Let's not lose the mystery

Fishing is a primal part of man’s evolution. For tens of thousands of years, we have been fishing as a species for our very survival. Only recently has it become a recreational activity.

If you are reading this, chances are you have a connection to fishing that goes way beyond the surface. It feeds a part of your being in a way that the intellectual mind can’t comprehend. Only the primal part of our makeup fully understands it.

To me, it’s the magic and mystery of fishing that makes me feel alive when I go fishing or am at a tournament.

The uncertainty and potential for success or failure is always there. The bad days on the water makes you fully appreciate the good ones in terms of fish catching.

One of the major concerns I have about the direction the sport is going has to do with the explosion of technology we have gradually witnessed, particularly over the past five or 10 years.

We have all seen firsthand how technology is steadily chipping away at the magic and mystery of fishing. 

Those of us who have been around long enough to remember years on the water with no GPS, no advanced sonar and imaging technology, no cellphones, no internet information, no YouYube tutorials and no satellite mapping have an awareness of what I’m talking about more than the generations that were raised on this technology and being in place as they learned how to fish.

What is being lost are the ancient skills that defines fishing … things like intuition, instincts, nature awareness, stealth, stalking and even a spiritual connection to the fish and water.

Those skills are fading away and are being replaced with ability to decipher the technology that compensates for those primal skills.

More and more, I’m hearing the same thing from many anglers. “I didn’t even fish in practice. I just spent all my time idling around looking at my electronics for three days.” Is this the direction we want to head in?

The question I have, is at what point do we say it enough? I have no doubt it’s just a matter of time before technology advances to the point where we can pinpoint the exact location and position of every bass is living in a lake.

I see this as a tragedy for our sport.

None of this must happen. Tournament organizations can protect the heritage of our sport with rules and regulations and preserve the primal mystery.

Make no mistake about it … this primal mystery and the connection fishing provides us to nature is everything. If you haven’t taken the time to consider that statement, I’d like to encourage you search inside yourself and think about it.

Once you establish that connection I’m talking about, your gratitude and appreciation for fishing, our environment and being on the water will take on a whole new meaning.

With that gratitude comes awareness. And with awareness comes the gift the sport can give us by feeling alive like nothing else can.

I have no illusions that our sport will ever drop its technological advancements. But my hope would be we seek out and find a balance where the primal skills are given equal billing to technology.

Thanks again everyone for taking the time to read this. I’d also like to invite everyone to follow me this year as I compete in the Bassmaster Opens, gunning for my Elite Series berth, by subscribing to my YouTube channel here.