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I've fished for a long time but haven't really come up with an effective logging methodology to record information. So this post is a request for information on how you guys that have successful fishing logs do it. What information do you record? What information do you find most valuable when you refer back to your records? Any other tips for starting a log for fishing? If you have an example of one of your entries that you would feel comfortable sharing, then that might be helpful. Thank you.
 

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This app records solunar, location and tide conditions and you can enter lure, water clarity etc.

Fishing Calendar
https://apps.apple.com/us/app/fishing-calendar-pro/id305708971
You had me till I saw I had to pay, and it was for Apple. I guess I will keep using this weak brain of mine. Like this: Zephyr Cove, sometime around February with an outgoing tide and an east wind using a Corky or was it a purple shrimp tail. Now that I think of it, it was the beginning of March, maybe.....
 

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I have no idea what fishing logs are available locally - but here's the info that I really would like to have...

Date, time (start/finish), of the ruling tide that day (what was the closest posted tide during your time on the water?). In shallow backcountry waters the combination of wind and tide can create freak conditions. Yesterday, out of Chokoloskee, a negative .8 foot tide (almost a foot lower than normal) combined with a wind from the wrong direction - and I simply couldn't get to most of what I wanted to do until two, almost three, hours had passed...
-and you do get tired of running aground...

Water conditions - clarity, and the biggie - water temperature, for me it's everything during colder months - but not nearly so during warmer months...

Weather... particularly wind speed - and direction - fishing the backcountry of the Everglades, wind direction can be almost as important as water temperature during a day on the water (or a night...).

Now for a few intangibles (things you saw that day - or didn't see...) any bait present - or no bait at all... Were birds showing you fish? Was it one of those days with lots of boat traffic - or did you have the places you fished all to yourself...

One last item and something that's helped me a bunch over the years is to have a watch or some other way of keeping time on the water - then carefully noting not only where you found (or caught) fish - but exactly when... A day or two later you can compare those times to the tides that day and quickly learn whether a spot held fish one hour before the high tide that day - or maybe three hours after the high (or low). With that info you can go back to a spot at a later date and find out whether the fish are there - at that time... Many places aren't at all reliable - but one or two will be so reliable that you can set your watch by them and know exactly when the trout or snook, etc. will be at a particular place - and feeding.....
 

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You had me till I saw I had to pay, and it was for Apple. I guess I will keep using this weak brain of mine. Like this: Zephyr Cove, sometime around February with an outgoing tide and an east wind using a Corky or was it a purple shrimp tail. Now that I think of it, it was the beginning of March, maybe.....
I only use the solunar and tide chart, just knew it had the fishing log portion. I only take mental notes, never had a legitimate log but I bet it would be nice to have every trip documented.
 

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I kept a log for about 10 years. I stopped keeping up with it about a year ago, but will go back and look at the past entries just to see what was going on where for a particular time of year or water level. I find looking back time to time on the old trip entries is pretty helpful to remember a good old spot that I might have forgotten about. One pattern that the logs help pick out is what areas get good under particular water levels. So the log will show that one particular reef works well in high water or a little stretch of a marsh drain should be good in water levels under 0.5 feet. Maybe you can remember all of that without a log, but my mind over a lot of time tends to jumble up trips so that details from one trip get put into another trip or setting. The log helps to set the record straight.

I kept it on an excel spreadsheet and then sometimes I’d drop pins on google earth pro to mark some particulars on structure and shorelines.

So I didn’t bring along the spreadsheet on the water. I made a point to make the entry as soon as practical while the high points were still fresh in my mind.

Date, location, water levels, water clarity, wind direction and strength, tide and strength of movement, cloud cover, water temperatures, air temperature, were all things I noted. Each had its own column on the excel spreadsheet. Each trip got a row on the spreadsheet.

I mainly cared to note details about trout, redfish and flounder so each of those got a column. I also had a column for notes where I might put in anything I’d want to remember that didn’t already have a column on the spreadsheet.

I used to **** oysters and set out a couple of crab traps at the start of the trip and had a column for those.

One thing I found that was important was to note about the presence or absence and nature of the bait and predator fish that got put into the notes. Something about the quality of the fish went into the notes. Lures, flies used definitely got an entry. Solunar could be noted. I didn’t note that, but that doesn’t mean Solunar information isn’t potentially important.

Some abbreviations are helpful. Southwest wind becomes SW in the log. Falling tide, an F, rising R. Wind, I went with L for light, M for Medium, etc. Anything that can be abbreviated helps to de clutter the log and makes the entry process less time consuming and later reviews of the log faster.

I’m going without making log entries for now, but might go back to it, maybe starting in January. I might change it up some. The old logs are pretty good on those days where I just don’t have any strong feeling about any particular spot. I can do a quick review of the past years at the same rough point on the calendar and sometimes see that maybe the conditions forecast for the trip I’m planning line up perfectly from one 5 and 8 years past. That information might tip me to see if I can repeat some good outcome for the planned trip.

But, I just like to fish and the log takes some discipline to keep up with. Sometimes, it’s just nice to show up at a spot and see what you can find. The log definitely helped me realize, reinforce and document the idea there are patterns to pick up on.
 

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www.fisherslog.com

Yes you have to pay but its a one time fee and its not very expensive. I have been using this for the last 5 or 6 years and it has lots of data fields. Check it out. Its pretty good.
 

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I use a waterproof notebook and a pencil. Before the trip I record tides, moon phase, predicted high and low temperatures. Once I get on the water I jot down actual weather conditions, water clarity, wind, water temps, etc. Then I write a few comments on what I caught, where I caught it and what I caught it on.
 

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I had a free app for my iPhone years ago that I would take a picture of the fish and it would store gps map location automatically. I could go back and enter all kinds of info about the fish, water, weather, etc. I keep up with it for a couple years and then deleted it. While I would like to have kept up with it to look back and try to identify patterns and just see a history of my fishing over the years, it just isn't that important to me. I've fished the same water for 20 years and have a pretty good idea where to go and what to throw.
 

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I had a free app for my iPhone years ago that I would take a picture of the fish and it would store gps map location automatically. I could go back and enter all kinds of info about the fish, water, weather, etc. I keep up with it for a couple years and then deleted it. While I would like to have kept up with it to look back and try to identify patterns and just see a history of my fishing over the years, it just isn't that important to me. I've fished the same water for 20 years and have a pretty good idea where to go and what to throw.
I had one similar called FishingScout then realized they were publishing my GPS locations on a website. I chewed ass and deleted my account and had them wipe the data. Should have been called PotlickersUSA
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thank you all very much for the help. I started a spreadsheet today. It's a little different than the spreadsheets posted above in that I've got multiple lines dedicated for any given outing. The reason for that is because I want to attach pictures that might be relevant. Like today I explored a new spot, and caught a fish there. So I took a google earth snap of the location and pasted that into my spreadsheet.
 

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I've fished for a long time but haven't really come up with an effective logging methodology to record information. So this post is a request for information on how you guys that have successful fishing logs do it. What information do you record? What information do you find most valuable when you refer back to your records? Any other tips for starting a log for fishing? If you have an example of one of your entries that you would feel comfortable sharing, then that might be helpful. Thank you.
My neighbor got a new boat several years ago (it was a 21 Sea Pro). He is a ortho doc and is real busy. He started keeping a log. He said the funny thing about the log was NOT how many fish were caught or what time of the year they were caught, etc...NO, the funny thing was how few a number of times he fished during the year. He sold the boat and now just gets a guide when he wants to go. Cheaper.
 

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I use Google Keep and basically it's just a notepad app that's available to me anywhere I have an internet connection, and since it's not a fishing app and no GPS locations are posted I don't have to worry about it being posted online. I think I'd share my credit card number publicly before I'd post the waypoints saved in my GPS. Anyway this app allows me to update it anytime I think about it which is important to me, otherwise I won't do it. I mostly just incorporate locations, the tide stage, and maybe wind/weather if I think it's pertinant information. I almost always fish the same lures and baits so that really isn't super important to me.
 

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I tried to keep a log for awhile, tough track fish in the heat of battle when the fishing is really on. Now just run the go pro and save the videos. From the videos I can tell; temp, sun, wind, time/date, what lure, location and retrieval rate... Then on "Tides For Fishing" app you can
look up the tide for that day/time and where you were in the cycle based on time. Not to mention quicker healthy releases, when you want a trophy photo.
 
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