Admittedly, there was a time when I didn’t put much effort into keeping a fishing log. I went to my favorite local fishing spots to catch a few and unwind. Sometimes I noted the solunar phase or barometric pressure, but the task of consistently keeping track of specific locations, weather conditions, catch rates, water depths, lures or baits used, and number of hours on the water seemed daunting. Besides, how much of a difference would it really make anyway?
The answer is a BIG difference. Thankfully, these days we have the technology available to make logging trips quick and easy. While it may take a season or two before patterns start to become clearly discernible, you’re likely to find your investment of time and patience richly rewarded.
Simple Methods for Logging Fishing Trips
- Notebook to computer. If you want to go “old-school,” you can keep a paper log with you, and make notes throughout the course of your trip. At the end of the week, enter the information into a computer spreadsheet. This will allow you to keep running totals and sort your log data by specific criteria parameters. Do a quick search and you can find several versions of free Excel fishing log templates online.
- Mobile dictation app or software. The latest dictation apps and software programs, such as Dragon Anywhere, give you the ability to continuously dictate information or documents of any length — including logs from your fishing trips. You can then format and share the information from your mobile device.
- CASIO Pro Trek Smart with Fishbrain WearOS app. During ICAST in Orlando, I learned about a recent joint development between CASIO ProTrek Smart and Fishbrain. The Pro Trek smartwatch, when updated with the Fishbrain WearOS app, has a voice logging feature that enables users to simply utter the words, “log catch” to specify the species and size details. The catch is then uploaded to Fishbrain (catch data remains private and hidden). After your trips, you can go back and view the logs of your catches along with the associated conditions. Fishbrain and Pro Trek Smart also gives you the ability to better plan for your upcoming trips based on local weather information, tides, and sunset/sunrise.
Whichever method of logging you choose, it’s important come up with a system to make it simple. The simpler it is to keep track of your accumulated data, the more information you’ll gather, and the more effective your logs will be at helping you pattern fish throughout the year.
How Fishing Logs Pay Off
Whether you use a manual logging method or an app, such as the Fishbrain WearOS app, a review of your fishing log archives for similar time periods throughout the course of a year will highlight key patterns. You can then make a note of the baits, techniques, and areas that produced previously, in preparation for applying them again under similar conditions.
Over the long term, your logs will provide valuable insight into your fishing habits, achievements, and can serve as a predictor of your future successes. Invest a little bit of time in your fishing logs now, and you’re likely to find that it will pay off in a big way later.