Fishing for the average Joe is a peaceful pursuit involving a rod, a line and a body of water. The ancient mariner has become an archetypal character, thanks to Samuel Taylor Coleridge and his Rime of the Ancient Mariner poem. Hemingway gave us his Old Man and the Sea; another meditation on man’s relationship to the ocean. When I think about fishing I think of Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn on their raft on the river; the Mississippi I imagine. What I am alluding to here is that fishing’s iconography is, in my mind, caught up with raw humanity in its primitive form. Things are changing in the real world however.
Readers of my first paragraph, who fish regularly, can probably tell that I don’t get out much and actually fish these days: perhaps I never did. My fishing experiences are way too literary, when the reality is a lot of swearing and tangled lines; for the rank amateur angler anyway. The thing is that fishing is like everything else and the digital age is finally catching up with fishing. Fishing getting digital: technology for the future fisher is already here. Fishing is big on social media for recreational anglers to brag and show off their catches. The FishBrain app allows fishing enthusiasts to share pictures of their catch without giving away their location. Secret fishing spots are the most lucrative in terms of size of catch. Social media marketing management can probably aid these app developers in promoting their products to the recreational fishing base market. Microsoft Dynamics CRM can allow recreational fishing businesses to service their customers through better relationships. Digital technology is improving fishing efficiency across the board.
Most digital technologies in fishing have impacted on the fishing boats; enabling sonar and maps to be read in 3D. Digital map data has been revolutionised by software, now capable of making it easily readable and therefore very useful to the angler. Sonar and sounders can locate and identify fish schools, making life much easier for the fisherman. Of course, as is the situation with hunters who track deer, elk and other wild animals with high tech devices and weapons, it is manifestly unfair. Fishermen are marine hunters and they have caught up with their land based comrades in shooting fish out of a barrel. No more is it just dangling a line over a bridge with a wriggling worm on your hook.