As many of us do, before a day of fishing we "tackle twitch."
My routine usually means emptying my tackle box and re-packing things. Hooks here. Lures there. Feathers in the case. Leader material in that section. Line up all the blue lures there and the silver lures in that compartment. Then, stand back. Look. Change them all around again. My wife says it's the man's equivalent to a woman arranging her shoes in her closet.
Lately, however, I have a special section in my tackle bag. For gadgets and gizmos. Mexican cell phone. Regular cell phone. U.S. blackberry. Digital camera. Mini-marine radio. GPS. Underwater mini-video cam. Ipod with earphones and mini-speaker system. (waterproof naturally).
Of course, with all the proper cases and cords. Extra batteries. extra memory cards. Plus the proper cases to keep them dry. I even have a mini-solar panel to charge them all up if, heaven forbid, I get washed up on some Baja beach and there's no hotel in walking distance!
This last week while "tackle twitching" I loaded up and hefted it on my shoulder. Holy caballito...that's danged heavy! Do I really need this stuff?
I set it down off my aching shoulder then remembered..."Hey, what about my new iPad? Can't forget that either!
Hmmmm...that would be "chingon" to be out there on the panga and be able to check the weather; scan satellite water images from Terrafin and even...hehehehe...watch youtube; check who's writing to me on Facebook; look at sports; read the new novel I just downloaded. Maybe even work on my next column! My brain nuerons tingled and toyed with the idea. Wow. Love it.
But wait a minute...that means another set of plugs...waterproof bomb-proof case...blah blah blah...
I sighed. Where was I going to put this? Carry an extra backpack? Oh duh...uh...this is a fishing trip. When will I have time to use all this stuff? When I'm working on the water, my hands are full. Who am I kidding?
So, I started unpacking.
Don't need the solar panel (what the heck was I thinking?) Don't need three cell phones. That's what voice-mail is for. Leave the iPod and all it's attachments. I'd rather have some good conversation and there's no sweeter music than a fishing reel that suddenly goes off humming to a big fish.
Ditch the iPad idea. I can check the weather by simply looking up and seeing the sun. OK, got it. It's gonna be a sunny day! I don't need more information than that. I don't need ten satellites and an HD screen to tell me that. Simple. If it's windy, put my windbreaker back on. If it's rainy...well...it doesn't rain in Baja anyway.
GPS...I guess we can leave that too. It's not like we're going 100 miles offshore. The fish are in 30 feet of water about 1/2 a mile down the beach from where we park the car. I don't need way points to get back to the car! I can still see the car from the panga!
After doing that...wow...it was ALMOST like fishing again!
I have to remember to leave more of the junk at home. In it's time and place, this is all useful and great to have. But no matter how small the gadget it still comes with wires, cables, cases, chargers...all the accessories. SO MUCH not needed to have a great day on the water!
Look up. Enjoy the sunshine. Hear the rush of the water as the boat moves. The hum of the motor. The smell of the salt. The taste of the cold beer and a bag of tortillas chips passed around. See some smiles. Hear some jokes. Tell some stories. Feel the fiberglass and wood vibrating under your feet. Listen for the clicker to go off!
Back to basics. It's pretty simple. Low technology.