Why Keep a Fishing Log?

The difference between a good angler and a great angler is paying attention to details. When we fish, there are lots of details that influence fish behavior. To really improve as an angler and catch more fish, it's important to keep track and learn from those details.

There's only one problem.

Remembering details is hard.

Consider this story to illustrate how poor we are at remembering things:

In 1986, the day after the Challenger space shuttle explosion, a professor at Emory handed out a questionnaire to 106 students in his class, asking them "Where were you when you heard the news? Whom were you with? What were you doing?"

The professor gave the same students the same questionnaire 2 1/2 years later. The professor then rated the accuracy of the students' answers, and found the average student scored less than 3 out of 7. A quarter scored 0. But the students' confidence levels were over 4.1 out of 5.

Ouch! Given how hard it is to remember details of major events, imagine how hard it is to remember which lure or fly you used a year ago? And its color? And the weather? And the list goes on and on.

Details in a Good Fishing Log

Keeping a fishing log, written or digital, will help you remember details from past fishing trips. To keep a good fishing log, make notes for:

  • The water you fished, plus specific locations
  • Start and end time
  • Weather - temperature, precipitation, wind speed and direction, cloud cover, barometer level and direction
  • Fish caught - species, number, fly/lure/bait and color that worked, depth, presentation
  • Water temperature, level, and clarity
  • Map - sketch the water you fished, including visible structure and where you found fish
  • Insect hatches, seining results
  • Who you fished with
  • Miscellaneous notes and things you learned

Benefits of Keeping a Fishing Log

If you're diligent about keeping notes for each of your trips, you'll soon be able to derive patterns from your data. Your fishing log can tell you when to go fishing, where to go fishing, and what to use when you're fishing.

Your fishing log becomes a foundation for repeatable success.

A Fishing Log Will Make You a Better Angler

The best anglers keep fishing logs. The late fly fishing author Gary LaFontaine kept a fishing log, and referenced entries from it often in his writing. A prime example is Fly Fishing the Mountain Lakes. So if you want to become a better angler, catch more fish, and understand more about fish behavior, keep a fishing log!

Why Use Fish Swami Instead of a Notebook or Spreadsheet?

Keeping all of the fishing log details in a physical notebook works ... for awhile. If you fish a bunch, it will soon become hard to quickly look back and find all of your fishing logs for a specific water. Maybe you want to see all of your October fishing trips. Or maybe you want to see all of your fishing trips where you caught fish on a specific fly, lure, or bait. Good luck.

Fish Swami allows you quickly browse all of your fishing logs by water, pattern, fishing friend, year, month, and more. An empirical analysis system can analyze your fishing data and give you clues as to what works, when it works, and where it works. The Fish Swami fishing app can track where you fish and where you catch fish, gather weather and water information automatically, and save waypoints and photos for your fishing trips.

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