Fish Brain App:
My Take on FISHBRAIN
By Eric Allee
My first impression of FISHBRAIN was immediately negative. The idea of an app allowing folks to blow up smaller bodies of water didn't sit well with me and honestly still doesn't sit well with me. Instead of getting on here and ranting about how an app was going to ruin every small body of water in Colorado I decided to try and give it an honest look...before ranting.
After signing up which was easy enough I decided to play around with the map functions. It's actually pretty cool you can go through the map and either press on a body of water or an individual catch and get more information. The big blue icon with the fish indicates a body of water and the little yellow blips are where anglers caught an individual fish.
FISHBRAIN has user submitted pics on almost ALL of my smaller lesser known neighborhood ponds. Again my knee jerk reaction is to cuss the makers of this app for giving people the platform to share information on ponds that took some of us years to find. Selfishly I'm worried that my personal favorite spots could be fished out by the masses by an app that reveals what many people feel is too much. After my worry subsided I found myself spending quite a bit of time exploring via the map and finding a few bodies of water that could be worth a look or two. My take on the map function is overflowing with hypocrisy as much as I wanted to hate this app from the get go scrolling through the map and looking at fish caught is fun and informative.
I spent the better part of a month occasionally scrolling through the FISHBRAIN app and one thing I noticed was tons of pictures of young anglers sharing pictures of their catches with each other. As much as I hate smaller bodies of water being talked about on any internet platform seeing these young anglers smiling from ear to ear and commenting back and forth with each other is flat out awesome. I'd hope these youngsters would be out fishing regardless of an app, but who knows maybe the communication with each other via the app is what motivates them to fish more. I know when I was younger whenever I wanted to talk fishing with anyone around me the problem was most of my friends didn't fish. I can't imagine how excited I would have been to be able to share pictures of my fish and fish stories with kids my age that would actually appreciate it, and then seeing their pictures and reading their stories... okay if FISHBRAIN was around when I was a kid I would have been all over it. When it comes to getting kids fishing and making it fun FISHBRAIN has done an amazing job even if it was unintentional.
Although the majority of fish I've seen posted on FISHBRAIN have been well handled and if harvested well within an anglers legal limits I've also seen quite a few poorly handled fish, fish harvested from catch and release only bodies of water, and some pictures of anglers keeping too many fish and then bragging about it. The Colorado anglers on FISHBRAIN are quick to call folks about for making a mistake and sharing it, but like anywhere else on social media that can mean anything from a polite reminder of the rules to an all out bashing. Overall I think the people that do post on FISHBRAIN give a pretty accurate representation of the anglers in the state of Colorado. The resounding majority are great sportsmen and women who love the outdoors and respect each other and our shared resources, but there's also a handful turds out there, and of course a few special turds that can only be described as "that guy" that can suck the fun out of everything with his insistent need to instigate and argue.
After hearing from a handful of people that you can keep your locations private I decided to add a few pictures to the app this morning. A cutthroat and brown I caught this weekend. It was simple enough and pretty cool the I can see how some of this information would be useful if you logged each fish that you caught.... personally I'd also rather keep this information in a notebook instead of the computer. None the less it does a pretty good job here's a screen shot of the cutthroat picture information.
I'm conflicted with how I feel about the FISHBRAIN app. On one hand I hate the fact that this app will expose smaller bodies of water to the masses that haven't put in the work like we had to. When you fished countless seemingly fishless mud holes to find a handful of really special fisheries from the Fishing Close to Home Book you I feel like you respect the spots more. On the other hand the sense of community and getting kids excited about fishing is extremely positive.... I can't say thumbs up or thumbs down there are plenty of pros and cons... My hope here is I can have the best of both worlds the app can continues to connect anglers of all ages and get young anglers excited about fishing AND that the information on the app is too vast and the special spots some of us know and love get lost in a sea of yellow blips.
If you haven't checked out the app yet I'd give it a look and prepare yourself a bit. You'll yell at your phone when you see you and your friends aren't the only ones that fish your spot. You'll get dry heaves when you scroll through pictures of bass of all sizes kept. You'll laugh and smile when you see little dudes smiling from ear to ear taking a selfie with fish to send to their buddies on the app.... Like I mentioned above I'm conflicted with how I feel about FISHBRAIN, but to add some more hypocrisy to this post it's now a part of my scouting process for new spots.