fingerlings to try and supplement the lake.)

Dickey Porter writes, “I think that Mother Nature has a much greater impact on crappie populations that we fishermen have with all the latest electronic gadgets. A friend of mine who is very proficient with the Livescope from Garmin was asked a question on his YouTube channel, if he could get the crappie to bite at all times and he said, ‘No. You can’t get a fish to bite if it doesn’t want to bite,’ and I can say Amen to that. I can find schools of crappie every time that I go fishing, but that isn’t a guarantee that I can catch them. There are thousands of acres of water where crappie are that rarely even see an angler’s lure.”

Cody Slaven writes, “I know for a fact that it doesn’t help all of them with live scope. I have bank fished right beside someone (using Livescope). I went home with a limit while they sat there half the night with one or two fish. It does help you find the fish but techniques are a lot of what it takes to being successful.”

Finally, David Hickman writes, “I disagree that (advanced electronics) will hurt the fish population. If anglers act responsibly by following creel and size limits established by our wildlife resource agencies, the population will be fine. The same thing was said when flashers first came out but VERY few fishermen actually were able to use the units effectively. The new units are so much better but it still takes work to actually master those units. Not that many fishermen will use them to their full potential.”

We always appreciate feedback on CrappieNOW content and respect everyone’s opinion. In the world of wildlife and fisheries management, even the foremost experts admit it is difficult for anyone to accurately predict the future.

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