After a great day on the water it’s nice to return home holding onto the fresh memories of time spent fishing and all of the particulars that made the day a success. Reviewing the specific places on the lake or river, studying the baits that proved most successful and reliving the action of a precise retrieve that those fish simply found to be irresistible. Although you would probably prefer that such reminiscences find themselves an indelible place in the confines of your memory, it’s more likely that with the passage of time some of the myriad details will be regrettably lost. There are however a few means by which such memories can be preserved in their meticulous detail for a very long time.
One of the best methods to accomplish this is by the creation of an angler’s log. While this may sound a bit tedious it’s actually an enjoyable method to recapture and preserve the events of the day as you detail them in your log book.
When creating log entries every fisherman has an idea of what information is most important, and this is an area where you can certainly freelance with your record keeping style to suit your particular needs. Such information as location, weather conditions, baits and various details about the fish caught that day would seem pretty basic to any log book. However, there may be additional matters that you may find essential to your specific record keeping and improved future success. This valuable reference guide is yours to document as you please and should provide important details of past fishing experiences for many years to come. The beauty of this historical collection is that many of the subtle facts that would otherwise have been lost or forgotten will now be readily accessible by simply paging through your own personal fishing archives.
Until you begin to keep records it’s difficult to imagine just how much information is lost over the years by not doing so. Like all fishermen, you know that each trip provides you with learning opportunities, and when taken advantage of the results can be amazing in terms of size and quantity of your catch rates. When you take into consideration just how much new information is gleaned during your numerous outings it’s virtually impossible to retain all of it. This is precisely the reason that a fishing log becomes such a valuable tool.
Logging the events of the day complete with all of the significant detail will help to preserve the experience and allow you to reference the information at future dates in order to remind you of techniques that you may otherwise have forgotten about. It’s surprising how many details the log book can remind you of especially if you look at some of your more dated editions. For instance, it’s easy to forget how good a particular bait may have worked on one body of water during a specific time of year. You may also have overlooked those roving schools of voracious crappies on another lake during cold-weather months.
Reading Between the Lines
Studying your journals will allow you to have a better understanding of how certain weather conditions, water levels, time of day and temperature can affect a particular body of water. The journals that you create over a period of time can become a set of learning guides that provide a continued source of information, all of which will help you to become a more educated and successful angler.
Paging through an old journal you’re likely to be reminded of forgotten locations as well as a few baits that once served you well but somehow slipped from your recent recollection. Over a period of time your entries will become increasingly valuable as the notations you’ve made will serve as a treasure trove of reminders of past angling successes and the means by which success was achieved. It’s also quite interesting to peruse the books during some leisurely time in the off season as your entries can rekindle memories of enjoyable outings that will help to shorten the stretch of down time while awaiting the start of the new season.
Putting Pen to Paper
As for the journal itself you can use anything from a simple spiral-bound notebook to a more formal version offered by some quality publishing companies to a computer editing program like Word or Excel. Any medium you choose will certainly become a very valuable resource that will serve you well as time goes by—it’s more about actually making the log than it is in which format you choose.
In addition to logging your fishing records in written form you may also want to consider a few auxiliary methods to preserve your fishing memories in a more visual manner. Cell phone cameras are commonly used to capture images of your most prized catches, but the entries are rarely organized in any useful manner. In order to add some value to your collection of random images you may want to organize your digital images so that pictures from a particular lake or river are properly grouped. A quick review of the photos will allow you to readily determine just how productive a particular body of water has been during the past few seasons.
Also, since turning your digital images into printed photos is a relatively simple task you might want to create a “bragging board” pictorial collection to be displayed in a prominent location and periodically updated throughout the year. It’s amazing how much of a conversation piece such a display can become, which provides a perfect opportunity to talk a little more fishing with anyone willing to partake. Add a date and location to the photo image in order to show the viewers where and when the catch was made.
There is no doubt that logging information from your fishing trips is a valuable method to document the many details of those memorable outings on the water. In fact it’s perhaps the best way of providing you with a readily accessible database of material that will help to make you a more effective angler in your future endeavors. So keep all of those great fishing memories neatly stored in your mind, but as for those excess items that simply will not fit, allow a well-documented fishing log to be the sanctuary to keep those details forever preserved and readily accessible.