Ultimate Bass

Keeping a Log

I don’t mean the type of log you find in the privacy of your own bathroom, or a log you might find floating down the river, but a FISHING LOG! I have only been fishing for Bass for 4 seasons (I started and caught my first bass in April 2006) and every single bass I have caught since (and including) that bass…

I don’t mean the type of log you find in the privacy of your own bathroom, or a log you might find floating down the river, but a FISHING LOG!!

I have only been fishing for Bass for 4 seasons (I started and caught my first bass in April 2006) and every single bass I have caught since (and including) that bass has been photographed and recorded. I recently posted a topic in the UtlimateBass.com forums to discuss this, but I thought I’d write an article with a little more detail.

Over the 4 years of keeping a log I have added items or changed the way I record my Bass catches. I will just write about the way I am doing it this year.

The main reason I keep all this data is so that I can look back and see what lures and techniques work (or don’t work) at this time of year during the previous seasons. I can also compare weather and water patterns from previous years to help me with the Ultimate Goal = TO CATCH MORE BASS!

I store every photograph and detail in my computer files. I also keep a back-up file incase I lose all my hard work from the last 4 years. For the photos, I keep the photos from each trip in their own folder, and name the folder with the date and lake name. I start off with a folder with a year, and then use sub-folders inside. Example;

2008
– March
— Lake (21-Mar)

This makes it very easy to find the photos from previous years. I also have my camera set so that the date and time are set on the photograph, that way I don’t need to write the time I caught the fish. If it’s a good sized fish and I want weigh the fish, I will take a photo of the scales showing the weight of the fish and sometimes I will take photo of the fish on a ruler to record the length. Also when photographing fish, I like to photograph the spot where I caught the fish to show and kind of cover or structure and whether or not it was sunny or cloudy at the time I caught the fish.

If I am fishing from my boat, I take photos of my sonar unit at certain times of the day to record water temperatures, but if I am bank fishing I carry a thermometer which I throw out into the water on a string and leave out there while I make several casts. I will then bring it back in and photograph it to record the temperature at certain parts of the day. My watch has a barometer on it (which seems to be rather accurate), and again, I can take photos of it to record changes in the weather.

All the above photographing saves a lot of time writing notes and allows more time for casting. Ok, we are done with the photo part of the logging, now here’s an example of the data I input.

I just use Microsoft Excel to log all my catches details.

DATE FISH WEIGHT PLACE TIME LURE WATER CON WATER/TEMPS AIR/TEMP BAROM

15Mar Bass 4lb 6oz River 7:30am Senko Stained 55* 50* 1010

WIND WEATHER MOON PHASE COMMENTS

N/E 7mph Sunny Full …..

I plan to add a section of the fish I didn’t catch. For example, if I skunk on a certain day I will record all the similar details as the above table so that I know when not to fish due to certain weather and water patterns or to try completely different techniques catch some bass.

As you can see from the above table, I record as much information as possible. The comments box at the end is usually much bigger. This where I record things like – who I was fishing with, if the bass were spawning, pre or post-spawn, holding at a certain depth, if it was a tournament or pleasure day and just anything else that made a difference.

Making this fishing log has certainly helped my catch much more fish by using proven techniques or by eliminating not so good techniques.

Steve Bell



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