How To Use A Fishing Journal To Catch More Fish

If you click and purchase with one of our links, we earn a commission. Thanks.

Fishing journals are a wonderful asset to have in your possession before going out.

Professionals are always seen with these journals in hand because of the value that’s on offer. Being able to flip through previous experiences in a specific fishing spot can make or break how the session goes. Even something as simple as knowing how the fish respond to particular bait can go a long way in improving your efficiency.

This is why it’s time to take a look at how to keep a modern fishing journal to improve your results.


Start with the basic details such as the time of day. You want to be able to specifically point towards a set date and time for when the fishing took place, especially while you flip back through the pages later on. No one likes a journal that is all over the place because this lack of organization is going to make for a difficult reading in the future!

Get the dates written down as soon as possible and make sure to accurately record time-based details throughout the journaling process. By doing this, you are going to eliminate some of the errors that are made during this step.


This is going to be an essential component just like the date and should be written down alongside everything else. With the location, it’s not good enough to simply write down where you were because that’s not detailed enough. Instead, you want to think harder and pinpoint exact coordinates based on where you are at the time of fishing. This is key information as it will allow you to find “hotspots” based on the information in your journal. Even a river can have cold and hot spots, which is why you have to record these details as soon as possible.

Water Clarity

The water’s clarity is one of those underrated details people ignore while journaling. However, if you want to make sure fishing in the future is easier than it is right now, the goal should be to analyze the water in detail. This can include the water’s temperature, movement, and anything else that would impact your ability to go fishing in the area. All of this data isn’t going to be useful right away, but it is going to add up as you start to note down patterns. This is when the data goes a long way in helping out.

River Level

Let’s assume you are going to be set up near the river and want to make sure everything is ready to go properly. Your fishing journal is a great way to determine the river’s level at any given moment to better understand what’s working and what’s not. This information is useful because it helps gauge how things work on a daily basis at the river. The more you fish, the more you are able to pick up about the river level as a whole.

This information can help shed light on how the various species react in comparison to the river level.

Water Temperature

Bringing a thermometer for the water’s temperature is a neat idea, but it’s not always necessary unless you are looking to take the next step in detailed journaling. In general, simply knowing how warm or cold the water is on a set date will help. For example, you will be able to properly prepare based on water conditions while choosing bait and finding hotspots.

Many enthusiasts understand the importance of temperature in fishing after years of expertise and it should always be recorded in a fishing journal. This information is vital in determining what works and what does not.


Looking at the weather is one of those underlying details that will play a role outdoors. Just like most things in the natural world, the weather has a direct impact on how things unfold. If you ever pay attention, you will notice fish will not behave in the same manner when it is warm outside compared to when it is freezing.

These details can change how the fish react and that is key information to have in your back pocket while deciding what to do out in the open. Keep these details in mind while moving forward with your fishing journal.

Species of Fish

The fish in a particular location will matter and each one is going to be unique in how it reacts to your bait. This is why you want to record as much information as possible, especially when something new pops up. This happens all the time when people assume certain species are going to be present when others start popping up.

This is something that happens because of weather changes and it’s important to stay up-to-date as much as you can with the help of quality journaling. It will save you a lot of time figuring things out later on!

Catch Results

How did it all work out based on the variables in front of you?

This is one of the most important categories to write down and take note of throughout the fishing session. You want to know how the fish responded to your bait and what effect the other variables (i.e. weather, temperature) had to play in the grand scheme of things. By knowing these details, you will know what the best time to go out is in the future and that can help a lot. It is all about knowing how everything worked out so you don’t lose out moving forward.

Final Thoughts

These are the most important details to keep in mind when it comes to a fishing journal. Anyone that is going to be spending time out in the water will want to ensure they have an up-to-date fishing journal in hand at all times. Without a quality journal, you are always going to be a step behind without realizing it!

This is why so many professionals swear by their fishing journal and believe it is a major help with what they’re trying to do.

Camping Forge Fishing Journals