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Good Fishing Logs(Journals)?

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Hey guys,

One of my New Years resolutions was to start a fishing log (or journal, whatever you want to call it), and record all of my catches for the year. I want to record weight, lure, and conditions in which I caught each fish. I've heard of others doing this, and I was wondering if you guys had any good templates, tips, adivce, or awebsite link that you could provide. Anything is accepted.

Thanks in advance,

PB

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There's a very detailed fishing log template right in the Tools section of this board - go to: http://www.bassresource.com/fish/fishing_log.html

Also - this topic has been discussed several times over the past year or so - if you search on fishing records, you'll get some more good info.

 

 

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I use an Excel spreadsheet, worked great for me this year. If your "smart", like my wife, you can set it up to automatically add up your totals. I had the Date, Location, # of fish caught, # of keepers, Weather, and bait Used. Then I used Bold and Italics to mark different things. On mine, a bold faced trip means I caught a fish over 5lbs. Italics meant I fished in my buddies stock tanks.

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I have kept a fishing log for years,it's similar to the one we have here on site.I do it more for fun than anything else,Good luck with it.

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I've been using a fishing log for a several years now. Like Red, I set up an excel spreadsheet to record a bunch of things I've pulled from different logs I've checked out over the years. Location, date, moon phase, weather conditions, water conditions, # of bass, lengths, weight, baits, presentations are several of the categories I track. It's pretty easy to modify using the spreadsheet too. I just add a new tab at the start of the year and I'm set. I even track overall yearly totals and how many bass I catch in different weight ranges. It's really up to you on how detailed you want it to be.

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My tip, get a digital voice recorder, or use an app like iTalk to simply record the fields you want to capture. Then you can go back, and enter them in a book, or database.

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Great tip J.

I should add that I use the Casio Pathfinder (the fishing version) watch I have to mark when I catch my bass. It helps limit the amount of things I have to remember when I get off the water. I might have to look into the voice recorder to help out a little more. :)

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Excel for me too. Create one workbook for your fishing stuff, create separate worksheets for different data. Works great. Depending on how you organize/enter the data, can be automated to calculate totals, averages, etc. You can sort and shake-and-bake the data different ways.

It may, or may not, improve your fishing...but it's fun to play with the numbers...

December data from my file - while I fished different baits on several rods at several lakes, I only CAUGHT at one lake, with one rod, and one bait... :lol:

gallery_25379_89_141749.jpg

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Escel is a good format, as long as your log is under a few thousand records. After that, I highly recommend using something like Access. Once you learn queries, you can really get granular with the dta. For example, show me all the spinnerbait fish in water temps less than 50°, grouped by lake.

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My tip, get a digital voice recorder, or use an app like iTalk to simply record the fields you want to capture. Then you can go back, and enter them in a book, or database.

Great suggestion for the people just starting out. Trying to "remember" everything, trip by trip, is just too hard to do. On that note, I want to direct those interested in doing this, to a little paper back book I read many years ago. Entitled, "Phycho-cybernetics" - can't remember the author. The meat of this literature suggests that we are all born with a hell of a computer between our ears - it's call a brain. What this does for us is when you repeatively do things over time, your brain tells you what you are suppose to do - without you thinking about it.

Think about the last time you were driving down a highway and had to "think" about whether or not you were in the center of the lane? It don't happen. Your brain does it for you (phycho-cybernetically). That is an over-simplification, but it's something that caused me to stop keeping a fishing log many, many years ago. After repeative fishing, during various seasons, water temps, water types, structures, etc., you develop a pretty reliable starting point for each and every situation you are presented with....without having to scan logs and spread sheets to "re-confirm" what you already have learned.

I occaisionally get a chuckle out of reviewing some of the logs I kept back in the '70's & '80's. Talk about WORK! Details and specifics about each and every venture forth....including shore fishing. My goodness.....the time I wasted. I don't worry about such stuff these days. I just go out and fish. And ya know something.....I don't do half bad. I let my built in computer do it for me. :)

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Yeah - data collection on the water or bank is an issue. Certainly the digital recorder is the most elegant solution.

Me - I have a paper cutter at home and cut-up empty cereal boxes into 3"x5" squares. They're stiff enough to write on without a backing and I just take notes as the day goes on. When I get home, I transcribe over to the Excel file - only takes a few minutes.

Not very elegant...but no batteries required! :lol:

gallery_25379_89_16617.jpg

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Yeah - data collection on the water or bank is an issue. Certainly the digital recorder is the most elegant solution.

Me - I have a paper cutter at home and cut-up empty cereal boxes into 3"x5" squares. They're stiff enough to write on without a backing and I just take notes as the day goes on. When I get home, I transcribe over to the Excel file - only takes a few minutes.

Not very elegant...but no batteries required! :lol:

gallery_25379_89_16617.jpg

I can't decide if that looks like Einstein's notes, or the Unabomber's... :teeth:

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Great suggestion for the people just starting out. Trying to "remember" everything, trip by trip, is just too hard to do. On that note, I want to direct those interested in doing this, to a little paper back book I read many years ago. Entitled, "Phycho-cybernetics" - can't remember the author. The meat of this literature suggests that we are all born with a hell of a computer between our ears - it's call a brain. What this does for us is when you repeatively do things over time, your brain tells you what you are suppose to do - without you thinking about it.

Think about the last time you were driving down a highway and had to "think" about whether or not you were in the center of the lane? It don't happen. Your brain does it for you (phycho-cybernetically). That is an over-simplification, but it's something that caused me to stop keeping a fishing log many, many years ago. After repeative fishing, during various seasons, water temps, water types, structures, etc., you develop a pretty reliable starting point for each and every situation you are presented with....without having to scan logs and spread sheets to "re-confirm" what you already have learned.

I occaisionally get a chuckle out of reviewing some of the logs I kept back in the '70's & '80's. Talk about WORK! Details and specifics about each and every venture forth....including shore fishing. My goodness.....the time I wasted. I don't worry about such stuff these days. I just go out and fish. And ya know something.....I don't do half bad. I let my built in computer do it for me. :)

thats pretty much me in the underlined part. i just go out and fish, i have no pressure nor desire to record my catches in a log. I dont know if i would tell others theyre wasting their time, they may get something out of it though. but like you, i would feel like im wasting my own time. if its a nice catch or several nice catches, ill record them via a photograph. but im not gonna spend my time documenting every bass i catch or measuring 8 inch bass and stuff.

to me, a fishing log seems like adding work to something i do to get away from work....

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That is a scrawl isn't it :lol:

To translate.

I fished Lake Oxford (5 acres) by canoe (for the first time). Max observed depth was 11 feet. Surface water temp started at 60deg and went up to 63deg at the end of the trip.

I worked around the edges of the lake with a Zoom Fat Albert 5" grub and caught 5 bass (including my 1000th fish of that year) with the biggest being a 14"/1.54lb bass.

I worked a little pool at the back of the lake with a 7.5" Yum ribbontail and got 3 more bass with the biggest being another 14incher.

Then I went to mid-lake and cranked with a Wiggle Wart and got 8 more bass with the biggest being a 15"/1.67lb fish.

Then, I finished at the dam end of the lake in the deepest water, cranking with a Deep Little N and got 2 more bass - the biggest being 16"/1.96lb.

Simple, really.......................... :lol:

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The voice recorder, IMO is a great idea. I haven't done it yet, but was planning to this season. I suspect it will be GREAT.

I think it will make waypoint ID easier too. On my old school LCX15, I'll be able to just mark a waypoint, and be done....Give the number, and what I'm marking on the voice recorder, then when I get home go back to the waypoint number, and use other ID symbols, notes, or whatever, and can also use that to mark what the way point is on the map.

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thats pretty much me in the underlined part. i just go out and fish, i have no pressure nor desire to record my catches in a log. I dont know if i would tell others theyre wasting their time, they may get something out of it though. but like you, i would feel like im wasting my own time. if its a nice catch or several nice catches, ill record them via a photograph. but im not gonna spend my time documenting every bass i catch or measuring 8 inch bass and stuff.

to me, a fishing log seems like adding work to something i do to get away from work....

I have not kept a log but have always been real curious about it. I am not sure a log is "work". Does a guy who keeps score at a baseball game working? How about the millions in this country with hours pouring over stats of sports to do their fantasy teams. And that is not even real.... it is a make believe team (hence fantasy).

Some people may use a log as a tool to record and learn from their trips. I guess that can be work, especially if they are doing it to improve tournament performance. Others may just enjoy the numercial side of fishing, like the guys who really like stats in other sports. Fishing logs and stats makes more sense to me, seeing the guys who know someone's batting average is not actually doing the batting.

Just the opposite side of that coin.

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I agree. I want to look back at the end of the year and see what worked, when, and if anything I think it may be a little fun! I'm just curious as to what produced, and what my total fish count would be at the end of the year. It doesn't seem like much work, or work at all. I'm not going to take it incredibly seriously, just a good record of what happened over the year.

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I've been targeting bass seriously for about 2.5years (August 2009). When I did get serious about this, I started making a journal starting Jan 1, 2010. I log the information in a composition notebook, one for each calendar year. Each fishing day constitutes one page in the journal. I include sketched picture of the lake, where I fished and when, and any pertinent information (water temp, wind speed/direction, weather conditions, baits used, size of fish caught, large fish dropped off, etc...) I will keep notes about any kind of pattern which was attained. i will also record in the upper left hand corner the weight of my five biggest fish. This serves as a quick reference for me so that I can go back and quickly reference those days which I had the most success.

I make a point to make the journal entry at the end of that fishing day. It is a useful exercise for me to go thru and replay the day's events events in my head (I used to do this when I was attempting to become a scratch golfer...) and do a thorough play-by-play account so I can see what I did wrong/right/etc...

Now that I've been doing this for two years, I am starting to accumulate a pretty good "database" of information that I can refer back to. I can go back to my "2010" and "2011" journals and look for specific details which may help with the trip that I am making that day.

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I have not kept a log but have always been real curious about it. I am not sure a log is "work". Does a guy who keeps score at a baseball game working? How about the millions in this country with hours pouring over stats of sports to do their fantasy teams. And that is not even real.... it is a make believe team (hence fantasy).

Some people may use a log as a tool to record and learn from their trips. I guess that can be work, especially if they are doing it to improve tournament performance. Others may just enjoy the numercial side of fishing, like the guys who really like stats in other sports. Fishing logs and stats makes more sense to me, seeing the guys who know someone's batting average is not actually doing the batting.

Just the opposite side of that coin.

like i said, others may get something from it. i just make mental notes of things and refer back to those in certain situations, good enough for me. i cant see myself sitting there typing equations into excel to figure out catch per casts rates and stuff like that...

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I kept logs for years, but I don't anymore. More than trying to figure out what to throw on a particular day, what was interesting to me was how the records described a particular lake. Trends, rigs, baits, and gear change so much, that it's hard to compare throwing a Culprit worm in 1989 to picking from the multitudes of creatures out there now. But lakes change ever so slowly.

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I'm with Crestliner. After more years of chasing largies and more recently smallies than I care to admit my game plan is pretty nearly the same year after year and is no longer written. Shortly after ice out I hit one of 3 or 4 lakes. And my in head computer says. Early prespawn go to point "A" north end of the lake, cast and burn a spinner bait, no luck slow roll that spinner bait, No luck - switch to a suspending jerk bait - no luck drag a tube. Again no luck - move to that big sand flat again no luck go to a steep drop off and use a dropshot and/or a c-rig. Still no luck - that is why we call it fishing not catching. Repeat on same or different lake then all of a sudden it is whoopee a few or no fish days become, I don't know I lost track at 32 - this won't last all summer so enjoy is as much as possible while you can. Then be content with fewer most of the time.

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I am taking the computer nerd approach. Im working on a droid app that i can record fish info on the water and it automatically transmits to my desktop so i can look at the numbers at home. I'm in IT for a living so i have time to think up crap like this LOL. Ill get a quarter of the way done and say screw it and open an excel document LOL.

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Basscatcher,

Think you have a really good idea there. If it was really easy to record this data, think a lot more people would do it.

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I am not so smart nor can I remember things so well that a journal might not possibly help however when I did record my catches, referring back to them did not really seem all that instrumental. I'm sure my experiences have helped me but in ways that aren't so "quantifieable" as a journal. For lack of a better way of saying it, I just "learn." When I do write my catches down, it's more in the form of a diary entry so when I'm old and grey (or bald), I have something to reflect back upon.

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