I stumbled across this meme the other night, and was curious what others thought.
No question that the Internet has focused more fishing pressure, more quickly, on waters where the bite is "hot" than ever possible in the past - that's got to be a negative as far as the fishery is concerned, though some anglers from a 'catching' perspective might view it possitively. Witness the smallie catches and related Facebook postings as a recent example. There is also the issue of fishing forums and forum reports. It was a big problem with stream pressure and naming rivers back in my smallie days, but more recently I've even watched the state crappie board basically become worthless this past year largely due to controversy and comments related to fishing reports, and the following lack of participation and postings to the board - dead. It seems all forums eventually end up in the dumpster if fishing reports are part of the equation.
However, on the other hand, there is no arguing that the Internet has made fishing tips and knowledge more accessible to anglers than ever before, which would seem to be at least somewhat positive. Tourney results can now also be had in a matter of days, unlike times past when you waited for a mailing, and then only those that fished knew what happened. Plus, let's not forget things like Google Earth and other mapping software that makes scouting lake and rivers much easier than ever before, possibly opening us up to finding new waters, or knowing our waters better. Another plus.
Angler behavior seems to stand on it's own as a separate issue apart from the Internet. Lazy anglers who just want to hop on the "bent pole pattern" have always been around, and always will be. Yes, technology has allowed this to happen easier, or even more frequently, but human nature hasn't changed much. There have always been those who go out and put in the work, and those who would rather just be taken to the holes. In that regard, the Internet is just another "tool" that makes it easier, or at least more convenient, for the motivationally challenged to practice their craft. But again, that's not a direct fault of the Internet, as much as a human behavior trait, in my eyes. Perhaps you could argue that the Inernet/Facebook/Instagram has created a culture of self-interest where anglers are willing to go to greater lengths to show off their catches to friends and competitors?
So "The Internet" - good, bad or indifferent in regards to fishing and fishing pressure on your waters?