1986 ad for the Universal 3-90 Depth Talker 1. Don't bother looking for the Depth Talker 2 ad.

As Terry has documented previously, there have been plenty of examples of electronic gadgets that never caught on with the general fishing public. In addition to the BassTronics Pro-Guide, some others include the Color-C-Lector and various forms of pH monitors.

Combing through the December 1986 issue of Bassmaster, I found another: the Depth Talker. This unit could be connected to any brand of depthfinder and would then “announce the depth at regular intervals.”

Supposedly, this would free you to keep your eyes on the water as you piloted either the big engine or your trolling motor, enabling you to focus on the path ahead of your boat and/or your presentation with a rod and reel.

Maybe it had some value, but this piece of equipment never caught on. Perhaps it would have been more marketable if they’d made signature series models in the pros’ voices. Roland would introduce each depth reading with “Son!” AMart would start it off with “Dude.” Bill Lowen would ask why you’d even consider fishing deeper than 5 feet.

The whole thing reminds me of the old Eddie Murphy routine about his talking car:

“My car talks, man. I got one of those 1982 Datsuns. You leave your lights on, the car say- *dooo* ‘Lights are on.’ It does. I take a girl out, I leave the lights on on purpose, you know? Get out of the car, car say- *dooo* ‘lights are on.’ Girl say, “Did your car say somethin’?” I say, “Yeah, it did.”
I bought it from my neighborhood though, got a different rhythm to it. You leave your lights on, car say- *dooo* “Say, man, you lef’ yo’ lights on!’ ‘I said yo’ lights is on, man! What the ****- you blind and deaf? Turn off yo’ ******’ lights!” I got in the car the other day, turned the key, car say- *dooo* Hey, man! Somebody stole yo’ battery! I say we go get the ************!”