Original Caption: Yelas (foreground) compares the crappie he caught on a spoon with one hooked at the same time on a mini-jig by Murray. November 1988, Arizona Republic, photo credit: The Arizona Republic – Barry Burkhart.

In light of the recent announcement by Jay Yelas of retiring from the tour circuit, it seemed appropriate to have him as the subject of this week’s historical news photo. In reality, it turned out to be a bonus when I was able to dig up this 1988 picture of Jay Yelas, along with John Murray, from an article on crappie fishing at Roosevelt Lake in Arizona.

Of interest in the article was the importance of graph technology at the time, in particular, the superiority of paper graphs to the newly developed LCR units that most were beginning to utilize. It seemed similar to the current ongoing debate around FFS/360/Live technology, and how the top pros really place value on such products.

Here are a few excerpts from the story:

“It required running the graph and looking. A flasher or LCD would be deceived by these fish. They would look like the bottom or a school of shad. Make no mistake, there are huge schools of shad that have no crappie with them.”

“A paper graph revealed the difference. By boosting grayline, it was possible to determine the bottom. At one point, the bottom appeared to be 20 feet shallower than it was. That 20 feet was solid fish. Only the boosted grayline showed that distinction.”

“Murray’s boat was broken. I offered to bring mine, which has a graph on the console. But he wanted a graph at the trolling motor, too, so Yelas used his boat. The guy running the trolling motor looks for the fish, and he needs a paper graph. My three-dimensional LCD wouldn’t work.”

The paper graph, technology that’s nearly 50 years old, is still the highest resolution 2-d technology that’s ever been developed.  It had over 2100 pixels per square inch where the top chart recorders today only have about 900 pixels per square inch.