What would Buck Perry do? Would the father of modern fishing use LiveScope?

Hashing out the question of whether Buck Perry, the father of modern fishing, would use LiveScope if he was alive today.

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John Buoy (left), of LaGrange, with Buck Perry and a mess of fish from the April 1967 ”Fishing News” newspaper, long before it became “Fishing Facts.” Provided by “The Structure Cafe”

John Buoy (left), of LaGrange, with Buck Perry and a mess of fish from the April 1967 ”Fishing News” newspaper, long before it became “Fishing Facts.”

Provided by “The Structure Cafe”

Divining if Buck Perry would use LiveScope is like debating whether our Creator meets us in the hereafter.

“No way in hell,” said Spence Petros, Chicago’s greatest teacher of fishing and former editor of “Fishing Facts.” “He wouldn’t even use a good sonar. He used a really [crappy] digital one.”

Elwood “Buck” Perry is the father of structure fishing, even the father of modern sportfishing. He died at 90 in 2005. His ideas on fish movement live on through the fishing giants he influenced and the remaining spoonpluggers, his most devoted disciples.

“Short answer—not a chance—lol,” emailed Brian Waldman, who does “The Structure Cafe,” a wonderful spoonpluggers resource. “He’s probably turning over in his grave right now if he can see where sonar technology has gone. It makes for an interesting debate among the current group of remaining spoonpluggers, most of which have it on their boats now.”

Garmin’s LiveScope is “a live scanning sonar that provides detailed, easy-to-interpret images of fish swimming below [and] around your boat in real time.” It’s a modern-day miracle.

I waded into this mix of history and the most modern of fishing electronics with the Fish of the Week in mid-November.

Jerry Borst nominated Chris Angsten for his 52-inch muskie from a Canadian trip where four of them caught 51 muskies.

Borst snapped off his account, “I’ve been asked how do we make these catches, and I tell them, `Casting and trolling structure. We follow the guidelines of Buck Perry. No LiveScope required, lol!’ ”

I appreciate a good sideswipe, which tell truth better than a platitude in a worship service.

Well, JayPee Hey, who co-founded TightRope Fishing in 2013 with Ryan Whitacre, was first to respond on Facebook.

“Nice, but does he think Buck Perry would have not used [LiveScope] if it was available?!? lol,” he posted.

Mike Lynch, former bass fishing coach and former assistant football coach at Mount Carmel, soon posted, “Hey all the Buck Perry guys that I know that can afford (I can’t) LiveScope are using LiveScope. Why wouldn’t you? It’s an amazing tool!!”

Lynch also is one of the youngest spoonpluggers I know and well practiced in Perry’s techniques.

The head shot of Buck Perry that was used on most of the old National newsletters for spoonpluggers. Provided by “The Structure Cafe”

The head shot of Buck Perry that was used on most of the old National newsletters for spoonpluggers.

Provided by “The Structure Cafe”

The Bass Fishing Hall of Fame has Perry inventing the spoonplug in his North Carolina garage in 1946. They are “lures (tools) specifically designed to find productive structure, locate fish, and make them strike.”

To Perry, structure meant “The bottom of the lake extending from shallow water to deep water, with some unusual features that distinguish it from the surrounding bottom area.”

That includes humps, points (bars), saddles and ridges.

Structure, as Perry disciples archly point out, is not to be confused with cover, such as brush piles or drowned trees.

“The spoonpluggers that use it are not just driving around looking for fish on their sonar,” Lynch messaged. “They are still following Buck’s guidelines of structure, just getting a better picture of if fish are there or not and can move to other structures faster if nothing is there.”

He noted that Perry was really a teacher/coach.

“[Perry] was a piece of work,” Petros said. “I learned more things just having breakfast with him. He got napkins out and was drawing on them about points. He was at a different place and then you had these yo-yos with patches all over their asses.”

That’s a sincere sideswipe at professional bass anglers. But we digress.

Lynch summed it up, “If Buck was still alive, I doubt he would use it . . . if he was just starting now, he would 100 percent use it.”

A screen shot from Garmin’s YouTube video of LiveScope.

A screen shot from Garmin’s YouTube video of LiveScope.

A screen shot from Garmin’s YouTube video of LiveScope.

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