by Carl Hyland
Having been involved in the recreational fishing scene in Tasmania for 40 years, I am continually amazed at how ‘easy’ today’s anglers have it when it comes to information availability before after and during a fishing trip. The day of technology has arrived with modern anglers reaping the rewards. This doesn’t mean that they catch more fish; it just means that anglers of current times have it so much better than those who started out many years ago.
Fishy photos have come a long way in 40 years.
Whilst technology is a good thing, sometimes that ‘grounding’ one had as a youngster and learning the ‘hard’ way made us all the more tougher but at the same time, left quite a few sadly lagging behind when the technology wasn’t available or wasn’t taken up. I was one of those ones who embraced the changes, because they were quick, I mean, in a 20 year period, we have had mobile or smart phones introduced plus all sorts of web sites to gain information. If you had of said to me 40 years ago, I could be standing stream side and talk into a telephone, I would have laughed in your face and now, even to access websites and other data riverside or on a boat is truly an amazing feat.
Whilst information availability has become more widespread, so too has camera functionality, with modern graphic cards and a good 18mp camera, the results are purely amazing. To be able to reproduce such quality whilst fishing and either upload it to a website or even send it to the home pc still continues to blow me away. Websites such as this rely on great camera shots and video footage and whilst action videos and stills are the norm in today’s reporting, occasionally we get a video or a shot that will make us sit up and take note.
Digital cameras are a boon to modern day anglers!
Having run a popular fishing website for a number of years, we take advantage of this technology and report the facts from whence they happen or place reports for others to see and gain information from those reports.
Let’s have a look at some websites at random where we and others access information to assist with our recreational angling. Of course we need to know the weather before setting forth and with this site; you can plan many days in advance…
Information such as wave heights, wind speed, sea temperatures, ocean data, tides and moon plus much, much more are available and readily accessed via smart phone or pc.
Another great site or app is the Navionics site. Here too, an application that fits nicely into your mobile device is very handy as you can plot your way or keep that favourite fishing hole as a GPS mark plus enable you to watch for coming squalls or other weather and allow you to take action if needed and other functions such as radar watch can be handy, especially when you are at sea or on the water.
Photo enhancement programs are great!
I mentioned cameras. Now camera, or lack of a camera, can make or break a good fish story. Again, I am amazed at the photo albums some people carry around on their mobile phones or can access offline storage and display all their photos. One such site I and others use is Photobucket. This is a great offline storage area with lots of features where you can ‘tweak’ shots or manipulate them to whatever you desire. Unfortunately, it can’t make those fish shots bigger but there are lots of programmes that can, one of course is the ever popular Photoshop. This is a professional system that allows you to airbrush photos, tweak the pictures plus save changes…
Go Pro make an excellent range of cameras that take some great video and at 720DPI, can make for exciting viewing. Moderately priced, these are a must on board your boat or on the end of a pole to capture underwater action.
There are many, many sites devoted to recreational fishing on the Internet and a good one aimed fairly and squarely at this specific group is Freshwater Fishing Fanatics Australia.
After the fishing is over, you may wish to update your online blog via a website or record information, for instance if you saw something unusual you could report it to Redmap or perhaps the CSIRO.
No matter what your involvement with the Internet, it’s here to stay and whilst a lot of old timers refuse to use such modern day tools, we can all use the sites and equipment mentioned to our advantage.