Improve Your Fishing-Keep a Fishing Log

improve_0By Ed Snyder/Outdoors
One of the secrets for becoming a better angler is to keep a fishing log. This is nothing more than jotting down info notes of your fishing trips, whether they were successful or not. This has been done for eons by pros and amateurs alike for the purpose of keeping records on their angling ventures. Pro-anglers do it for keeping records on past fishing tournaments, guide trips, or commercial fishing purposes, while amateurs do it for improving their chances of catching more fish.

I’ve covered fishing tournaments, both fresh and saltwater events, for over 25 years and have seen first hand on the outcomes between those who kept updated logs and those who didn’t. In some cases it would mean the difference of winning, losing, or making the big haul. In the olde days it was strictly low key scribbles in a paper notebook, but in today’s world of high tech electronics it’s much easier with more information given to you in a mini-second by hand-held smart-phones, or tablets (micro-computers) for giving 4G mega-bites of info-data for anglers to ponder.

The basic log-in should deal with what type of fish were caught, on what baits or lures, at what time of day, and under what weather and tide conditions. But now GPS numbers and peak feeding times, along with a variety of other relevant information can also be added.

High-Tech Smart Phones and Tablets vs. Low-Tech Notebook Method

High-Tech Smart Phones and Tablets vs. Low-Tech Notebook Method

But if you’re not into all that electronic jazz, a simple low tech notebook and pencil will do just fine. Just purchase a small pocket sized note-book ($1) and start recording your fishing trips as follows:

  • Fishing Trip- (name/s and date of place/s visited)
  • Weather/water/tide- conditions (include air and water temps)
  • Fish caught- (species and numbers caught/released/kept)
  • Baits/Lures- (colors are important here)
  • How fished- (bottom/surface/sinking)

This simple log book will help you for years after you’ve started it. I managed to keep one for years and the trip notes did help. Only prob with keeping written notes on a tablet they add up over time leaving you with a bunch of paper notes to filter through. But with the new electronic gadgets available on the market today those notes create a micro-minimum of bulk leaving only mega-bites of data at your finger tips when the need for such info arrives.

The pro/anglers keep electronic notes from their past events which often compute into tournament cash from future events that they are competing at. So too the Professional anglers such as Fishing Guides or commercial fishermen who use their notes like the Bible by reading them religiously to insure their chances of making better catches.

Besides folks, IT’S FUN!! By keeping notes on the what’s, where’s, and when’s of your fishing trip and then using those notes to actually help you catch fish, well, it’s an amazingly fun thing to do.

For instance, I was up on Lake Quachita, AR doing a story on an up and comer bass tournament angler. He had kept notes from a previous fishing trip to Quachita and was making the rounds keeping tight to his notes. I must admit that the first part of the morning was boring to me. But then the morning began shaping up with good bass catches coming in by what he had scribbled down, my boredom quickly became excitement as I watched his day unfold on the success end of the scale. I didn’t fish with him on tournament day but he managed to weigh-in at the BASSMaster event with a top 20 finish from out of a 250 angler field.

Today’s electronics are simply amazing. I thought I was at the peak of this with my 1965 purchase of “the little green box” (LFP-300 Fish-LO-Kater) and was in awe of that little flasher unit. Well, it only became one of many items that opened up a whole new world to me. With today’s super electronics the world of fishing, as we know it, is continuously changing well beyond what we fathom to be. And to think that it all started with a notebook and a pencil…Amazing!!

7-plus lb speck caught and released by Ed Snyder at Rollover Pass, 1-6-15, 9 am

7-plus lb speck caught and released by Ed Snyder at Rollover Pass, 1-6-15, 9 am

(This article published 1/19/2015)

This Ed Snyder/Outdoors article sponsored by Miss Nancy’s Bait Camp, The Beach Triton,, and

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