When I was in law school 25 years ago, I had a 13 inch television in my apartment. If I got home from class and wanted to veg out with a little Beavis and Butthead, I had to look carefully to tell which one was which. If I left the library on Sunday to tune into an NFL game, it was a challenge to read the numbers on the jerseys, at least from across the room. Today, we have a 30-something-inch TV in the kitchen, a 40-something-inch TV in our bedroom, and bigger ones in the living room and basement….and I’d bet that none of them cost a whole lot more than that 13 inch junker.
In fact, my new boat, due to arrive in the next month or so, has more screen space than that little walk-up apartment held and more computing power than the gargantuan laptop that led me through Torts and Contracts. It’ll have two Humminbird Helix 12 Mega units, one with side-imaging on the console, one with down imaging on the bow. The truly crazy thing is that the mount for the console unit cost more than either of the two graphs I had on the first boat I bought in 1996.
The units certainly aren’t inexpensive, but after two days on the water with Clark Reehm and two with Keith Combs earlier this month, I have a newfound desire to get the most out of my electronics, because it’s clear that both of them do just that. Even when they know how to catch a few, they’re always on the hunt for more, and they know what they’re looking for with their underwater eyes.
Let’s be clear: for most of my fishing “career” I could’ve used a flipping stick for a depthfinder, or even a pistol grip Hank Parker spinnerbug rod, because I default to shallow water, but right here, right now, I’m making an early 2018 resolution that I am going to work to be better with my electronics. Maybe not “tour level better,” but better nonetheless. I will not just turn ‘em on and go from there. I will spend some time when I first get the boat just familiarizing myself with them. I will read the manual. I will use Wave Away screen cleaner religiously. I will spend portions of some days later in the year when I’m just out fun fishing with the rods in the locker, the outboard on idle and my face in the screen. At nearly 48 years old, I’m pretty stuck in my ways, but this is one situation where I’m convinced a little time and effort (and an open mind) should pay off.
If I don’t follow through, you can’t have my graphs, but either way you’re welcome to that 13 inch RCA – and the VHS that I bought at the same time.