The fisherman's equivalent of getting the phone number of a gorgeous woman is a set of accurate GPS coordinates.
Admit it, you're in seventh heaven when a buddy finally breaks down and starts repeating numbers that mean nothing on their own. And entering them into your GPS is much like make that first phone call. There's anticipation; a bit of apprehension, and some doubt (are they real?...).
Before the dawn of GPS, a lot of fishing information (and phone numbers) were shared on paper napkins, usually next to a beer logo. That's how it happened recently while I was in Hayward, Wisconsin, home to the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame (www.freshwater-fishing.org, the Moccasin Bar (home of the world record muskie www.youtube.com/watch?v=lsmJpFxdZ54) and some of the finest smallmouth bass fishing in the world.
Over dinner, the hall's Executive Director Emmitt Brown and I shared fish stories with a couple fishing buddies, when the topic of area lakes came up. Emmitt recommended one, and when pushed for more information he followed a time-honored tradition of anglers everywhere-he broke out a pen and reached for a semi- clean napkin.
The map he drew was completely out of scale and wildly inaccurate, but it was good enough that early the next morning as I eased my way into the secluded bay he recommended, I knew exactly were I as going and what I would find when I arrived there.
I have another napkin tucked away that highlights a great place to take sturgeon. I'll pull it out next April when I break out my box of lay-flat sinkers and 5/0 hooks!
Communication today is changing rapidly, but that doesn't mean the old methods aren't still effective.