3 Reasons You Should Be Keeping A Daily Fishing Log
Our days on the water are limited and because of that, it makes them valuable. Keeping a daily fishing log is a great way of collecting valuable information and leveraging it in the future. Here are three reasons you should keep a daily log of every fishing trip.
1. Habits Are Hard To Break - I read a good book about habits called The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg. In the book he talks about how habits really run our lives and most people don't even know it. From the direction we turn when we back out of the drive way to the jobs we have. Habits are a kind of auto-pilot for our mind. And if the mind can go into auto-pilot, it well. A lot of guys, myself included, are stuck in auto-pilot when we get out on the water. We go to the same spot and fish the same way. All the time saying to ourselves, "we have caught fish here before, doing this exact same thing." So we hammer the spot or another and then another. Next thing you know we haven't put a fish in the boat for a few hours. Why isn't it working? It's obvious something had changed. But what is different? Keeping a daily log forces you to track things you might not have in the past. It forces you to document different things that might be effecting the bite. It makes you more aware of surroundings, they might be a key to how and where to fish. A fishing log helps your mind break out of your habits and try something different.
2. Seasonal Hot Spots - We all see the seasons change. Sometimes it is in a blink of an eye. It might be summer one day and winter the next if you live in Montana like I do. The fish go through these same seasonal changes, but they are under the water so it is harder for us to notice. Tracking water temperature is one good way of predicting what period the fish are in (spawn, post spawn etc.). But you can also look around at the things you can see and note what is happening above the water. Are the cottonwood trees just starting to bud? Is the grass still green or is it starting to dry out and turn brown? Are the aspen leaves changing color? Taking note of these changes as the relate to what the fish are feeding on or where they are located gives you the upper hand the next year when the season start to change.
3. You Become Wiser - You don't have to remember everything. By taking notes, we force our minds to focus. We also then have a written record that we can refer back to at any point in the future. I have a hard time some days remembering what I had for lunch, let alone what I had a week ago or heck a year ago! With out writing it down our minds might not remember. Or it might remember it wrong. Say you caught the biggest fish of the season on this one jig. But was it luck or time of year. Does it really only work pre-spawn and should stay in the tackle box the rest of the year? I've got one spot I fish that is only good from mid July to the end of August. It peaks around the 10th of August each year. For three years in a row I fished it every time I was on the water, even through the ice. But it was a ghost town ever time except for the window, when it is killer! I know now if I am on the water in May, I will just race by it. But if it is around August 1st and there is a new moon, I will camp there until I limit out (which never seems to take long).
I know, daily log adds a little bit of work to your fishing trip. And because it is new, it might be hard to remember to use it. But if you can get in the habit of keeping track of every day on the water, you will become that wise old fisherman that always seems to know how to catch fish no matter the time of year or the weather conditions.