Guy Harvey Magazine

WIN 2017

Guy Harvey Magazine is focused on fishing, boating, scuba diving, and marine conservation. Portfolios from the world's best fishing photographers, articles on gear, travel, tournaments, apparel, lifestyle, seafood recipes, sustainable fisheries.

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60 | www.GuyHarveyMagazine.com BY NICK HONACHEFSKY It's an ever-shrinking world, and maybe too close for comfort. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram—they are all great outlets to showcase your fishing adventures, but I wonder if social media has made anglers lazy, unwilling to learn and downright mean in our community. I say this because 10 years ago, if I saw an angler on the beach, there was always a sense of camaraderie. "Catching anything? How are you making out?" Now when I see people walking by on the sand, it's usually a quick stare and a snub, because I may be fishing bait instead of plugs. We've begun to build walls. And I believe this can be directly attributed to the influence of social media platforms that foster an extremely warped sense of celebrity and egoism. Let me first address the gap in the learning process created by social media. At one time, anglers might meet local fishing legends at the tackle shop or on the beach or boat. They might talk over a cup of coffee and ask about the moon phases, the tide or baitfish. It was a personal experience and it fostered respect. On the other hand, social media drives instant gratification and an impersonal experience. Anglers hear about the latest hot spot or lure but may never learn why they are implementing a certain method. I'm not oblivious to the positive side of social media; it is a powerful tool for getting out information. But too many people just chase fishing reports. Fishing is not just about chasing the bite, it's also about learning a process. When it comes to learning something new, try taking the long way around every once in a while: the bayou less traveled, if you will. It could be good for your soul. You may not catch fish as fast, but you will be wiser when you do. The second factor I want to address is the tone of social media commentary, which, more often than not, is about bullying and promotes a separatist mentality. Case in point: the other day, I posted on Facebook about a 30-lb. striper I caught on a fresh clam in New Jersey during September—a perfect time to dial in clamming, if you know your waters. A guy remarked, "Who uses clams to fish in the fall? There's so much bait around. Dumb." Even though the guy's comment was totally inane, it still riled me up. How could an angler be so stupid? And what about others that may read his comment and be put off? Why couldn't he have opened up a discussion and perhaps learned something? "Wow, I didn't realize clams would catch fish in the fall," would have done the trick. BEING SOCIAL Some anglers love to troll—just don't be one on social media. We need to be a community that stays united and helps one another out.

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