As I look back on 2013 I can’t help but think it will be seen as the year fishing went digital. As skeptical as people may have been it seems social media sites such as Facebook and Twitter are not only here to stay, but they’ve change the way we fish, the way we think about fishing and most of all, the way we talk about fishing.
The days of ringing round for hours looking for information on a venue has gone, a quick status update: “How do I fish Lindholme?” will see every scrap of information launched at you in seconds – depths, baits, rigs, draw times... even the size of the breakfast will be readily available. Yes, you may have to trawl though the usual barrage of abuse but, at the end of the day, you’ll have every bit of information you need to prepare for your match.
What started out as a way to chat to your mates, has in actual fact, turned into out first port of call for advice on venues, tackle and baits and 2013 has finally seen the tackle world embrace the digital revolution.
Every single tackle company now has their own page, and what attracts you to their page? – The lure of information and entertainment. Facebook is now awash with blogs, match reports, catch shots and videos but is this a bad thing? No, it’s bloody brilliant!
It’s made the angling world take a giant leap into the 21st century, fishing has always been seen as an old man's sport. I’m knocking on for 30 and I’m STILL one of the youngest anglers on the bank when I fish and the ONLY way for fishing to have a future is to attract the younger generation.
Anyone under the age 16 can’t remember a time in which the Internet didn’t exist; they don’t go to a library for information because everything they’ve ever wanted to know is always one Google away. Until recently the tackle industry has been too set in the past and there just wasn’t enough information out there to satisfy the younger generation’s endless hunger for all things digital.
Some people may hate Facebook, detest Twitter, but I really believe that they, and the digital revolution, could be the saviour of the fishing industry. Forget the battle for the lightest, stiffest pole. Forget the flashy boxes, the jazzy luggage and the smoothest reels – I think the winner in 2014 will be the future of fishing.