Is Technology Killing Fishing?

By: Joseph Simonds on August 20, 2019
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is technology killing fishing

This is going to be a fun one!

New technology is a hot topic in any industry, and fishing is no different…

We did a webinar recently that was all about finding the best fishing spots using online maps.

Ninety-five percent of the feedback was outstanding… most anglers not only learned a lot but absolutely loved learning about all of the cool hidden tools that you can use to find new spots using online satellite maps.

However, we also got a few negative comments (mostly from salty old fishermen who apparently still use cane poles and mono line) telling us that technology is ruining the sport of fishing.

Specifically, they were saying that they had to learn the hard way and now we’re giving weekend warriors a shortcut.

But here’s the deal:

Using online maps (new technology) is a shortcut to spending hours on the water looking for a good fishing spot.

In the same vein, using a Power-Pole (new technology) is a shortcut to picking up and dropping a heavy, noisy anchor.

Same with fish finders (which is a type of technology).

A good fish finder is certainly a shortcut to quickly understanding what the bottom looks like below your boat or kayak (and much more efficient than sticking your head under with a mask).

But most would say that neither Power-Pole nor fish finders are hurting the sport of fishing, right?

If anything, these technologies in fishing help you ENJOY fishing more.

But where do we draw the line?

Well, Luke and I are decided to dive deep into this topic on the podcast today and we have some special announcements about some fun things coming up, too!

Since we do a lot of screen sharing in this episode, I’d definitely recommend watching the video version of this podcast, but you can also listen to it by clicking the play button below the video, or on iTunes, Stitcher, or Spotify.


Is Technology Hurting Fishing? [VIDEO]

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Is Technology Hurting Fishing? [PODCAST]

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Mentioned links:

➡ Smart Fishing Spots

➡ Webinar

Smart Fishing Spots

best fishing spots

Here’s the thing about fishing spots: they’re static.

Spots don’t move.

But fish do.

They’re moving based on the weather, time of year, tide cycle, and many other factors.

If you want to get great at finding “good fishing spots,” then you need to understand why fish move and where they’re likely to be.

You need to understand the trends.

And that’s why we created Smart Fishing Spots.

In this system, we dissect fishing spots via online maps and identify trends to help you know where and when the fish are most likely to be so that you can go and find a similar area near to fish near you.

And then, we go out on the water and share with you exactly where we fished, and what we did right and wrong on the trip.

Sounds pretty awesome, right?

If you want more information on Smart Fishing Spots, check out the link below

➡ Smart Fishing Spots

Smart Fishing Tides

best day to go fishing

Have you seen the Strike Score?

The screenshot above is from the Strike Score, which tells you when the best day to go fishing.

But we’ve got something even better coming.

We’re about to release Smart Fishing Tides, which is like the Strike Score on cattle steroids.

Here’s the problem…

If I’m going fishing I have one app for the Strike Score, one app for the radar, one app for the hourly weather, one app for tides, and one app for the map.

Smart Fishing tides will consolidate all of that information into one app, so you can quickly see everything you need to know in one glance.

Isn’t that sick?!

We’re releasing it soon, so stay tuned for updates on that!


Hope you enjoyed that episode!

What are your thoughts on technology and fishing?

What is cheating?

Where is the line?

Do you know of any products that are crossing that line?

Also, what are your thoughts on Smart Fishing Tides and Smart Fishing Spots?

Let us know in the comments below!

If you want to watch the webinar mentioned in the episode, you can click here, and if you want to join the Insider Club and get Smart Fishing Spots, click here.

P.S. Know someone who has a strong opinion about fishing and technology? TAG or SHARE this with them!

Do You Want To Quickly Find New Fishing Spots In Your Area?

Then you’ve got to see this private fishing club!

Here’s what you’ll receive today:

  • Weekly fishing reports and TRENDS revealing where the inshore fish are feeding all year long
  • Weekly “spot dissection” videos that walk you through all the best spots in certain areas
  • Exclusive fishing tips from the PROS you can’t find anywhere else
  • Everything you need to start catching fish more consistently (regardless if you fish out of a boat, kayak, or land).

Click here to join today.

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22 Comment threads
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24 Comment authors
James McKinneyRich DespaultRobert KnowlesDean CarterDan McNulty Recent comment authors
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James McKinney

Thanks guys. I am excited about the new features you talked about. I use at least two apps for every trip and some times more. Having it all in one place is consolidating tech that already exists in a more usable format. I am so glad I joined and became a member of this community of truly nice helpful members, When we share – we all get better at this and have more fun- That is the point Right?

Richard Drspault

Excellent Podcast. Personally I don’t see the guides complain about using the 12″ or 32″ GPS screen with the latest and greatest update from Navionics with side shoot sonar at a cost of $2,000 to $4,000 . Both gives you a great advantage in finding fish. Same as using free on line maps.

Robert Knowles

A drone is just being lazy. It’s no different than shooting deer in a pen. If you have a drone zoning in on fish it is more than 50% of the task. That’s more like 90. And I could tell by the way Luke danced around drones he doesn’t like them either. But if what you guys are providing the public is considered cheating, then students shouldn’t be allowed to study for a test. Salt Strong is teaching you how to find fish, a drone is finding fish. But I will add, most of the guys who use the drones, don’t keep the fish, they are CPR (catch photo release). We all just need to be better stewards of the resources we have. Look at some of Tony’s post, you sometimes see a black bag in his kayak, it’s trash that he has picked up. That has me doing it. We all should. Great podcast.

Dean Carter

Absolutely not…No different from advancing from hand lines to cane poles to fiberglass rods to graphite rods, etc, etc, etc….sort of a ridiculous argument, respectfully, by all means.

Daniel McNulty

Luke hit it one the head. Tech isn’t killing fishing…POLLUTION IS! Clean water and regulations regarding commercial fishing has the ability to restore our fisheries……I look forward to the day that we have trouble finding a spot with our on line maps that isn’t overcrowded with fisherman because the fish population is back.

Sybren D Smith

I would like to point out one simple fact of our human heritage:

“Technology” is what put us at the top of the food chain.

Before the very first stick was sharpened and used to spear a salmon in a stream by our “less technologically inclined” ancestors, WE were the prey.

Since those times, we now know how to hunt and harvest anything on the planet that we want – because of technology.

So as long as we manage the wildlife that we have control and superiority over, it’s not the technology that we control and keep improving that is a bad thing.

The thing that we need to learn how to control is ourselves. We are the stewards of our planet now because of technology. Tech is a good thing…when used judiciously and in moderation. Just because we CAN catch and kill every fish we find, doesn’t mean we should.

Enjoy the sport and keep it alive! (y)

Nick Strickland

To a degree I believe it is detrimental to fishing. Between technology and population we get “easier” and LOT more taking part in fishing. However…in all my years I still believe 10-15% of fishermen catch 90% of the fish. Those aren’t the folks going for pot luck. They dont just go fish, they target specific fish.. But theres also a lot of new people here that catch and take fish I consider a nuisance or bait, home to eat. Fish I would have never guessed would be pressued or need limits. So I think the tech does make an impact but I think the amount of people now fishing might be the bigger threat because the majority of them dont have a target. They want any fish. Just my opinion.

Andy Benedict

Fishing poles, reels, nets, boats, depth/fish finders, on-line maps and yes, Salt Strong are all tools to help people catch fish more efficiently, effectively and with greater ease for the purpose of fishing success and enjoyment. These things are the direct result of advancements in technology. It’s inevitable. I appreciate what Salt Strong has provided me as a busy guy who likes to fish. Now I’m doing it better and I LOVE to fish in great part to the success I’m having because of what I’m learning. I appreciate the tool you provide and the enjoyment I receive because of it.

Andy Benedict
Brentwood, TN

Paul Di Candia

Cheating? Technology is about efficiency! That is why is has been created… to make us more efficient. Those that do not understand it, or take the time to try learn it, are the ones that will complain (In reality they are letting themselves be left behind/disadvantaged). Work smarter, not harder… Always!

Norman Black

I’ve had more fun fishing because I joined Salt Strong three years ago. It’s great to
Use the the maps and find new spots and then actually catch fish. It’s a since of accomplishment
That adds to my ability to have fun fishing. I’m a 71 year old Florida boy and I’ve fished all of my life
You e made my love of fishing fun again.

John Martin

What about relationships with love one. Where time is precious . So, just to catch a little more you have helped but all in all if a balance life with many needs keeps me off the water. So, without you I would know nothing. Finding fish on my northern lake is dame hard to find them and then get them to bit.
Only a few catch fish all the time. Many catch nothing most of the time. Just love being out there when time allows. You are great entertainment. And I enjoy
you guys. You do great things for me .Technology has to be learned by me the hard way . Casting is getting better, but takes much time to be like you. I once caught many fish hear but not any more. Is the the same in Englewood Florida.
John Martin

Stephen Rothman

Technology is never good or bad. It’s how it’s used. I fished for 20 years in the surf and deep sea without gps or fish finders or google maps, but now I’m fishing Estero Bay and Mullock Creed and just love Google maps. But it’s sickening when you hear about the Japanese commercial fleet tracking Bluefin tuna by helicopter and then catching then in these huge boats. If you can use technology to help grow more fish also, it gets better. I sometimes think could we make some dedicated areas where we breed and release popular game fish, and then let people come in and catch them, but it’s only catch and release, or you have to pay per fish, so we are not depleting the wild stocks as much. It’s a good debate. But the bottom line is that technology is not bad, but we have to care about the fish stocks and the environment. Not just catch and release, but knowing how to release a fish without injuring it. I’m not a guide, but I’ve generally been impressed that most guides I have been with really seem to care about the fishery and preserving them for our children.

This is going to sound stupid, but what about making fish robots that you can then go catch. Sounds not close to nature, but hey, some people watch video games, which is even more artificial.

The main thing is to care about other living things; put ego aside; enjoy the beauty of the places that you fish.

By the way, if we don’t contain global warming, this discussion may become moot. We have to preserve the reefs.

Rob S

A very thoughtful and balanced presentation of the issues. IMO, recreational fishermen with more and improving technology are not “killing” or ‘hurting” the fishery, especially given the dizzying array of rules and regulations protecting sought after species. Today, so many caught fish are released unharmed due to regulations, greater emphasis on sportsmanship, or water quality concerns about eating them. An influence that balances out technology advantages is the much stricter federal and state recreational regs that have evolved over my nearly 70 year life. Compared to today’s use of technology by recreational fishermen, natural habitat destruction (e.g., elimination of mangrove forests & seagrass meadows, dredging, massive near shore and inshore affluent discharges over many years, and other negative human impacts tied to large increases in the coastal population) as well as commercial fishing practices (including those that are now outlawed) have had far more negative impacts on the fisheries. I’m amazed that the damage to our fisheries have not been more severe given what they’ve adapted too.

Concerning the boisterous few, I suspect these guides use all sorts of technology without giving any thought about the “unfair” advantage they have over others and pressure they place on the fisheries given the time spent fishing. The recreational fisherman who only has limited time to fish is not going to come close to the number of fish caught by a competent guide who does this for a living. I don’t see much difference if one learned secret spots or catching techniques from a mentor or another guide sharing information versus someone willing to share knowledge through a video or podcast. I doubt the technology concern is an issue for those guides who are very good at catching fish.

While not suggesting NOAA Fisheries is the only research one should consider, it’s interesting of the 479 fishery stocks tracked, the overfished list is near an all-time low. Based on my non-scientific observations, the fish stocks that are not commercially fished (e.g., snook, redfish, tarpon) seem fairly strong other than negative hits from polluted water that have nothing to do with technology.

Just hope you guys and Tony keep up the good work in helping educate the SaltStrong community.

John Hardiman

Great job guys!!! I’m so glad you guys do what you do, my wife and I have become a lot closer after joining and learning how to fish with a passion!! Something we both now love!! Don’t ever slow down!!

Matt LaTorre
Matt LaTorre

I don’t think technology is killing fishing but I think it should be used with caution for navigation. I listened to the podcast today and heard Luke’s story of navigating in the dark with the basic iPhone maps. That may work in areas without a lot of tidal flow that aren’t prone to shifting and silting in. Those maps aren’t always right up to date, and who knows how accurate the GPS position of your phone actually is in correlation with the maps. I know up here in South Carolina where we have 5-7 ft tides, sandbars, especially near inlets are very prone to shifting after a big spring tide or after a storm. Nothing will replace knowing how to read water if running the shallows, or knowing how to use a compass and paper map if fishing offshore. At some point your technology may fail and if that is all you know how to use, you might find yourself in a tough spot.

Daniel Cummiskey

I can take my kids fishing and actually catch fish we target. Thank you.

Greg and Cindy Batchelor

definite like…………… need to defend, justify, never cheating! Technology is in every sport like Joe said. You still have to execute whether it is fishing, golf or even a sport that I entered as a pro for awhile, bowling…..yes bowling. It’s about creating memories and Salt Strong defines that, whether you are a guide, or a week”day” warrior. Cudos Joe and Luke.


Habitat loss causes way more damage than some family catching and releasing some fish.


Technology does not kill the fishing. While it helps us locate spots where the fish “ might or should” be, we still need the skills and smarts to catch them. Also, more and more of us are Catch and Release or keep only 1 meal fisherman in order to prevent hurting the population. Modern catch limit conservation and regulations also help preserve and protect the fish population. Technology today is just fine… if ever we sportsmen reach the point of using technology to kill or harvest fish without actually having to catch them… that will be a different story.

Phillip Butler

Technology is an advantage, but it doesn’t put fish in the boat. You still have to catch them, which is often still easier said than done. It’s like saying advances in golf equipment are ruining the game. You still have to know how to pick the right one and properly swing those expensive clubs to hit the expensive ball. Yeah, a range finder will help you, but it doesn’t put the ball in the cup.

Amy Dykes

Thank you. It’s still a challenge even with the electronics. It cost a pretty penny to go offshore fishing and with the limits I say do what you can. All and all it’s fun, relaxing and entertainment. Love your topics. Keep up the good work.

Philip Arnold
Philip Arnold

I own Rovon Technology.
If people are thinking satellite imagery is cheating..then they are gonna lose their poop when they find out about our technology.
Wasting time on non biting sites are now a thing of the past.