Fishing and Life:
The Internet and Social Media
by Bruce Callis Jr

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Fishing has changed a lot in the last 50 years. The equipment we use has gotten so much better. And the baits have gotten way better for the most part. And the way we connect to other anglers has really improved.

In the old days, there was no internet, no YouTube, and the shows we see now didn’t exist. Bill Dance and Franc White were men that helped fashion the modern shows of today. We got our advice from going out and seeing other anglers at the Fishing Expos and other events. We got it from magazines like Bassmaster, Field & Stream, and others. When I was in Boy Scouts, we had a Youth Bassmaster Club and had anglers come in to talk with us and help. But today, so much has changed.

Today, we have the internet. We have the ability to look up how to tie a certain knot, what baits work in certain conditions, and just about anything. We can watch so many videos from so many sources. We have Bass University, YouTube, Pro Patterns, the Bassmaster Elite and the MLF anglers are producing so many how-to videos, and then there are the guys and women who have a YouTube channel that post videos on just about any subject we want to know about. And then there is the multitude of television shows that are available to us. We can watch a show or video anytime we want. Also, the many websites, like The BassCast, that we can turn to to keep us updated on events in our area, and across the country, and supply us with many articles on new products and baits and how to use them. Finally there is social media and the many ways it connects anglers from all over.

Social media has allowed us to talk with others that share our passion and learn techniques that work in different areas of the country. It has allowed us to learn about different products on the market like never before. Products that can help us in so many ways. And it has offered us a way to learn about our community and ways we can help improve it.

But it is the friendships that we have formed through social media that has really changed fishing in a positive way. And through these friendships, changed our lives. We can now talk with someone who lives in Texas and find out about a body of water, say Lake Fork, and find out what the fish are doing and what baits are working before we make the trip down to fish there. We can find out the weather conditions, the lake levels, the best places to eat and stay, and which boat ramps to stay away from.

And over the years, those friendships can become more. I’ve had the opportunity to talk with anglers from all across these amazing states and from around the world. Through them I have learned a lot and discovered some amazing secrets. And I have gotten to meet a bunch of them through The BassCast and from attending events like the Bassmaster Classic. And some have been so much more. Some have become a part of my life. We have been able to talk about fishing and life both through social media and over the phone.

And I have lost many anglers and friends that I have gotten to know well. The passing of my friend Robert Moreno from California was one such friendship that hurt deep inside. We may have never had the opportunity to actually meet, but that’s because time didn’t allow it to happen. We had made plans to meet as soon as we could, but we did not know that things would happen like they did. Their departure has left a void in my life. Friendships, true friendships, are hard to find. I have been truly blessed with many such friendships through fishing and social media.

Friends, true friends are hard to find no matter where. I’m blessed to have so many like Brian Carter whom I met through Facebook and now I actually help him here on The BassCast. And through Facebook and a fishing group, I met Tiffany Risch whom I had never met until the day we got to fish together. Her friendship has been one of those that changed me for the better. I could never find a better best friend. And then there is Jacob Stephens whom I met through The BassCast. He has become one of those special friends in my life. There are so many others too. Benjamin Jacobi, Billy Pau, Bill Lewis, Ron DeFreitas, John Crews and so many others too numerous to name, but I know them all in my heart.

Social media has changed the fishing industry and how we interact with others. It has changed how we learn about fishing and about how we met other anglers. For good or bad, social media has changed a lot of our lives. How has it changed yours?


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