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Love At First Bite

Let’s talk about vampires. First of all, they’re charming. You show me a vampire, and I’ll show you a guy who can sell himself. When you first meet a vampire, maybe at a party at a hip castle, he seems like a guy with a lot to offer. You might want to hang out with him. Vampires are sophisticated. They have cool names that begin with Count. Who isn’t impressed by a guy with a title? Vampires are convincing. They talk a good game. You never hear a vampire regretting being a vampire. In fact, they are big proponents of the vampire lifestyle. Vampires will spend a lot of time trying to convince you to join them. And why wouldn’t you? It would be fun. Disarming people with vampire charm and then biting them on the neck looks like a ball, frankly. And it would lead to some serious likes on social media. Look at that guy, people would say, he’s the life of the party!

I’m weighing the pros and cons of putting a side-scan unit on my boat.

As I see it, sIde scan has some real benefits. First of all, it is just plain cool as hell. For my entire life as an angler, I have been limited in what I can see. I mean, sure, polarized glasses help, but let’s face it, they only do so much, especially here in the Upper Midwest with our tannin stained water. It’s just about impossible to sight fish here. As a river angler, I have relied on years of water reading experience to find fish, but this is nothing compared to the almost supernatural powers a side-scan unit would give me. I could see fish where now I am blind.

Second, I could travel to new water and not have to put in the hundreds of hours it takes to figure out the fishery. If I could peer into every likely looking spot and know exactly what was there, just think of the trial and error I would avoid. Imagine the advantage I would have over anyone without side-scan!

Let’s imagine that Lefty Kreh was still alive and he and I went to a Wisconsin musky river neither of us had ever fished before. Pre-side scan, Lefty is going to outfish me, pretty much guaranteed. It wouldn’t matter if I had polarized glasses and he didn’t or if I had a graphite rod and he was fishing bamboo, all the smart money would be on Lefty kicking my ass. But if I had side-scan, well, that would change things wouldn’t it? I would see the muskies and Lefty would be blind casting. Despite his considerable skills, he would waste hours fishing holes with nothing in them, while every cast I made would be to a big fish. Game over, Lefty. Meet the new king.

One downside I can see to being a vampire would be that the party can’t last. Every time you bite somebody, you turn that person into a vampire. You bite a couple people at a party and make two vampires and then they bite two people and make two vampires and they make two vampires and so on. Pretty soon everybody is a vampire and whatever advantages were conferred by vampirism vanish. The once easy pickings would be gone and everybody would be competing for an ever dwindling supply of fresh necks. Being a vampire is now the new normal and the only way to get that old rush back would be if some new way was found to suck the blood of the undead and steal their corrupted souls. Pretty soon all the vampires would be trying to become super-vampires and that would be cool for a while until the inevitable result was achieved. A constant vampire arms race. It is much cooler to be a vampire when you are the only vampire. It is a lot less appealing when everyone has fangs.

The side-scan unit I would buy would be just the beginning, of course. The current technology is nothing compared to what it will be in the future. The images in the current generation are just a shadow of what they will be in a year two. Soon, every detail of every fish will be visible. Exact, to-the-inch numbers will be on the screen. You will be able to plug your rod into the unit and it will measure the energy of the rod and tell you exactly when your cast is spot on perfect. A few years after that, you will attach the rod to the unit and it will cast for you. It will be called something like Direct Rod Interface Side-Scan and you’ll just operate the whole thing with your phone, which of course, will one day be implanted directly into your cerebral cortex. All that will be required is that you net the fish and then hold it for the Instagram photo. The fish won’t stand a chance!

For now, I’ll order my side-scan on Amazon and pay for it using PayPal. It’ll arrive on my front porch during the day, while I’m not available to answer the door. To install it, I’ll spend an evening watching a YouTube video on my iPhone where a guy named Chad will talk me through the process. No doubt there will be an app for my phone that will allow the manufacturer to track me. I’ll make sure to position the screen where I can see it at all times while I fish.

The best defense I know against vampires is to never invite one into your home. No matter how much they knock and how charming they seem, they can’t get in if you don’t let them. The argument that everyone else is letting the vampires in and it’s a vampire world now and I have to join the living dead if I want to live is compelling, but ultimately not a good one. The “life” of vampires is one spent hiding out in coffins and waiting for the darkness. A vampire-filled world is not a better world. It is a world that becomes more lifeless and soulless with every vampire added. Even the vampires, somewhere in their corrupted souls, understand this.

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Geoff Roznak
Geoff Roznak
Dec 22, 2021

Entertaining, and humorous, as always. I have had side-imaging, in its Humminbird guise, since it first came out on the boats I use on lakes.

I don't use it to find fish, I use it to find structure and such to concentrate my time on spots withing a lake that are most likely to be productive. Trying to use it to find fish becomes an exercise in driving the boat around, which is not why I am out there...if I wanted to do that, I'd troll...

I can't see a transducer lasting very long on my drift boat - if it made it through the first trip I'd be impressed...but even so...rivers are pretty easy to read, if you pay unless…

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