Tidal Fish Forum banner
1 - 12 of 12 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,339 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
A few days ago, I posted a review of my fishing during 2021. I included some statistics about my fishing days and fish caught. I wanted to follow up today with a description of how I track my fishing information.

As each year comes to an end, most fishermen think back over the catches they have made during the year. For those who fish occasionally, the number of species and total fish caught may not be large. But for those hard-core anglers who fish often, keeping track of what you caught can be challenging. Here are some of the questions that I want to be able to answer.
  • How often did I fish?
  • How did I get to the fish? (kayak, boat, shoreline)
  • Where did I fish? (actual location and general region)
  • How many different species of fish did I catch, and how many of each species were caught during the year?
  • How many fish did I catch each trip?
  • On how many different days did I catch each species?
  • What was the earliest and latest date on which I caught each species
Without a detailed database, getting answers to some of those questions would be tough. In January 2021, I created an Excel spreadsheet to track each trip. Columns were added for date, specific location, general location, how I fished, comments, and individual columns for each species. At the end of each trip, I go to my laptop and enter information (this takes only 1 to 2 minutes for each trip). To keep track of the running totals, I programmed a highlighted row to sum up the total number of fish caught for each species to date. I also added a highlighted column to sum up the total number of fish caught per date. The graphic below shows a portion of the spreadsheet with dates from October 1 through November 10. For sake of space, only 51 of the 58 species are shown here. I intentionally minimized the column on specific location to avoid spot burning.

Rectangle Product Font Screenshot Line


I also used a second table to list each species I caught, the length of the longest fish of that species caught during the year, and whether that species was new to me or was a personal best length.

Font Number


During 2021, I fished on 215 different days (a personal best). I caught 2,728 fish representing 58 different species. Four of the species were new to me, and for another 11 species, I caught personal best sized fish. Some were caught only in Florida, but most were caught in Maryland waters or in the Virginia portion of the Chesapeake Bay. I’m sure than many guides and other expert anglers caught more fish or larger fish, but this is not too bad for an old guy fishing mainly from an 11’ kayak.

I wrote up a much more detailed review of my 2021 fishing experiences, with photos of fish from all 58 species. Interested readers can go to 2021 Fishing Review and download that file.

Here are a few examples of the type of information I was able to extract from the spreadsheet using the sorting tools in Excel.
  • The species caught the most often was white perch (1,027 times). Striped bass (920), pickerel (341), and speckled trout (123) were the other species caught more than 40 times.
  • The highest number of fish caught in one day was 54 on June 8.
  • The highest number of species caught in one trip was 8 on April 2.
  • For 17 species, I caught only one fish during the year, and for 20 others, I caught fewer than 5 fish during the year.
  • I caught stripers on 98 different days – the earliest date was March 25 and the last date was December 7; I caught white perch on 96 different days – the earliest date was March 22 and the last date was October 30.
  • I catch few speckled trout in Maryland waters during most years, but this year they were more abundant. I caught a total of 55 specks on 18 days in Maryland, along with others from Florida and Virginia waters.
  • I fished on 111 days in the Severn River and its tidal creeks and ponds, on 29 days from the Queen Anne’s County launches, on 17 days at different spots in Florida, and at many other locations fewer times.
  • My largest fish of the year was a 76” sailfish, with the next largest being a 60” lemon shark (both caught from kayaks); I caught fish at least 20” long of 16 other species.
Taking the time and effort to enter data after each trip may be impractical or tedious for some anglers. Some folks prefer to keep a written log book with text (but that is time-consuming to compile data from multiple dates). Others simply don’t care about their fishing statistics and results. But for those who take the time to enter the data, there is a wealth of information that can be gleaned. I am very pleased with the amount and types of data outputs I can derive from this year’s databases. Other anglers who like this format can add more columns to indicate weather, tides, lures/bait type used or other factors to customize the database for their own needs. I am willing to share the Excel file I used (after deleting all the locations) to other interested anglers. Contact me if interested.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,328 Posts
I answer all of then questions by taking pictures then put them on my pictures on the computer. That tells me everything except water Temp.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,602 Posts
That size Jack and Sail will kick your butt! 14” Sheepshead will too! Congrats. Last Sail I caught peaked my HR at 165 so at 75 I think I shouldn’t go without a defibrillator on board! Nicely done as always John.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
356 Posts
That is an impressive level of detail. I should keep better notes but I end up just living in the moment when I'm fishing and not taking notes to document it. I'll snap a pic now and then and I try real hard to remember how barometer, cloud cover and river flow was on the good days for the sake of repeatability but that's about as detailed as I get.
Once upon a time I kept a "life list" of all the species of fish I've caught but in the last few years I haven't updated it with the new ones.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
246 Posts
I answer all of then questions by taking pictures then put them on my pictures on the computer. That tells me everything except water Temp.
Andy, Great minds think a like. I take pictures of my sonar which captures the date, water temp, trolling speed, and the depth the fish were in. I consider it my lazy way of keeping a fishing log.

John, Love your attention to detail. My question to you how do you keep track of how many fish and species you caught through out the day?


Gadget Font Cameras & optics Gas Handwriting
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
4,339 Posts
Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Andy, Great minds think a like. I take pictures of my sonar which captures the date, water temp, trolling speed, and the depth the fish were in. I consider it my lazy way of keeping a fishing log.

John, Love your attention to detail. My question to you how do you keep track of how many fish and species you caught through out the day?


View attachment 280537
I too take photos, not of every fish I catch, but of unusual or particularly large fish. The file names for the photos have the dates in them, so I coordinate my catch data with the photos.

You asked how I keep track of the fish I catch. Even at my senior citizen age, I can still remember how many (+ or - a few) fish I catch each day. If I were routinely catching 50 to 100 fish per day, that would be more difficult, but I rarely end up with more than 3 species or 20 total fish in a day. As long as I enter the catch info into the spreadsheet the same day, it is still fresh in my mind. I know several anglers who carry small clicker/counters with them to keep track of the fish they catch.

You mention getting information on water temp, trolling speed, and the depth the fish were in. Those are all worthwhile things to know, but I personally don't track any of them on a daily basis. Most of my fishing is done from a kayak in water depths less than 5' deep, and the kayak I use 80% of the time does not have a FF/GPS unit on it. The beauty of the spreadsheet concept is that each angler can add or remove columns to include those types of data of interest.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
246 Posts
All great points John. Although I am surprised you don’t track water temps. At least for me its been beneficial.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
137 Posts
I lose count after three and it may not be that many if I am catching multiple species. I’ve never recorded anything even though I bought book# that were designed to do what John has done. Wound up selling them at flea markets. Sometimes I wish I would have recorded something. I do remember great trips and some not so great but I can’t remember the years they took place, I do have a few films I made and a few pics.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
132 Posts
John,
i have tracked with both a written diary and a spreadsheet. I like tracking other items in addition to the fish species, number, size and date caught. In diary may include who I fished with, how I felt about the trip and conditions we fished under… water—level from the nearest USGS gauge, animal species we saw, how the water level or wind effected the float trip and such. Example, my first trip this year was a couple of hours walking around Piney Run reservoir. To me recording that I saw a turtle surface a couple times on January 2, 2022 was unusual and worth recording. Also saw schools of baitfish dippling the surface near shoreline. I was able to catch a yellow perch by presenting a suspended minnow below them and noted two heron in the area. Next day we had a 4” snowfall here.

Over time, I review results of trip and helps me make decisions about best locations or methods to fish a waterway.

thanks for starting this topic….
ACG
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,636 Posts
John this is a great thread with lots of good info!

ACG, I really like the idea of tracking water levels, in both freshwater and tidewater. It is really interesting to watch the tidewater hydrographs especially the high water events that sometimes cause "sunny day flooding." I fish the Severn and launch in Annapolis and that city now has flooding on a regular basis. The actual water level is influenced by sustained winds and barometric pressure (apart from low/high tide) and among other things the level has a big impact on shoreline structure fishing for perch.

I use the NOAA site to monitor river levels for fishing and whitewater paddling, and to monitor tidewater stations.


As I write this I note that Annapolis is just finishing a minor flooding event:

 
1 - 12 of 12 Posts
Top