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Should I Keep a Fishing Log?

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Every fishing trip is a data point.  Whether you have a great day on the water, or you never touched a fish, you can learn something from that trip in the context of history. Keeping a fishing journal or log will help you capture the important information for that trip for you to come back to at a later date. Perhaps you're fishing the same lake when the time or conditions are similar to that in your log, or maybe you are fishing a similar lake with the same forage type. If so, a fishing log could help target and prepare for certain areas or techniques before you ever back your boat into the water. 

Fishing Log Information

When keeping a log, there are some basics that you should make sure that you capture.  Other than date and lake, there are certain conditions that are critical when looking back at history.  Air and water temperature are probably the most critical. Much of what a fish does season after season is based on water temperature, so make sure you capture this critical data point.  It's also helpful to notate the weather conditions as this could have impacted your lure choice or the fish activity. Keeping as many details as possible will be helpful. Writing a paragraph, like a diary entry, will allow you to write a narrative to capture details that would be difficult to capture in a selection box or a preset list. Lastly, capturing your catch details is key to looking back at the trip to understand if the trip was productive or not. Keeping a list of each catch, size, and lure selection would be ideal, but not very practical. If possible, capture your largest fish or the numbers of fish caught in each area fished, the approximate weight, the lure type and retrieve used, the structure it was caught on, and water clarity.  It's very difficult to capture many of these details to cover the entire trip when you may catch fish all over any given lake, with different lures, on different structure in different types of water clarity. So these catch details, in addition to the trip details and narrative, will give you a comprehensive report of the trip. Keeping a log is a discipline.  If you only keep the log occasionally, then you will not get the benefit of a full fishing history. Having a full history will help you pattern the lake or season based on your own experience. 

How to Use a Fishing Log

A fishing log is only as good as the information that can be pulled from it. While keeping a written log in a notebook is certainly ok, it does make it difficult to search or sort a lot of trips. Ideally, an electronic database would be used so that you could search for keywords or lake names to review only the results that are pertinent. With this ability, you may choose to search all trips from a certain lake or lakes. You may also choose to search for certain words or seasons. Reviewing these trips, if the logs were kept with detail, could help you pattern a lake quickly. If you know the current water temperature is 60 degrees in the fall, then you can remind yourself what you did in previous years when conditions were the same. Perhaps you remember you had a really good day on a particular lake in the fall, but it was several years ago and you don't remember the exactly details. Searching for that particular trip would refresh your memory. 

Bass Intelligence Fishing Journal

Bass Intelligence offers a very simple, yet effective way to capture your trips. Currently offered as a part of standard membership, members can add private or public trip logs. In the log, all of the information described above can be captured. Private logs are available only to you, but you may choose to log the trip as public - to either show off or solicit input. In our journal, you can use tag words that will allow you to search all of your journals for that particular tagged word or set of words. These words are selectable by the user so that you can completely customize how you search through your logs. You can also add pictures of your catch, lures or other details that you want to keep for future reference. 

Start your first trip log today!

Bass Intelligence Fishing Journal

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