TopStriperAngler

Fishing Log Vs. Memory

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There are a lot of patterns that are not obvious. Only a log can bring them to light. 
 

I use a log and I write down weather and surf conditions every day during the season even on days I don’t fish. I also write down bites that I’m not a part of. It might look like gibberish at first but after a few years it’s incredible what emerges. 


Consider what can happen to a spot after 3 days of the same wind. That is not the same as one day of wind blowing in a certain direction. A SW might be useless, but it could be everything when it’s preceded by 3 days of NE. If I didn’t fish for 4 days straight, I would never have learned that pattern.

 

Time stamps from pictures are another big one. It’s why I have a ton of pictures like the one below. It’s not about the pic. It’s about being able to nail down the exact 10 minute window that could turn the 30 inchers you are catching into a 40 pounder. Maybe it’s the exact time it takes for an exhausted school of herring to get sucked downriver from an obstacle they struggle to pass down to a choke point where the bass (and you) are waiting. 
 

I’ve pounded spots for 2 hours without a bite, but still have confidence that something good can happen because I have the data that tells me I should still stick it out. If I didn’t have the data to rely on, I probably would just leave. How many big fish would I have left on the table?

 

Point being, the ceiling for this sport is sky high. It’s totally reachable by anyone who wants to put in the work.

 

 

7630D7D4-98F8-4168-9EF1-2600A4B4E38A.jpeg

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5 mins ago, Pickerel92 said:

 

I use a log and I write down weather and surf conditions every day during the season even on days I don’t fish. 


Consider what can happen to a spot after 3 days of the same wind. That is not the same as one day of wind blowing in a certain direction. A SW might be useless, but it could be everything when it’s preceded by 3 days of NE. 

This idea of recording weather/surf on the days you don’t fish is super interesting. Never thought of that way but you make a compelling case. 

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l started a log book in 1955 was in mid school, l wrote everything down time, weather, tide, lure, plugs its color, plus how many fish l cought that day what jetty, fishing articles from newspapers Daily News and the Mirror Jim Hearly, that pocket spiral notebook still pos up once in the while with the news articles, wow l was16 at that time how time flys, my brother gave me my little black phone book from 1959 with phone number 6 dig phone numbers.

 

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8 hours ago, the3fishheads said:

I remember leaving a log in the dunes. 

Lol! Think we all been there.

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8 hours ago, the3fishheads said:

I remember leaving a log in the dunes. 

Lol! Think we all been there.

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As this is the first year I am actively trying to take my game to the next level, I decided to start a log of the basics. This is partly due to trying more areas than I am currently familiar with as well as making an effort to speed up the recognition of patterns. It also allows me another 5 minutes away from my wife when I'm at home updating the log. 

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10 hours ago, MainelySmallies said:

This idea of recording weather/surf on the days you don’t fish is super interesting. Never thought of that way but you make a compelling case. 

It’s not a magic bullet. It might not have much of a bearing depending on the spot, and it can also change based on the time of the year.

 

If you are gonna do it, it will take a while before you start to see anything. So definitely a long-game approach. Just want to temper expectations, haha.

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I tried keeping a log more than once, but gave up every time because of the difficulties in retrieving and collating the data.

 

I suspect that if I took the time to buy decent database software, that would allow me to sort for one or more variables and so perhaps pick out patterns, a log might have been useful.  But notebooks full of written comments take too long to decode.  Maybe some people have the patience for it, but I don't.

 

I rely on my memory, which translates into seeing patterns elsewhere that resembles what I've seen and been successful with before.  Never felt that I was missing anything by not having hard copy to fall back on.

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15 hours ago, LowEnd said:

I still keep an old school book and write as much as I can.

While I agree that once you get dialed on patterns your memory will serve you well.

With that as I’ve gotten older, I’ve found that sometimes dates, times etc. we’re not what I remembered. Having the logs to go back too is a invaluable source of info.

Also it is cool to go back 20 years and see how much has changed for better or worse.


Some guys I fish with never kept one and they do great.

The log works for me and I will keep doing it.

Same here....first few years I didn't saying my memory won't fail me, but the more detailed your records the more you can dial in on the real subtleties that can make the difference at a particular spot. We're land based, don't have the mobility and electronics that a boat angler has, so it truly helps to maximize an outing....remember that's why boat fish DONT COUNT but ours DO !

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Been using the "fisherslog" software from Skinner.  one time $20.00 for download.  Computer crashed a couple years ago and I received a new download for free. Auto populates tide and moon phase. All the data you need and a bunch you don't.  Find it useful to keep track of each and every outing as well as tally the annual data of each trip, what was caught, tides, times and locations.

 

 

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44 mins ago, KnewBee said:

Been using the "fisherslog" software from Skinner.  one time $20.00 for download.  Computer crashed a couple years ago and I received a new download for free. Auto populates tide and moon phase. All the data you need and a bunch you don't.  Find it useful to keep track of each and every outing as well as tally the annual data of each trip, what was caught, tides, times and locations.

 

 

Is it difficult to figure out how to use? Despite being part of the so-called “digital native” generation I am not especially tech savvy. 

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2 hours ago, MainelySmallies said:

Is it difficult to figure out how to use? Despite being part of the so-called “digital native” generation I am not especially tech savvy. 

Very simple.  Only problem I have is remembering to enter the info.

 

I jot down date, time, catches in an old notebook and then weekly or so, go into the program and enter the data.  When entering fish, I have typed in all the various species and use the drop-down menu to populate that days catch.  Simple. 

 

At the end of the year, I use the "analysis tool" to capture the yearly results.  My trip count has fallen off a bit in the past couple years. The tool allows you to select date timeframe, fresh or salt, etc..  to plot results.

 

 

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After entering in the "trip editor", you then enter the species caught.

My skunk ratio last year really sucked!  

 

 

12Capture.PNG

Edited by KnewBee

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No data records , but more important pictures of extreme low water tides = saltwater  and drought conditions on lakes & ponds = fresh water shoreline fishing 

 Boating different notes 

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