Beginners Guide To Fishing Journals

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Many new anglers have never heard of a fishing journal, and as technology moves forward, it’s easy to focus on getting the latest fishfinder or the best new reel. While having the right equipment matters, going back to grandpa’s time and the habit of keeping a fishing journal gives a lot of benefits that many young or new anglers might not be taking advantage of. A fishing journal, also sometimes referred to as a “fishing logbook,” is a great habit that can give anglers the edge when they go fishing and let them know local waters like the back of their hand.

What Is A Fishing Journal?

This is pretty much just what it sounds like: a book that allows an angler to record important information during every single one of their outings. Over time, patterns are going to start emerging, and it’s going to become simpler and easier for an angler to know exactly what the best times, spots, and lures are going to be to increase their chance of success.

A fishing journal isn’t going to work miracles over a few weeks or months, but as you build a journal that gathers data over many months and years, you’re going to have really solid knowledge many locals fishing years more than you won’t have. That’s some powerful stuff for an avid angler.

What Should You Record?

You may have other things that you want to record, but a short list should look like this:

  • Lure (size, color, etc.)
  • Time of day
  • Weather (including temperature)
  • Location
  • Depth being worked
  • Fish caught (also bites or nibbles)
  • Location (GPS coordinates if you have it)
  • Phase of the moon
  • How clear or muddy the water was
  • Any other details that seem relevant to that particular outing

As you can see this is quite a bit of information, but it only takes seconds to record some information or update some information. Considering you’re out on the water that is nothing when looking at the information this allows you to gather over time.

Traditional Or Modern Options

There are multiple options when it comes to keeping a fishing journal. The traditional journal isn’t a bad way to go, though you will want a solid journal with a thick cover and probably a plastic waterproof wrap in that case. Smeared ink isn’t going to help you decode the information later on. You’d also hate to lose a lot of data because of an accident while landing a trophy-sized fish.

There are also plenty of modern options like apps that can be on your smartphone that allow that data to be punched into the phone and then imported to a computer or online cloud storage. That means info goes in through the phone then you don’t have to worry about it because you will be able to access all of it later.

Old School For Classic Results

The idea of a fishing journal might be extremely old school, but it was a tradition that held for a reason. Re-visiting this practice now can lead to significant classic results for the modern angler.