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Jim
02-11-2011, 01:58 PM
Hi all,

As some of you know and have helped with, I have been developing a model of Old Hickory lake for the last few years. The model includes a hydrodynamic model (water depth, current, dam discharge, water temperature, etc.), environmental model (weather, wind, moon phase, etc.), habitat model (habitat types, bottom substrate, lake sections, etc.). The lake model is then coupled with a fisheries model (species, seasonal requirements, TWRA catch statistics, etc.) to estimate the amount and location of suitable habitat. The main species are largemouth bass, smallmouth bass, white crappie, black crappie, bluegill, channel catfish, and striped bass.

Well, the predictions are starting to come out of the model. I have a version for Largemouth bass running and the crappie should be running soon. So I figured I would see if the modeled predictions are anything like what you all are seeing while fishing.

Based on the last ten years of data, the longterm coldest water temperatures are found on Feb 5 and 6. The lake and fish are in winter patterns for sure. By Feb 26, a solid 5 degree water temperature rise has occurred and the fish should be reacting and moving into their early spring coldwater patterns. By March 28, the lake has warmed enough to see bass begin prespawn patterns and the onset of the early spawning should be around May 6 with the lake averaging 64 degrees. Spawning should peak in late May or early June and be over by June 18.

Those are the average conditions but as you know it can be a warm or cold year compared to average. Right now the main channel of the lake is predicted to be around 38 (Army Corps reports 37 at Rockland). The large creeks should be colder and the shallows colder yet due to cold temps and snow melt.

I ran the predictions with the next 10-day weather forecast to see if the warm spell would have an effect. Here is the results:

1. We are still in a winter fish pattern and will be through next week. So focus on winter bass habitat and fishing patterns. Main lake is warmer than the creeks.

2. By next Wednesday (Feb 16) the whole lake should be about the same temperature.

3. By late next week, shallow protected coves with northeast orientations could see a 10 degree warm up. Look for places where the wind can not blow all the water out to mix with the main channel. Bad weather or rain could wipe this out.

4. Because the fish are still in winter pattern, if the warm up occurs, find the protected shallows nearest your best winter spots. This is only the first warming pattern of the year so it will take some time for many fish to react and move shallow.

5. the past 10 years of creel survey information by TWRA suggests that Area 2 (from the powerlines downstream of Spencer and Station Camp Creeks to just below Bledsoe Creek) has the highest catch rate of .78 bass/hour followed by Area 1 (dam to powerlines) with .64 bass/hr. This may be an result of the warm water from the Gallatin Stream Plant in Area 2.

6. The lower lake (Drake's creek especially) warms up faster and prespawn catch rates are much higher than in the rest of the lake (1.3 fish/ hr in Area 1 during prespawn compared to .88 fish/hr in Area 2). So if the warming trend holds for a few weeks expect Drake's creek fishing to pick up fast.

7. This is just for Largemouth bass. Smallmouth do something totally different as they spawn much earlier in the year.

8. I am really interested in the crappie models as they move earlier than Largemouth. I will report that as it get the results.

So, if you all see anything to support or refute these predictions, I would be glad to hear about it. Also, this is based on the 10-day weather forecast and we all know how much that can change. So if it is snowing late next week, don't blame me :)

Hope it helps,
Jim

Travis C.
02-11-2011, 02:31 PM
So if it is snowing late next week, don't blame me :)

Hope it helps,
Jim

Now that you have said that Jim, it better not or you may get a little round red smiley.

:D


Thanks for the information, you sure do a great job with it.

whrizob
02-11-2011, 04:04 PM
wow! mr. jim your program is incredible. you stated fact that has taken me all my life to learn, and bam! just like that you have the information! thanks for sharing this info! everyone should really apreciate what you just told them, bc you just eliminated a large part of the water that dont hold fish! i will let you know how we do this weekend. see alot people dont know that the lower end of the lake warms up faster. they assume that the upper end, being shallower warms up faster. but i have learned from fishing tournaments that the lower end does warm up faster and usually has some of the first spawning fish. but your right, the north facing creeks are the key! even north facing coves or pockets can be really good! i do have one thing to add. kinda of a question? in my experince, i know the main lake channel is warmer than the creeks; but i have better luck in the winter on the creek channel bluffs and sharp drops. does the program show that to be a productive place to fish? thanks mr. jim!

Buccaneer
02-11-2011, 05:35 PM
Ok Jim just cut to the chase. Post the GPS waypoints, or you can PM me, and I'll report back with my findings. I plan to arm myself with your program (when available) and an HB Side Imaging unit. Problem is I will be motoring around looking at stuff and never fishing.

Fishmanjoe
02-11-2011, 07:04 PM
Sounds like a great program, Jim! I hope somebody will do this for Percy Priest. I hope the program works out for you.

jokerwld
02-12-2011, 04:41 AM
Buccaneer you don't want the side imaging its horrible it takes away all your fishing time and for personal experiance will almost make you drive into a boat dock cause your not watching where you are going :) I have one of the older 997 and its great. If you do get one pay close attention to the transducer mounting as it really affects how well it does/does not work. everyone will tell you level the boat trailer when you mount it and mount the ducer level also but this is a tab bit incorrect. it needs to be slightly angled up as boat are not level in the water

Jim
02-12-2011, 11:09 AM
Ok Jim just cut to the chase. Post the GPS waypoints, or you can PM me, and I'll report back with my findings. I plan to arm myself with your program (when available) and an HB Side Imaging unit. Problem is I will be motoring around looking at stuff and never fishing.

GPS waypoints will be available soon. I am still fiddling with the best way to output them so they will be useful to you all.

Right now I can get them into Google earth or google maps so you and see the spots on your computer, but am working on getting them in a file format for hummingbird and lowrance units. That is not as simple, but hopefully will be solved soon.

Hopefully real soon I can get you some test locations to see if they hold fish.

Take care,
Jim

Jim
02-12-2011, 11:12 AM
Sounds like a great program, Jim! I hope somebody will do this for Percy Priest. I hope the program works out for you.

Percy Priest is in the works. Maybe 60% done. Old Hickory is the test case and once it is all working with the bugs fixed, Percy Priest should be quickly available.

Jim
02-12-2011, 12:05 PM
wow! mr. jim your program is incredible. you stated fact that has taken me all my life to learn, and bam! just like that you have the information! thanks for sharing this info! everyone should really apreciate what you just told them, bc you just eliminated a large part of the water that dont hold fish! i will let you know how we do this weekend. see alot people dont know that the lower end of the lake warms up faster. they assume that the upper end, being shallower warms up faster. but i have learned from fishing tournaments that the lower end does warm up faster and usually has some of the first spawning fish. but your right, the north facing creeks are the key! even north facing coves or pockets can be really good! i do have one thing to add. kinda of a question? in my experince, i know the main lake channel is warmer than the creeks; but i have better luck in the winter on the creek channel bluffs and sharp drops. does the program show that to be a productive place to fish? thanks mr. jim!

Thanks for the nice comments Whirzob :) You definitely know the Old Hickory bass. I wish I could catch them like you do.

A couple comments to further expand on your points.

1. Most lakes and reservoirs warm in the shallow upper reaches first. Old hickory is a run-of-the-river reservoir so there is high flow through with the upper reaches being very river-like. Additionally, Cordell Hull releases cool water and Center Hill Dam releases cold water (hence the Caney Fork trout fishery). This water has to warm up as it travel down the lake. High discharge can really cool the main channel in Old Hickory. The main creeks almost act like separate lakes. The upper and protected sections will warm faster. Drake's creek is the biggest embayment with lots of shallow water and thus can warm and not mix with the main channel.

In Percy Priest, the upper sections would warm first. but not for Old Hickory, Cordell Hull, Cheatam, or Barkley. It doesn't mean fishing isn't good in the upper sections, just not good for early spawning largemouth bass. Whites, striper, and big blue catfish move upstream in the spring and those can be the best sections to find them.

2. About your winter bass location question. You are right on target with their winter habitat. Not all bass move to the main channel. In fact many fish live in a relatively small range throughout the year, but some definitely travel. The individual fish can not tell if it is warmer or colder in the main channel than in the main creeks. It is only important what the water temp is where they live. Water temp is only one factor in locating the fish. For largemouth, strong current and cold water are not great combinations, so the bass need good current breaks in the main channel. This is less important in the creeks where the current is not as strong.

Winter water temp is more about stability. The main channel changes slowly so the fish don't react as strongly to weather changes. The main creeks change temp more quickly so the bass will respond to good weather or bad weather more strongly. Fish in protected shallows will react the strongest to weather changes. This is why fishing for shallow bass is always more hit or miss than fishing deeper big water structure. If conditions are right, you can really catch them shallow, but most of the time conditions are not "right". Thus, the "You should have been here yesterday, they were really biting" comment. If you chase the reports of a shallow water bite, you are usually too late as the conditions can change fast. Once you find bass on deeper structure, it can be more consistent until a major shift in the weather happens.

Take care,
Jim

Travis C.
02-12-2011, 01:07 PM
Just add to or expand a little on the water temps from my experience as well. Most people think the water has to be in the upper 50's to mid 60's before you can fish anything like cranks, lipless or any moderately fast moving bait. Water temp in my opinion is an over-rated factor unless it is directly relating to the spawn. I have caught bass in shallow water on crankbaits in the low 40's and on the flip side in water above 90. You want water temp to be a factor you consider but what you want to look for is a "change" in temp.

Don't be afraid to pick up those shallow crankbaits or lipless bait and search for them like you would in the pre-spawn. It is not a jig or big worm only time of year. Once you find them then you can focus in on your drop-shot, shaky or jig if you want.

Also, you can put on a bigger crankbait like a DD-22 or DD Fat Rap and put the bait on the bottom then crawl it. They are so bulky that you can really slow them down but still cover water effectively. Plus, they will off a big meal for that fish who don't want to move very fast or far for a bite.

Fishmanjoe
02-12-2011, 04:46 PM
Sounds like you have a real money maker there, Jim. Test it out and get a patent on that thing.

Fishaholic
02-12-2011, 09:39 PM
Jim utterly incredible can't wait for the next round of testing:D

Jim
02-13-2011, 01:38 PM
Just add to or expand a little on the water temps from my experience as well. Most people think the water has to be in the upper 50's to mid 60's before you can fish anything like cranks, lipless or any moderately fast moving bait. Water temp in my opinion is an over-rated factor unless it is directly relating to the spawn. I have caught bass in shallow water on crankbaits in the low 40's and on the flip side in water above 90. You want water temp to be a factor you consider but what you want to look for is a "change" in temp.

Don't be afraid to pick up those shallow crankbaits or lipless bait and search for them like you would in the pre-spawn. It is not a jig or big worm only time of year. Once you find them then you can focus in on your drop-shot, shaky or jig if you want.

Also, you can put on a bigger crankbait like a DD-22 or DD Fat Rap and put the bait on the bottom then crawl it. They are so bulky that you can really slow them down but still cover water effectively. Plus, they will off a big meal for that fish who don't want to move very fast or far for a bite.


Great point Travis!

Your post made me think....so I went back to the models and data to see if temperature "change" idea was true. I am using the TWRA creel survey information from 2001 to 2009 for all lakes in TN and all of my model predictions to estimate environmental conditions (in this case water temps for the 7 day prior to the creel survey). There are almost 30,000 interview of bass anglers so the results are pretty strong.

Here are the results:

For Water Temperature stability (or the total amount of change up or down over the prior week) there is a strong relationship between stability and catch rates for largemouth bass.

https://lh5.googleusercontent.com/_sDYG4l16JBk/TVg31DHIz8I/AAAAAAAAAkE/aOsqG3Odp44/s800/Slide3-1.JPG

You can definitely see that catch rates are higher when the past weeks weather has been stable.

Well, what about the trend in water temperature? Is it better to have cooling, stable, of warming water temperature?

Again from the same dataset, stable temps are better than cooling or warming waters.

https://lh3.googleusercontent.com/_sDYG4l16JBk/TVg31aIVBOI/AAAAAAAAAkI/1x8mDl6Lr_I/s800/Slide4-1.JPG

This surprised me a little as I alway like to see warming water, but this is really showing strong warming or cooling trends where the water temp is changing fast. This probably makes the bass move and harder to catch.

One other thing I see. While the catch rate may be not as good, people are still catching bass when the conditions are bad. So there really is no bad time to bass fish, only better times :)

Something to think about.....
Jim

Travis C.
02-13-2011, 02:20 PM
Great info Jim. Stable temps are a good thing. We get used to it just like the fish do...example we still function better the 10 day than day 1 of 35 degrees.

This is how I factor in the water temp when it is not directly related to the spawn. Any lake can either fish "big" or "small" and that is not relative to the actual size of the water shed. Bass are cold blooded and the water plays a major factor with the mood of the fish.

A lake that fishes "big" means water is usually comfortable enough to the fish and they are out foraging in broad areas for food. Like post spawn fish in high 60's or better water. They are easy to catch and you can catch them everywhere.

A lake that would fish "small" is the opposite. The window of where and how much that fish is willing to go for food diminishes greatly. That is usually winter but not always the case as you have to drop it on the fishes noses for it to bite.

Given strong spring fronts it can go from one to the other as well. Knowing how fish relate to water temp changes will help you pick that up and give you a better idea of what tactics to use before hitting the water.

Kind of a summary statement, it means more less the window of to what extent a fish will to go get food.

That is why I still search with a crankbait all year long. You either need to crawl it or speed it up or be more precise with your casts depending on the mood of the fish.

Jim
02-13-2011, 08:06 PM
Thanks for the insight Travis,

While I can develop some cool maps and models of fish distribution and habitat that point to high probability locations, you still have to be a good fisherman to catch them. Clearly, you know how to catch them.

I notice this with the sidescan. Sometimes I am on a pile of fish, but I can't get them to bite. Finding them is the first problem and the getting them to bite is the next one.

I am sure that you and many others on here are way better fishermen than I am. But that is the fun thing about fishing, there is always more to learn.

Travis C.
02-14-2011, 09:36 AM
there is always more to learn.

That sums it all up right there and as fishermen it is something we should keep doing.

Jim, thank you for the kind words. Your progam is going to revolutionize fishing from all ranks and not just for the average weekend angler. I really look forward to seeing the data side of things as you post them on here. the numbers side of things is just as interesting as the practical.

We can all learn from each other and that makes this site so great. One more useful tool to have in our arsenal.

This thread kind of swayed a little from you initial post Jim and I apologize.

We need to make sure to have a roll call after this week is over to see how well everyone did.

whrizob
02-14-2011, 11:12 AM
on thing that might be over looked here it stable water conditions. for example, alot of resivors are not stable lakes. water is always up and down. a bass will learn to adapt to the conditions it lives in. changing conditions make them constantly change the way they live and eat. making anglers change the way they fish for them. and as we all know, most anglers are one demintional and cant learn how to adapt to the conditions. therefore making it tuff for them to catch fish. now with that said, stable weather means stable water. usually! and this effects the fish different times of the year. stable water is a big key in the spring, due the spawn. but stable water in the heat of the summer can be terrible. i always like changing conditions in the summer. wether its increased water flow, a big storm coming, or alot of rain raising the water levels. all is good in summer, but will make tuff if it happens in the spring. now with that said, you still have to have warm water before a fish will spawn. water temp is the number one element in when a fish spawns. the prespawn is probably best time to catch these fish and usually cant be caught on just about anyting. so i guess what im saying is that is takes warming water, stable weather, and stable water to increase the catch rate on largemouth bass in the spring. its hard to have one with out the other, but i believe it takes all 3 to effect the way bass react. just a thought, just my opinion.

Jim
02-14-2011, 12:44 PM
on thing that might be over looked here it stable water conditions. for example, alot of resivors are not stable lakes. water is always up and down. a bass will learn to adapt to the conditions it lives in. changing conditions make them constantly change the way they live and eat. making anglers change the way they fish for them. and as we all know, most anglers are one demintional and cant learn how to adapt to the conditions. therefore making it tuff for them to catch fish. now with that said, stable weather means stable water. usually! and this effects the fish different times of the year. stable water is a big key in the spring, due the spawn. but stable water in the heat of the summer can be terrible. i always like changing conditions in the summer. wether its increased water flow, a big storm coming, or alot of rain raising the water levels. all is good in summer, but will make tuff if it happens in the spring. now with that said, you still have to have warm water before a fish will spawn. water temp is the number one element in when a fish spawns. the prespawn is probably best time to catch these fish and usually cant be caught on just about anyting. so i guess what im saying is that is takes warming water, stable weather, and stable water to increase the catch rate on largemouth bass in the spring. its hard to have one with out the other, but i believe it takes all 3 to effect the way bass react. just a thought, just my opinion.

More great thoughts!

I was talking mostly about water temperature stability, but water elevation (flooding, stable, or falling) definitely has an effect.

The great thing about lots of data is I can check your ideas against the results of 30,000 TN bass fisherman for the last 10 years. If I add season as a variable in the water temp change and trend analysis, here is what the results show.

Bass spawning season: By far the best combination is very stable conditions with no warming or cooling trend. So Whrizob is right for the spawn - Stable conditions are best.

Summer bass season: Not as clear cut answer, with many moderately good conditions, but the top two conditions are Moderately variable water temperature with either a falling or stable temperature trend. So again Whrizob is right. Some variability in summer conditions improves the catch of largemouth bass. Interestingly very fast and large changes in summer water temperature are some of the worst conditions during the summer. Probably associated with big storms that really muddy things up. Also very stable conditions are below average for catching bass.

So Whrizob was right in all three cases. I bet that doesn't happen too often.

:D just kidding! When it comes to bass fishing you are usually right.

I will have to add the water elevation change into the analysis and see what effect that has. More work for another day :)

Jim

sterling21
02-14-2011, 08:51 PM
GPS waypoints will be available soon. I am still fiddling with the best way to output them so they will be useful to you all.

Right now I can get them into Google earth or google maps so you and see the spots on your computer, but am working on getting them in a file format for hummingbird and lowrance units. That is not as simple, but hopefully will be solved soon.

Hopefully real soon I can get you some test locations to see if they hold fish.

Take care,
Jim
if you give way pionts away in your program like you say then you will have to give out parking passes so not everyone is on the same waypiont at once lmao :D

Jim
02-14-2011, 10:12 PM
if you give way pionts away in your program like you say then you will have to give out parking passes so not everyone is on the same waypiont at once lmao :D

Parking passes? Good idea. How much do you think I could charge for that?! ;)

whrizob
02-15-2011, 01:37 PM
More great thoughts!

I was talking mostly about water temperature stability, but water elevation (flooding, stable, or falling) definitely has an effect.

The great thing about lots of data is I can check your ideas against the results of 30,000 TN bass fisherman for the last 10 years. If I add season as a variable in the water temp change and trend analysis, here is what the results show.

Bass spawning season: By far the best combination is very stable conditions with no warming or cooling trend. So Whrizob is right for the spawn - Stable conditions are best.

Summer bass season: Not as clear cut answer, with many moderately good conditions, but the top two conditions are Moderately variable water temperature with either a falling or stable temperature trend. So again Whrizob is right. Some variability in summer conditions improves the catch of largemouth bass. Interestingly very fast and large changes in summer water temperature are some of the worst conditions during the summer. Probably associated with big storms that really muddy things up. Also very stable conditions are below average for catching bass.

So Whrizob was right in all three cases. I bet that doesn't happen too often.

:D just kidding! When it comes to bass fishing you are usually right.

I will have to add the water elevation change into the analysis and see what effect that has. More work for another day :)

Jim

lol! i hear ya! ;)

whrizob
02-15-2011, 01:38 PM
Parking passes? Good idea. How much do you think I could charge for that?! ;)

i will take a season pass!

sterling21
02-15-2011, 04:33 PM
you know guys i know all this new inventions and knowledge is great to help people out to catch fish , an i will b first to amit that i have side image an want all the new gadgets , and i want all the lake info from all the guys fishing out on the lake but you know i have seen some of the old timers go out with a lil old boat with old rod and reelsno new graphs or gps an catch justt as many ,moreand bigger fish then a man with all the bells and whistles .you know some times its just better to go an just fish .tournaments got love them but when you give all this expensive stuff and info to help people catch fish when it comes down to fishing a man with the most money has the greater advantage over alot of people now i know you have to know how yo use it for it to help somone catch fish but when is enough info and inventions enough ? i dont really know but i can tell you one thing if they come out with the info like jim is going to give or sell there is no reason to ever try to pre fish or fish tournaments cause all the guessing work and solving the problem is going to b done there is no leg work left so even though mr jims work is great and side image is great some times you need to just learn to go an fish if yoiu get rid of all that high tech stuff do you think people could catch fish like people do ? so hopefully they dont comeout with much more or there want bb no sport to fishing

whrizob
02-15-2011, 04:52 PM
you know guys i know all this new inventions and knowledge is great to help people out to catch fish , an i will b first to amit that i have side image an want all the new gadgets , and i want all the lake info from all the guys fishing out on the lake but you know i have seen some of the old timers go out with a lil old boat with old rod and reelsno new graphs or gps an catch justt as many ,moreand bigger fish then a man with all the bells and whistles .you know some times its just better to go an just fish .tournaments got love them but when you give all this expensive stuff and info to help people catch fish when it comes down to fishing a man with the most money has the greater advantage over alot of people now i know you have to know how yo use it for it to help somone catch fish but when is enough info and inventions enough ? i dont really know but i can tell you one thing if they come out with the info like jim is going to give or sell there is no reason to ever try to pre fish or fish tournaments cause all the guessing work and solving the problem is going to b done there is no leg work left so even though mr jims work is great and side image is great some times you need to just learn to go an fish if yoiu get rid of all that high tech stuff do you think people could catch fish like people do ? so hopefully they dont comeout with much more or there want bb no sport to fishing

i kinda of disagree! just bc you have the greater technology, doesnt mean you have an advantage. people still have to know how catch the fish. if i m catching fish in a paticular spot on a paticular bait and tell someone about it. they should be able to go catch them too, right? wrong, they still have to know what to do. how many times have you been fishing with someone in the same boat, using the same bait, doing the same thing, and one guy out fishes the other. happens all the time. it could be anything! line size, retrieve speed, ect ect.! mr jims program, from what i remember, is based on the fact that 90% of the fish live in 10% of the water. weve all heard it. his program eleminates the 90% of non productive water. but like i said you still have to know how to catch them. i could have a 100 bass in my swimming pool and give you a rod and reel and lure and tell you to catch em and get them out. and you have to know what to do before you can. technonlogy repeats itself. there is no difference from using a graph from now days to catch fish, then there was for these "old timers" using the first flasher, or liquid crystal graph to catch fish. technology has always been here. it how it is used and understand. i dont feel like its getting out of hand. it never can, fish still adapt and have to be caught! jmo!

Jim
02-15-2011, 08:59 PM
Sterling21,

I hear you clearly. We struggled a long time with your issue. Does this information take the "fun" out of fishing. In fact, one of the questions we asked anglers was "Is part of the fun of fishing finding the fish yourself?"

Most of the responses were, "Yes, but we will at least have the confidence that we are looking in good areas." As Whrizob says, you still have to catch them. And as we all know, sometimes that is the hardest part.

I am a fisherman and have been since before I can remember. Part of the fun of fishing is day dreaming about how I am going to go out and catch the biggest or the most next time I go. Rarely does that happen. But the thrill of the hunt and the desire to try new things makes most trips fun whether or not I catch many fish. As far as the computer modeling, that is just an extension of my desire to understand what is happening and why.

With largemouth bass I don't really worry too much about overfishing them. Old Hickory and many other lakes have very healthy populations of fish thanks to the great management of TWRA. (I don't work for them)

Here are a few stats about the lake. It is about 22,500 acres. If I can eliminate 90% of the unproductive water there will still be 2500 acre spread out in the lake that could hold fish. Most really good bass fisherman already know how to do this. But remember there are also, catfish, striped bass, white bass, sunfish, and crappie among others to catch and it takes a really great fisherman to know where all of these different fish are at any time. So maybe it will really spread the fishing pressure out to a wider variety of fish.

And finally, does this change fishing pressure? Maybe a little, but the estimates for Old Hickory fishing effort are staggeringly high already. There are approximately 200,000 fishing trips each year accounting for almost 900,000 hours of fishing effort. There are some 500,000 largemouth caught each year with 40,000 being kept.

Part of the fun of fishing is trying new things. New lures, new tackle, new lakes, new techniques and talking about them with your friends. This is just another new thing to play with that hopefully adds some enjoyment to those who like to know why the fish are doing what they do.

Thanks for your comments, I am really interested to see what everyone thinks.

Take care,
Jim

Travis C.
02-15-2011, 10:32 PM
I can see both sides of the coin here. My family has been in the fishing realm for a long time from having friends that fished in the first of Mr Scott's Classic's to my grandfather designing some of Bombers boats to his brother patenting the first ever plastic worm rattles. From a tech perspective anything in your boat or on your boat is a product of technology or "inventions." It can all be considered an advantage over the old time way of doing things. Even go back to the early 90's and boats came with 24lb thrust trolling motors brand new. Can you even imagine that now? That won't even pull some of todays boats. Tech is needed to go forward.

As far as the software Jim is working on, yeah it does eliminate a lot of the learning curve but you still have to be able to apply it on the water. Once you put in your time and gain experience you can do what the software does by looking at a topo and knowing the tendencies of what your after. That is ultimately what those old timers are doing that you see on the water. Lots of experience, trial and error. Regardless of how you came to the decision to fish where you are planning to fish there is still a human factor involved to catching.

It is living thinking predator versus living thinking predator and a computer program can't change that. I remember Rick Clunn talking about this and he said, "We tend to think fish aren't smart due to the size of their brains but if intelligence is measured in using all of your senses to the fullest potential then fish are very smart."

For me my goal is to maximize my time that is spent out on the water. I want to be as effecient as possible since my time is not unlimited out there. I think that is the goal of every angler. Even the weekend rec angler whom may not be fishing tournaments is still strapped to a window he/she has to fish and they want to get the most out of the time on the water.

If this means using a program to help eliminate factors then I am going to use it as a tool but not stop learning by just having that in my corner. The more you can get in your favor the better your odds are to have an enjoyable experience on the water....never stop learning.

Jim
02-15-2011, 10:38 PM
Very well said Travis.