Hank Shelley

Column: Electronics – a new era

It’s 5:45 a.m., and guests are awakened by the smell of fresh-brewed coffee from the fishing lodge’s kitchen.

My son Steve, is on his office computer apping the Coast Guard’s information. He can access the buoy out in the ocean, 12 kilometres away down the channel. The buoy, working off satellites, gives wind direction, water temperatures and wave action.

Later, while halibut/ling cod fishing, we head out to the halibut grounds called Low Rocks, where he had landed three fish two days before with guests. He backs the boat, watching his sonar and GPS map right over the exact spot the bottom showed the hump, then rocky slope on the ocean floor. Ideal halibut habitat.

Bridge Lake, B.C. It’s 7:15 a.m. on frozen kokanee rich Deka Lake. Kentucky Bill, Coyote Bob, bushy bearded Trapper John from Horse lake are all in a 17 ft circle, flasher spoons wiggling, pink maggots for bait. Each angler has a fish finder, transducer showing bottom and a shoal of kokanee at 34 feet.

All quickly reel up and down and the fishing begins in earnest.

Other anglers on Bridge and Sulphurous lakes, using the same methods as described, put more kokanee or trout on the ice or a good feed for the family or the freezer.

Many hunters and anglers have now gone high tech in their sport, and thanks to the companies like Eagle, Hummingbird and Lowrance, who are competing to a new generation of savvy young guys and gals who love the outdoors, and their sport with ultra new gizmo’s and gadgets, connected to the smart phone, iPad or App, computer, that instantly connects them, (and the old guys, too) to hunting and fishing made easier than ever before.

On the ice of Bridge Lake where we head to the lake trout grounds off Cottonwood Bay, my buddy Steve, uses a cordless drill, attached to his ice auger to drill four to seven holes for buddies, then sets up his expensive finder/transducer. He watches the lure reach bottom, at 93 ft, then on his screen sees lakers swimming about with it coming at his lure. Another fish on the ice.

For those who love watching fish in action or feeding, there’s the Aqua-view underwater camera first introduced in 1997.

Go to: www.aquavu.com for more information. I have a friend who has one, saying they are hard on batteries.

Yes, gone are the days of sittin’ on a bucket hoping for a fish to bite, freezin’ your butt off unless you have your little heater by you or your honey inside a nice warm fishin’ hut. The consolation in all this is, the beauty and winter wonderland around you. Get out when you can and enjoy!

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