|Kevin Tanko at the helm last year with depth finder mounted on stern, something all modern fishermen use|
In particular, the invention and perfection of depth/fish finders and braided or fusion fishing lines have tipped the balance toward the fishermen.
One of our longtime anglers told me this winter how in the old days he had wasted so much time by unknowingly trolling over waters too deep to have held many fish. Today, his depth finder tells him immediately he might be making a mistake, at least when fishing for northern pike or walleye.
We've noted here before that the smart angler doesn't usually use his depth finder for "finding fish" but instead pays attention to it for the depth and structures underwater. But later in the summer, say August, as well as September, you can actually "see" the fish on the fish finder. That's because they are in deep enough water to show up without being spooked from underneath the boat.
There is no doubt that the depth finder has helped anglers catch fish, especially walleye and lake trout.
Likewise, the new braided and fusion fishing lines are helping out anglers when fighting fish. These lines, even the lightweight strengths, are incredibly strong. You can nearly anchor the boat with them. So there are fewer fish that get away by breaking the line.
GPS devices have made some impact too, although they are not too important on Red Lake because most of the time you are fishing close to the shoreline anyway. However, there are a few locations where GPS helps you mark and then re-find structures out in the middle.
All these things, plus just generally better rods and reels, mean anglers are better able to catch fish. Their "catchability" has improved.
It's another reason we all need to be conservation-minded, now more than ever.
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