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diver_sniper

What goes in your fishing log?

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I've decided that next season I'm going to keep a binder in my boat with some pre-made forms to record specifics about fish that I catch. The idea behind it is so that come tourny time, or anytime that I'm struggling, I can go back and see what worked for me in the past when conditions matched what I'm again facing at the given time. My memory is about as sharp as a rusty butter knife, so this is probably a good idea for me.

Here are the questions:

How in depth do you guys feel this should be done?

Do you think it should be done for all fish, or should small ones be disregarded?

What are a handful of the most important things that you think should be recorded about catching a good fish?

What are some specifics that you think are important that others might not think to consider?

Thanks for any input, fellas.

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I take pictures of every fish I catch, and list what bait and color it was, I'm hoping that after a while i'll be able to narrow down which baits and colors are producing the best, that way I know what my "default" will be when I get out somewhere

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Just as an FYI, there are a couple online fishing logs (free) that you can use to post this info, pics, etc.  One is called Fish Swami, another is Online fishermans log, or something  - if you googl eit, you'll find it.

Pretty cool tools.

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Fish swami is great i used it this year for the first time. It produces bar graphs for every thing you keep triack of. I also included google earth photos for all my places. It will send email reports to all of your fishing partners every time you enter a trip. All for free.

paragon

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record everything!!!!!water temp wind speed direction date time , water clarity,,I've done this in the past and having a point of reference does help

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location(cover, laydown, grass, etc)

Time and Date

Moon size

Barometric Pressure

Temperature

Size(weight and length)

Lure(action and depth)

Wind

Water conditions(clarity and chop)

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another vote for fishswami.com

I keep track of everything on the boat and then record it into fishswami once i get home.

It makes keeping track of information very easy and productive

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I take pictures of every fish I catch, and list what bait and color it was, I'm hoping that after a while i'll be able to narrow down which baits and colors are producing the best, that way I know what my "default" will be when I get out somewhere

I promise you will find a pattern.

You will catch on what you throw, during the time periods that you go

Unless you are constantly switching baits, colors, presentations, lakes, etc,.......your patterns will be predictable.

imo, FIND THEM and you can catch them on a majority of baits and colors

To make the log worth anything you need to add "percentage of usage" as a criteria.

In other words, if I ONLY throw a black spinnerbait all year, guess what the #1 top producing bait will be.  

BUT if you add that I used it 100% of the time, it now has a more detailed value.

another example

5000 casts were made.  1000 w/ a jig and 4000 w a spinnerbait.

in the end,....

jig= 50 fish

spinnerbait= 100 fish

if you don't add "percentage of usage", your charts will show the spinnerbait as a more productive bait.  Not true.

Another example.  Doug Hannon has "X" hundred bass over 10 lbs caught between 10am and 2 pm.  Doug does not fish at night.  Does this mean bass over 10 lbs only eat between 10-2?  Absolutely not.  

Data is inconclusive without using ALL the criteria

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Don't start next year start NOW.

3 ring binder blue pen and a red pen.

Theres no bad info.

Start with days you remember or tournament days date location weather at top of page.

Were you fished in blue pen leave spaces then in red pen the whys and how you did. If you fill the space turn page over and keep writing.

Remember no bad info. I've added things 5 years later.

I've tried the computer models and still like writing it out.

Now your next fishing day in blue pen Location,date, weather are prefishing tournament or on new lake and were you are going to try from experience or map study. When you get home in red pen make report.

Rick Clunn writes a report every 10 minutes of every practice day.

I use a mini recorder mostly on new lakes and the lakes I've fished alot, trying to stay in the now. I listen to the info on the way home from lake then transferr to binder.

Keep reading it, your mistakes will be repeated over and over and you will get tougher and tougher.

Garnet

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I have kept a log of all my fishing trips for the last 15 years. I just write it down. Time,place, wind, water temp, water clarity, baits, fish caught, I like the idea of a recorder though,I may staret doing that.

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This is all the information I have on my computer log.

1-Date

2-Time

3-Species (LMB/SMB)

4-Wind speed and direction

5-Water and air temperature

6-Water clarity

7-Water depth

8-Lure

9-Location

10-Sky conditions

11-Number of fish

12-Strikes missed

13-Size and weight

Falcon

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Don't start next year start NOW.

I would, but we have this pesky thing in the North country known as ice.  So I'll be spending the next 5-6 months only dreaming about the things I wish I could log.  :'(

Great info guys.  The percentage thing is one that I wasn't sure how to approach, but I'll have to do my best to at least get a good idea of percentage per lure and probably fish per hour on X lure or something like that.

Here's another thing I was wondering about.  Do you guys log every single fish?  I was thinking I would limit detailed logging to only fish that would meet the livewell size requirements if it were a tournament situation.  That way my numbers don't get skewed causing me to have records leading me to small fish that I'm not concerned about.  Also if it seems like I might end up wasting a lot of time writing if I log every little fish I catch.  Is this the right train of thought or do you guys disagree?  

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I write just 1 line about each trip which will include date,lake, guest,astro table #, sky & wind conditions, # & type fish caught (w/lengths of all over 14"), and actual time on the water. In the early spring and late fall i include water temp. Most occasions i note what the "big" fish bit, or how busy the lake was. I've been doing this since 1999, AND I WISHED I STARTED IN 1975.  

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This is some nice info.  So what is most important to keep track of moon when it comes to the weather?  Temp, wind, barometric pressure, moon etc...

Thanks, :)

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Don't start next year start NOW.

Here's another thing I was wondering about. Do you guys log every single fish? I was thinking I would limit detailed logging to only fish that would meet the livewell size requirements if it were a tournament situation. That way my numbers don't get skewed causing me to have records leading me to small fish that I'm not concerned about. Also if it seems like I might end up wasting a lot of time writing if I log every little fish I catch. Is this the right train of thought or do you guys disagree?

I have been logging them all...... however, I'm still not sure what the value of logging the yellow bass that I catch really is. Over the course of this year while fishing for LMB, I have also caught crappie, yellow bass, and bluegill.  My primary interest is LMB, so I don't really know why the yellow bass I catch should be recorded, but I've been doing it.  On the other hand, I would definitely log all LMB/SMB you catch, regardless of size.  You might get insight on likely locations/lures/presentations for larger fish.

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This is some nice info. So what is most important to keep track of moon when it comes to the weather? Temp, wind, barometric pressure, moon etc...

Thanks, :)

From what I've realized so far, water temp has been most important. I won't pretend to know anything about moon phase or its effects...but the moon gives the oceans tides, so I imagine it affects fish too. I have seen KVD mention that its something he pays attention to more than barometric pressure, etc. The online logs build that into your reports. Good thing, because I would not know a waxing from a waning moon.

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I'm further north than you start with your first tournament from last spring and start writing then your next and so on, as you get along you will remember more things about each tournament and practice day.

I might pick up my notes any day and read them over! From Xmas day on is when I get serious .

The general feel of the day is most important to me is the front passed it or approaching is the weather staple what type of activitly am I seeing.

It's such a habit that I notice fronts and predict fish activity evertime I step out the door so I'm practicing everday on the water or not. I don't ever no the barmetric pressure but I sure can tell you if it's going up or down.

Garnet

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Another thing I note is my wieght and the winning wieght. I fish against the same people and know there styles or heard what they were doing. If cranks are winning and I'm dropshoting........... my areas are going to see some cranks.

Garnet

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I take pictures of every fish I catch, and list what bait and color it was, I'm hoping that after a while i'll be able to narrow down which baits and colors are producing the best, that way I know what my "default" will be when I get out somewhere

I promise you will find a pattern.

You will catch on what you throw, during the time periods that you go

Unless you are constantly switching baits, colors, presentations, lakes, etc,.......your patterns will be predictable.

imo, FIND THEM and you can catch them on a majority of baits and colors

To make the log worth anything you need to add "percentage of usage" as a criteria.

In other words, if I ONLY throw a black spinnerbait all year, guess what the #1 top producing bait will be.

BUT if you add that I used it 100% of the time, it now has a more detailed value.

another example

5000 casts were made. 1000 w/ a jig and 4000 w a spinnerbait.

in the end,....

jig= 50 fish

spinnerbait= 100 fish

if you don't add "percentage of usage", your charts will show the spinnerbait as a more productive bait. Not true.

Another example. Doug Hannon has "X" hundred bass over 10 lbs caught between 10am and 2 pm. Doug does not fish at night. Does this mean bass over 10 lbs only eat between 10-2? Absolutely not.

Data is inconclusive without using ALL the criteria

Ditto.

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Alright y'all let's keep this fishing log in prospective it is nothing more than a history lesson and unless every minute detail of wind speed, wind direction, cloud cover, water temperature, light penetration, algae bloom, mood of each individual bass, ect ect ect is duplicated exactly then your log is nothing more than interesting information. I've kept detail logs since 1972 to use as reference only using them to obtain a generalization of what can be expected.

You will not be able to say October 25th, 2008 9:00 am go to this point, cast a Whatchamacallit next to that thingamabob and you'll catch a 7# bass.

Don't work that way y'all  ;)

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true but it does kinda put you in the ball park of what kind of pattern the fish was on under that time of the year and situation all though the fish may not be in that it does help you with trying to figure them out!!

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Keep a record of all your fishing trips even the ones you get skunked on.

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I used to attempt to keep a log. Gave it up for Lent.

I have two jobs, so my spare time is limited. I can either fish, or act like an accountant.

I'd rather fish. I have a memory that still functions.

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