Since I'm sitting here overlooking a very large lake, and get to visit a fairly big Marina if I want to, I'm able to see a lot of boats come and go and one of the things that stands out to me is the modern fisherperson, I don't think you're allowed to say fisherman anymore, is absolutely obsessed with gigantic outboard motors.
Now I can understand why the competition fisherpeople want to fly across the lake at 100 miles an hour and fish as many Bass rich areas as possible because their livelihood depends on catching as many fish as possible in a short amount of time. But the people I'm seeing zipping across the lake are not competing against anyone they just look like a normal family with four or five fishing rods in the rod holders going fishing on a Sunday afternoon except they have twin 250 hp Merc's hanging on the transom.
Warning! I'm about to regress into the foggy, misty, past that's based on a memory that can't Even remember what I had for breakfast this morning.
Back in the day when I was a kid a 40 hp motor was considered a BIG outboard motor, and most people had something more like a 10 or 12 hp motor that pushed their 14 foot aluminum boat across the lake as fast as they needed to go and with any luck might even get up on plane if they had a tailwind.
I remember the first time I got in a 16 foot fiberglass boat that had a 40 horse Evinrude on the back and it reached speeds that scared me, partially because of how fast it went but also because lakes in the South frequently have stumps sticking out of the water or logs floating just under the water, and hitting either one of those things was an expensive, fishing trip ending experience.
I don't recall catching any more fish in the fast boat than I did in any other boat. In fact it seemed like mostly what we did was move from place to place without spending much time actually fishing. I do remember it was the first boat I'd ever been in that had three of those red portable outboard motor gas tanks, the kind that you have to squeeze the rubber bulb in the fuel line to prime the motor. Most folks just had two, one to use and one as a spare.
A small outboard motor kind of fit into the whole fishing experience that was popular at that time which was one of relaxation, fun, quiet enjoyment, and catching something for dinner. But it appears to me that somewhere along the line the fishing experience changed dramatically and became one of competition, speed, one upmanship, conspicuous consumption, and stress. And the joy and pride of landing a big fish became how fast you can drag it into the boat and catch another one.
I know this is just the ramblings of an old geezer that has neither the desire nor the money to adapt to the modern age of boating. And since the last boat I owned before I went full-time was a 15 foot Grumman aluminum canoe with a homemade transom that I could put an electric motor on if I wanted to, certainly does not qualify me to judge anyone else's choice of boats. But you would be hard-pressed to convince me that fishing is more fun and relaxing feeding and fixing a pair of outboard motors that can fly across the lake at 110 mph guzzling 50 gallons of gas an hour in the process.