Tracking fish with logbooks
Everyone has their own way of tracking fish—some people jot down the data in notebook while others keep a mental note in their head. We recommend storing information like water temperature, GPS coordinates, time of day, photos, depth, and structure in an Excel spreadsheet.
Below you’ll see a sample of one of an angler’s logbook:
By keeping track of this baseline data, you can then use it to look up even more in-depth information like the moon phase, weather, tides, and much more to better predict when to fish. But before you do that—wait a sec! There are a number of apps out there that can give you this info, so go check out the app store on your phone.
Okay, I have a logbook, how do I use the info in it?
Good question. At the beginning of the fishing season, you can review the number of trips you made, what you caught, where you caught it, weather and time of day. As you look at this data, look for patterns. These trends might not be obvious at first; however, once you have enough data, you’ll be able to spot them, and you’ll find yourself fishing specific spots, tides and many other variables.
How much data is that?
After a few years you should have enough data recorded, but nothing’s 100% accurate. Sometimes the fish will show up exactly where you expect them, other times they won’t.
When this happens, you can use your acquired data to get creative. For example, if you know fish like a certain habitat, you can use that info to discover new spots that match the criteria.
Should I share my logbook?
Yes! Sharing your logbook with friends and family is a great idea. That way you can all expand your locations and make better use of your time.
For example, if you have a buddy who’s fishing in one spot and they’re not doing well, you can jot that down and head to a different location, hang out at the dock, or fish a different species for the time being.
And that’s just one way logbooks (and networking with them) can help you save time, money, and gas! Which is something your friends and family who don’t fish can even appreciate.