Trout Fishing photo

While rummaging through a box of old books not long ago, I found a marble notebook that served as my fishing log. It was from 2003, and the first 10 pages had 5 trips logged, all with meticulous info ranging from water temperature, to wind, tide, hatches, and air temperature. The rest of the notebook was blank.

You would think that since I’m a writer, I’d stick with a fishing log, but I guess on trip number 6 I came home dead tired and just said “eh, I’ll skip it tonight.” I never went back to it. But without question, I’d be a far better angler if I had kept it up.

I’ve interviewed lots of guides, and the best ones have volumes of logs holding, in some cases, decades worth of fishing trips. They’ll all tell you something to this effect: “You’d be shocked how even three seasons of keeping a log will show you patterns you may have never picked up on otherwise.” Friend and striper guide Lou Grazioso once told me he actually uses his log to mark bait locations more than fish. If he goes to find bait and it’s not where it should be, he’ll quickly scan old info that matches the day’s conditions. Often, his notes point him to the right spot fast while other boats burn gas and run all over looking for the bunker schools.

I’m curious, do any of you keep fishing logs? Have they made you a better angler? Bottom line is we all should keep them, but it takes more dedication than you might think. — JC