A couple of years ago my long-time angling accomplice Bob Sherborne decided to launch a fishing website, Hookemnow.com
Sherborne’s idea was to get fishermen to participate by posting photos of their catches and sharing information about where the fish are biting.
I told him he was nuts.
I don’t know much about the internet but I do know something about fishermen, having infiltrated their ranks and observed them closely for some 60 years. One thing I’ve learned: they don’t share inside info.
If a fisherman finds a hot spot, he keeps it to himself. He’d duct-tape his grandmother’s mouth shut if he thought she was going to spill the beans about his favorite fishing hole.
Oh, he might confide in a fishing buddy or two – after eliciting a blood-oath to secrecy -- but he’s not going to post it on a website for all to see.
Getting a fisherman to reveal exactly where he’s catching fish would be like trying to get a pirate to tell where he buried his treasure.
Sherborne figured he’d also solicit inside information from area fishing guides, since that would give them a means of promoting their services.
Again, I told him he didn’t have a snowball’s chance in Hawaii of that happening. If a professional fishing guide told every Tom, Dick and Izaack Walton exactly where to go and what to use to catch fish, why would they need a guide? Plus, the guide’s favorite spots would quickly be fished out.
For a guide to divulge such information on a public website would be professional suicide.
But despite my misgivings, Sherborne forged ahead.
Now, entering its third season, Hookemnow is doing fairly well. Fishermen aren’t rushing to post inside information – just as I told Sherborne they wouldn’t – but the site provides an array of other services that attract interest.
There are detailed maps of all Tennessee lakes, for example, from East to West. You can click on the map of Old Hickory Lake and get a wide-range view that shows access roads to various areas. Or you can zoom in for a close-up of every nook, cranny and cove on the lake. Solunar Tables report daily peak fishing periods on each lake.
There is a Fishermen’s Forum on which anglers can discuss and debate current hot topics, such as the Corps of Engineers attempt to block boat access to area tailwaters.
The graphics are excellent – Sherborne is a talented techie – and the photos are a big hit. Fishermen never get tired of looking at pictures of fish.
I’ve suggested to Sherborne that he could spice up the site and attract viewers by getting swimsuit model Kate Upton to pose with a catfish. He says he’s working on it.
Meanwhile he continues to tweak and tune the website. I must admit it’s impressive and worth giving a look.
The only drawback is that it has created friction between two old fishing buddies who have shared leaky boats for over 30 years.
Awhile back we caught a bunch of big crappie, and Sherborne said he intended to disclose the precise location on Hookemnow.com as soon as we got home.
Last I saw of him, he was swimming toward the dock.