RE: Balog on Saginaw Bay BTP – Joe, I really enjoy your articles, but I believe this one may be a little quick to give it all to the sonar guys based off one tournament. Had the wind not shifted and KVD's smallmouth spot not been blown out, we may have seen a very different ending. Would that mean that old-school would go back to dominating everything? Definitely not, anymore than technology will dominate everything going forward. Yes, it is a huge factor, especially in smallmouth tournaments. But 3rd place in AOY for the Bass Pro Tour was Ott Defoe, who by his own admission has not committed fully to the forward-facing sonar deal. Over on the Bassmaster Elite Series, the top two guys in AOY are both shallow-water, old-school flipping, frogging, topwater guys; as is the 4th. Sure, the remaining two tournaments over there set up well for the video game fishermen, but they will have a 40-point deficit to overcome in order to win the title.
I expect that when the dust settles there will be a balance struck between the technology and conventional angling. The tech will drive a lot of guys offshore and the Lanes and Defoes of the sport will find their fish less pressured. There are indications that bass may even be becoming sensitive to FFS in deep water and if so they will be even more so in shallow, where guys have been turning off their electronics for years to avoid spooking them. As the pressure increases offshore, more bass will move shallow to avoid said pressure, the same way they did the opposite decades ago.
I may be wrong. I hope I'm not and maybe you do too. But I think it may be too early to throw in the towel on good old-fashioned fishing just yet.