Quiet day on water gives way to beeps, ring tones

Published online: Jul 20, 2010 News Bryan Basher - www.commercialappeal.com
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There's a new plague sweeping the sport of bass fishing, and I'm as much to blame for it as anyone.

It's known as the "cast-and-call" plague -- and if you use your cell phone from your boat for more than just life-threatening emergencies, you're probably guilty of it, too.

Bass fishing used to be a wonderfully secretive sport -- to the point that people would stop casting on their favorite fishing hole as another boat went by to keep other boaters from seeing something important and spreading the word.

Friends who loved one another like brothers would lie to one another like dogs when it came to bass fishing just to keep the location of a good spot secret. Many anglers spent nights inside their garage painting marker buoys black so they could still use them to mark honey holes on the water without catching the attention of passers-by.

It was a fun game, in a lie-to-your-closest-friend-in-the-world kind of way.

But it's all over now, thanks to the grand invention of the cell phone.

These days when a bass fishermen gets hold of a six-pound largemouth with one hand, he's often using the other to dial one of his buddies before the fish is even in the net.

After the calls are made and everyone has been patted on the back, Buddy No. 1 holds up the fish for Buddy No. 2 to snap a cell-phone pic that immediately goes viral.

Then when they're done, both anglers mark the location of the catch on their GPS units, and the big fish finally gets to swim free.

We'll get to the GPS in a minute.

But for now, let's stick with cell phones.

I could give you a dozen more glaring examples of the harm cell phones have done to a once-simple sport.

Read more at http://www.commercialappeal.com/news/2010/jul/18/quiet-day-on-water-gives-way-to-beeps-ring-tones/

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