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Turn the clock back ten, twenty, thirty maybe even forty or fifty years. Bass fishing was really blasting off, boats were powered by outboard motors but slow by today’s standards, cumbersome on and off the water and rigging was limited to just a few accessories. A trolling motor was a luxury and had replaced the paddle.

Sonar as it was called was just a round electronic “flasher” that had small “blips” that had to be interpreted as bait fish, the bottom, depth or, imagine a fish. Rods had migrated from bamboo cane poles, to metal, to new-fangled fiberglass and eventually to graphite. Imagine trying to launch a lure on a five foot metal rod, with an ancient bait caster spooled with nylon line. Bring on the baits. Early, artificial lures were limited to a few metal spoons, odd looking spinners, an abundance to topwater lures made of wood, and eventually plastic (and in some cases back to wood) and the development of the plastic worm. Probably the biggest innovation of bass fishing was the worm. Not really very soft, seven inches, available in two colors (black or purple), now there was a bait that could probe the bottom and that bass had never seen. 

Bass fishing “baby boomers” couldn’t watch fishing TV shows, not always a TV. No video, a few speakers at outdoor shows and drum roll please….. radio dedicated to talking about outdoor topics. Magazines offered some fundamental tips, not necessarily accurate, but photos known as stringer shots of big bass, walleye and mixed bags of fresh and saltwater catches. Move into the millennium, fishing educational material abounds in multiple forms. The learning curve and ability to learn about every aspect of zoom astronomically. What used to take ten years can be gleaned from multiple sources in ten months. You can literally have a real time view of everything below the water’s surface. Along the way there were oxygen meters, PH level measuring devices, a gadget that suggests the best lure colors, and fad type baits.

Now research and development rival that of true rocket scientists. It’s fishing, it’s that important! Top technology is seen in high speed motors for hydrodynamic bass boats, GPS and ultra-sensitives rods, with fishing lines gone space age, reels that are so high in retrieve speed they’re geared better than early automobiles. Archeological evidence in the form of antique tackle will show in many cases in bass baits it’s all been done before. Popular colors, natural shades, the incorporation of noise making with cupped faces, smaller, front or back, maybe both propellers and shapes that darted and dived erratically.

Been there, casted that. The beauty of bass fishing from a kayak is it gives you the ability to go techno or old school. You, your paddle, a few rods and a tiny tackle box woks now or will in the years to come. Take a moment to tackle technology. All the tools available are no match for the cognitive ability of the human angler. Use the technology of today coupled with keen observation skills and common sense. Technology is changing by the hour and batteries run out of juice, experience, anticipating bass behavior and a little luck, along with a good kayak, will carry you a long way.