The way we fish is constantly evolving. With new technology popping up left and right, catching fish has become easier and much more efficient (although no less exciting). Meanwhile, more and more people are getting into the sport, and with that, we're seeing new attitudes towards fishing like using gear that's better for the environment. In this article, we'll talk about some of the hot and rising trends this year that are defining the future of our beloved sport.
Artificial intelligence is taking everything by storm, and fishing is no exception. In recent years, the power of AI has been harnessed to find fish more easily, track where fish are caught, monitor fish populations, spot illegal fishing, count the number of recreational vessels leaving a port or coastal pass, and even filter invasive fish species while allowing the passage of native species. There are ongoing developments in using AI to identify fish species as well using large image databases.
More focus on sustainability in materials and techniques
Cards on the table: This trend is close to our hearts. We've always made sure to use eco-friendly materials such as recycled plastic bottles to make our shirts. We also love to showcase some of the most amazing water creatures in our designs to help raise awareness about the importance of healthy ocean ecosystems.
Meanwhile, there are definitely some cool projects happening that focus on fishing and sustainability. For instance, Samsung is now upcycling discarded fishing nets and using them as phone parts. And of course, sustainable fishing practices like hook-and-line or pole catching, harpooning, the use of traps, using lead-free tackle, and targeting only abundant species have been gaining a larger following.
Now, let’s talk about a type of fishing that’s rising in popularity: microfishing. Microfishing takes the opposite route from what most of us are used to. That is, instead of aiming for bigger fish, it targets smaller ones. We’re talking fish like minnows, dace, darters, and sculpins, which are often overlooked in favor of larger, predatory species and lumped together under the category of "baitfish." The goal of microfishing, however, isn’t just to catch tiny fish, but to catch a huge variety of them using tiny hooks. Microfishers often jot down their catch in what is called a "life list" to keep track of how many they’ve caught so far.
Drones have been around for a while now, and anglers have realized how useful they can be for casting their lines and lures far out into the water, scouting for fish, or getting a good view of the water to look for signs of fish activity. This is called drone fishing, and it’s gained itself so many fans that some companies have started making drones specifically for fishing, complete with waterproofing and bait release systems. Take note, though, that some states have banned the use of drones for fishing. So, as always, be sure to check the fishing regulations wherever you’re fishing.
As the name suggests, camera-assisted fishing uses cameras to help anglers find and catch fish. This can include using underwater cameras to locate schools of fish or to monitor the behavior of individual fish, as well as using cameras mounted on fishing rods or lines to capture footage of the catch. One downside is that some cameras make sounds that can spook fish and don’t work very well in murky waters. Some think they can be used to exploit fish populations and disrupt the natural balance of ecosystems. Many of them are also pricey, especially compared to more budget-friendly fish finders.
Urban fishing, also known as community fishing, is fishing in the city or places near the city. Think stocked lakes, rivers, urban fishing ponds, man-made canals, or other urban waterways. It’s rising in popularity as a way for city dwellers to connect with nature. On the other hand, urban fishing can be a bit challenging as these city waterways don’t have a lot of fish species available, and some bodies of water can be quite polluted.
These exciting developments in fishing led by AI, the growing popularity of sustainability in gear, and the rise of niche fishing practices are all signs that while fishing has seen a lot of change over the past few decades, the desire to catch fish remains the same. As fishermen and women, it's essential to stay up-to-date with these trends and adapt to them in a way that aligns with our personal values and beliefs. Whether it's using eco-friendly gear or trying out a new type of fishing, the key is to always strive for a balance between having fun and being mindful of our impact on the environment.
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