With technology advancing at a rapid pace, the face of saltwater fishing will change in a big way. The next generation of recreational sportfishing vessels will not look anything like what you are accustomed to seeing today, nor will the game we all enjoy so much be played the same. With fish populations plummeting worldwide due to unprecedented demand for wild-caught seafood, competitive offshore anglers in search of big game will have to rely on space-age technology to locate and capture the remaining brilliant predators that have managed to survive the onslaught.
Fifty years from now, self-contained carbon fiber craft will be fully capable of submersion, allowing captain and crew to scour the surface and dive deep into the depths in their hunt for elusive game fish.
Fishermen will be completely encapsulated in a climate-controlled, oxygen-enriched environment, keeping them cool, dry and protected from the elements above and below the surface. Gas powered engines will be a thing of the past, with silent hydrogen turbines capable of unprecedented speed and nearly unlimited range providing the primary source of propulsion. Fishing trips will no longer be limited by distance or environmental factors, as highly competitive tournament teams will have to canvas entire coastlines in their search for a single winning fish.
Electronic suites will surpass anything mankind is currently familiar with. Occupants will be afforded complete situational awareness via a full-color, heads-up virtual display of the entire playing field in real time. Fish finding technology will utilize 360 degree sound waves and radar transmissions above, below and around the entire craft with the ability to identify a single target by size and species up to 100 miles away.
With positive identification verified, computerized tracking will commence and automatically guide the vessel to an optimum intercept point that will provide the most likely kill shot. With anglers using such advanced technology, the hunted have very little chance of escape.
Rods and reels are also a thing of the past. With a target locked in the crosshairs, a tethered harpoon is launched. The GPS-guided dart races through the dense seawater, tracking the fish’s every move while automatically compensating its course for perfect interception. Impact is inevitable.
On the surface, synthetic baits impossible to differentiate from the real thing will be presented with the use of autonomous drones. Fishing kites, outriggers, skirted trolling lures…all historic remnants from an age gone by.
Sound like science fiction to you? Consider that 50 years ago no one imagined that today we’d all be carrying a magical personal communication device that would go on to change the world. No one imagined electric cars, the Internet, space travel, stealth technology, or any of the additional innovations that have led us into the 21st century. By 2065 recreational sportfishing as we know today will be a thing of the past.