When I was a child, and wanted to learn how to fish, my peers and I had to depend on the adults in our lives to show us how. Maybe we got some tips from older children and siblings.
Later, we would gravitate towards fishing magazines, and learn about gear from the ads. If we were lucky and had a TV (black and white, no less…), we could watch fishing shows like the Wide World of Sports, and learn from fishing pros like Gadabout Gaddis, Roland Martin, Tom Mann, and Bill Dance. Most of our fishing education was obtained at the University of Trial-And-Error.
Since then, a lot has changed, especially in technology. Most of the things people take for granted these days, like smart phones, iPads, the internet, etc… were nothing but science fiction when I was growing up.
The internet has had a huge effect on the whole world. Now, anyone (at least in a free country) can be connected to the rest of the world with the touch of a button. Information can be shared instantly with anyone in the world.
So what does this mean for fishing? It means that fishing and social media are combined, and it has never been a better time to learn how to fish.
Want to learn how to fly fish, but don’t know anyone who does it? YouTube has dozens of How-To videos on casting, fly tying , tactics, and more.
Want to learn bass fishing? Check out Bassmaster on Facebook. They are the recognized authority on black bass fishing. Whatever kind of fishing you are interested in, there is a fishing and social media website to cover it.
And better yet, since the advent of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube, fishing and social media go hand-in-hand.
Fishing and Social Media’s Impact
The fishing world is changing at warp speed (for those of you unfamiliar with Star Trek, that means very fast…), mostly because of fishing and social media websites. Information is available instantly.
No more waiting for years until the information trickles down from the tournament circuits, through magazines, and eventually gets incorporated into new fishing gear and tactics. New information is available to anglers everywhere, sometimes in a matter of hours. There are no more secrets. Everyone can be on an equal footing. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Instagram have made sure of that.
It doesn’t just apply to anglers, either. Companies are now paying close attention to fishing and social media sites, and are making gear better than ever. Most of them maintain their own fishing and social media websites.
They apply feedback to create gear that is more tailored to the needs and desires of the people who will be buying and using it. If a company makes a bad product, the entire fishing world knows about it just a shade faster than instantly, so companies are now taking extra care to market as good a product as possible.
Bad reviews can kill a business now days, and good reviews can make one very successful.
Either way, you the Consumer wins. Businesses have discovered that fishing and social media marketing is a must if they are to survive in the modern business environment.
Of course, there are two sides to every story, and this is no different. The downside of fishing and social media is that it provides a haven for jerks, punks, trouble-makers, and, well you know who I mean, so I don’t have to mention it here.
Gotta keep it family friendly. As I was saying, every malcontent on the planet now has a platform to spout vicious platitudes, false information, and be a pest in general. You know the type; if they don’t catch fish, it’s the lures fault, or rods, or other fishermen. They gripe about not having any ‘secret’ places anymore, like those places belonged to them exclusively in the first place.
For everything, there are positive and negative consequences, and you have to take the bad with the good, or give up on it totally. This is a fact of life. It’s a shame that otherwise reasonable people can turn into dipsticks because they are emboldened by the sense of anonymity that social media provides. And, of course, there are real social predators lurking. But overall, I believe the benefits far outweigh the deficits. In my opinion, the best way to handle this is just to ignore them. Don’t give them any credibility by lowering to their level.
And nothing infuriates a bully or twerp more than being ignored.
4 Types Of Anglers You’ll Encounter (And How To Deal With Them)
The old proverb says that if you give someone a fish, they eat for one meal. If you teach them how to fish, they can eat for a lifetime. But a more modern version might say, “If you teach someone to fish, they’ll be on Facebook”.
And there is nothing wrong with that. The ability to share information instantly across the globe is one of humanity’s greatest achievements. Social media is the place for everyone to show off their catches, talk about new gear, share tips and tactics, and most of all, meet like-minded people just to share some fellowship, even when they have never met.
In addition to the majority of average and mostly well-adjusted posters, there are four auxiliary types that cruise fishing and social media websites…
In the old days, you would catch a notable fish, and reach the dock with it several hours later, after the fish is long-dead and lost all its coloration. Now, with smartphones and built-in cameras of surprisingly great quality, you can pose with your catch, in its full glory, and release it back into the wild where it belongs, with no harm done.
With a simple touch or two on the screen, you can post that photo or video for the whole world to see, in mere seconds. And we all enjoy seeing a few well composed pictures and videos of your trip. But there are people who decide to take several hundred photos detailing every facet of their odyssey, including even some we’d really be happier not knowing about.
There is a such thing as too much information. Then they post, re-post, and re-post again, sometimes covering several months, without telling anyone that they are all from the same trip. This falsely gives the impression that they are always on the water somewhere. So before you get envious, be sure to read the whole post, and you may find they don’ t get to go any more than you do….
The Blur Faery
I get why some people may not want to tip off their location. They fear that there are so many people following them that interlopers will descend upon their ‘secret’ honey-hole in numbers so great as to contribute to Global Warming.
So, in an effort to perpetuate the continued procreation of their favorite species, they ‘blur’ the background of their photographic creation in a feeble attempt to hide the specific location. But the only thing this really accomplishes is to ruin an otherwise nice picture. It doesn’t really hide anything. Most of the locals will still recognize the spot, and the numbers show that other anglers seldom flock to that particular location, preferring instead to fish their own favorite spot. The few that may show up at that location most likely already knew of its existence.
And you probably don’t have as many followers as you think, that pay close attention to all of your posts. Surprise! Your ‘secret’ really isn’t that big of a secret, so go ahead and shoot the picture with all of it’s natural beauty intact.
The ‘Jump-The-Gun’ Poster
There is little that can drive a dedicated angler more crazy than suffering the anticipation of the yearly run of your favorite species, whether it be carp, bluegill, white bass, etc… Many times, it is the fishing trip of the year.
As the time approaches, usually early April around here, we start chomping the bit in late February wondering if we should give it a try just in case they come early this year. Next thing you know, someone has posted pictures and videos of stringers full of your favorite fish, so you want to grab your gear and charge.
But, if you catch yourself in time, and read the whole posts, you find that these pictures were from last year, with a caption something like, “ Last year was great. Can’t wait for this year…”. Aaaauuuuugggghhhh! Always read the entire posts before making any drastic decisions. And be sure and look at the dates.
I may be guilty of this myself from time to time.
Those of us that make our own flies and lures are proud of them, and the urge to post every single one of them is great. But, we have to remember that to someone who doesn’t tie or craft lures, your Pheasant Tail Nymph looks just like every other Pheasant Tail Nymph, unless it is in a fishes mouth.
Certainly, if you come up with a new pattern, or a variation on an existing one that is working especially well, everyone wants to hear about it, but we need to remind ourselves that most people are only going to be interested in a new pattern, or how good your creation is working. So if you feel the urge to post a YAWB (Yet Another Wooly Bugger) pic or vid, catch a fish with it and show it in the fishies mouth.
Fishing and social media are here to stay, and will only get better as time goes on. If you don’t take advantage of it, your missing out…