For finding fish, newer not necessarily better

Published 12:00 am Saturday, July 27, 2002

It seems there is no end to the high-tech fishing gear a person can buy today, from reels that digitally tell you how much line you have out, PH monitors, GPS’s, to actually being able to watch the fish on television. If I want to see fish on TV I will watch Tony Dean or Babe Winkelman. Somewhere along the line it seems like we have gone over the edge trying to get the edge.

I started out with an old &uot;Green Box&uot; Lowrance locator, you know the one, it’s the one everyone always says &uot;now that was a locator.&uot; Well mine was an exception to whatever rule there was that said they were a great locator.

I bought mine from my Uncle Ben. He had it stashed in his garage for a couple of years but never used it because he had never told Aunt Marcie that he bought it. When she passed away he decided that he really didn’t have a use for it anyway and asked me if I wanted to buy it. He gave me a real deal on it, or so I thought at the time.

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The first time I ventured north with my new locator it worked about 1 1/2 days then quit. I sent it in to an electronics repair place in the cities and after a bill of about $30 I was all set. We went up north, turned it on and it worked! Great! Two Days later it quit. I sent it back to the place and they &uot;fixed&uot; it again and it only cost me postage that time. This time it worked great the first two times I took it with me fishing locally. I figured I was finally set.

We went to Spider Lake on a family vacation with my &uot;working&uot; locator in tow. I put the boat in, hooked up all things necessary to find and catch fish and we were set. This time it didn’t even make it through the first day before the flasher part quit working again. I wanted to administer last rites then and there but, with a little persuasion from my family, we decided I should send it to the company rather than clutter the bottom of the lake with useless junk.

Not having the locator wasn’t all bad because I relied on the old rules of thumb I was taught by my mom and my Uncle Ben when I was growing up.

When trolling, go along the weed edges and follow the contour of the shoreline. Drifting with Little Joes and spinners always works well and vertical jigging by dropping it to the bottom and then reeling up a couple of turns is another good one. Casting is self-explanatory. Believe me, most of these work today. Simple and uncomplicated sometimes are better ways to fish.

After this vacation was in the books, the &uot;box&uot; was sent to the manufacturer.

I had sort of forgotten about it until one night when my friend Bob stopped over to talk about going fishing on the weekend. A UPS truck pulled up and handed me a box. I tore the paper off it and there was a box with the picture of a new Lowrance Flasher. Bob said, &uot;It pays to send it to the company, they sent you a new one.&uot; The excitement was really at a high pitch as I tore open the box and dug past the packing and, there looking up at me from this new locator box was the old &uot;Green Box&uot;. Attached to the &uot;box&uot; was a note from the company saying the motor was shot and they no longer made them. Not even a &uot;sorry&uot; or a &uot;too bad,&uot; just a no longer being made and goodbye.

To say I was disappointed would be a drastic understatement. To say what I said at that point would not be suitable for family reading.

I have since had good luck with other locators. My favorite is still my Silent 30 flasher by Eagle.

Every time the &uot;box&uot; comes up in a conversation and someone starts bragging one up, the hair on the back of my neck stands up. That’s when I start tensing up, fearful that I might say or do something that I would regret.