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Hi all,

For those who keep a fishing diary, what do you use?

Decided to up my game a little bit over the coming year and start keeping a fishing diary. I think an electronic version is an obvious choice, firstly because you can use your phone to capture the information and secondly because I am a data analyst by trade and I am fascinated by the idea of a data-driven insights into my fishing. I've set myself a goal to log 50 trips over the coming 12 months and see what comes of the data points collected.

I reviewed a number of apps/online fishing diaries and found most of them lacking in one way or another. Though it is nice to have maps - which most had - they had glaring omissions such as no place to record tides and also no option to record anything when you have a donut; often there are situations where I might not have caught anything but have learned something important, such as the location of deeper water or presence of flathead lies on a low tide etc.

So far I've ended up making my own google form:

image.thumb.png.77845044f3ae0c68ed13e1a2107998b6.png

Which captures data in a google sheet:

image.thumb.png.253ec2180186e382b9dc62d021e49f22.png

Eventually I'm planning to API in more detailed weather, tide and moon phase information based on the session details, but surely it can't be that hard! Owing to my line of work I'm not afraid of writing a bit of code, but I find it hard to believe that any of these ideas are original and thus someone must have done this already...

But if I need to continue, I suspect using a combination an app to record a session and then completing the form based on this information, might be my go-to.

Any thoughts?

Mike

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I think the important determinants are tide, wind, swell, location, time of year, time of day, target species and bait.

A diary sounded like a good idea but in my case I struggled to maintain it and did not bother to go back and read it as I remembered the information anyway. The goal is to work out where and when to fish for what species. I mostly target flathead and luderick so not too hard.

I now know at this time of year that I should target luderick and, depending on the tide and wind and swell, I know where to fish with the wind at my back and the fish on the chew.

That being said, as conditions change eg the floods of the last two years have completely altered the structure of channels and sand bars in the estuary I mostly fish so atm, I am having to do a bit of exploring to see if I can find the fish, but using the principles I have learned to help me decide where to look.

ATM, the blackfish are very hard to find in Tuggerah Lakes! Talking to other locals, I know I am not alone.
 

KB

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I had a book that I used to keep data in, Tides, moon phase, sun rise/set, location, time of day, boat or land based, bait used , fish activity etc. I found it handy and certain patterns were forming and it taught me a lot about fishing over the years.

Then back in about 1992 or there abouts I bought a Rothery's Tide and Fish Master. an electronic fish computer gadget that tells you pretty well all you need to know . Tide, moon phase, sun rise/set, for location and time that you intend to try your luck. You do need to guess what the barometer is going to do as this puts a variant into the prediction. 

It works on the Polynesian theory for hunting and fishing and I found it pretty accurate.

For instance ( For Zoran and others ) this coming Wednesday in the Sydney area the fishing will only be fair with the peak times from 8 am till 10 am and the 2nd peak roughly 12 hours later. That is based on a steady barometer.

The best days for this month has already come and gone,   9th and 12th with the next best days 26th 27th.

352629172_fishdiary2.thumb.jpg.8d75d2af63f022cd2e8137e745757b96.jpg

922745281_almanac2.thumb.jpg.9bfa882a4b9131de67620335c6ace1c6.jpg

I very rarely use this now and it is just an ornament but for anyone starting out it OR something similar would be very handy.

Frank 

 

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This is a good topic Mike, especially for somebody who works in the field you do. The interesting info gleaned would be available at the end of the annual cycle. It could be invaluable. I can see quite a few downsides though. The things which happen within the life cycle of a particular species in between trips are huge variants and can bring about big anomalies in the reliability of the data collected.

Being an old fart, and computer illiterate, I favour a more hands on approach like KB obviously does. That doesn't however mean that the information which you would gather would be less significant...just different. Fishing is haphazard to say the least, mANY DONUTS CREATED SIMPLY BECAUSE THE FISH DON'T WANT TO PLAY. gOOD LUCK WITH YOUR project anyway. It will certainly be worth following. Cheers, bn

ps.  as if to prove my computer illiteracy the machine has typed some in upper case and I can't be bothered fighting with it. On my way out.

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When I got back into fishing about 5 years ago, I would take notes for the day, fish caught, bait, tides, weather, water quality, daytime temp, moon cycle. 

I've not kept a notebook for a while now though....

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I just keep a txt file with the date on Dropbox with the relevant information and append screenshots from AU tides App of the tide/moon phase data and another from BOM weather with meteorological and swell conditions. 

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The oldest records I made were from 1968, and I still record things today. I do not record days, dates, time or anything else, just the size (by weight only, and in pounds, to the nearest quarter pound, not kilos, as that is how I started) I just use a notepad.

I do not record locations, unless fishing in locations other than inside Port Hacking. Looking back at the old records, I sometimes can remember where I was fishing due to the species of fish caught.

Edited by Yowie
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Pretty sure there already Apps around that can pin fish capture locations with a date stamp, record of the conditions not sure about that but I would rather do that than spend a lot of time doing manual entries.

Would be nice if that info could be exported or even printed as well.

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@Little_Flatty good thread.

This has been brought up a few times over the years. 
Some members used their fishing reports to track detail over the years. They are able to do a search on their reports from year to year to look at key info. 
 

Our fishing app called DECKEE has a trip log. For boaters it generates a map of the direction and start, finish, time taken, ave speed and distance. It allows the user to add notes and share with others. See the pic below. Jump in and have a look what is there so far @Little_Flatty. 
 

Keep the ideas coming on this thread. 
D45DC207-F387-4503-A1A4-BE1AC81303D5.jpeg

 

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20 hours ago, kingie chaser said:

Pretty sure there already Apps around that can pin fish capture locations with a date stamp, record of the conditions not sure about that but I would rather do that than spend a lot of time doing manual entries.

Would be nice if that info could be exported or even printed as well.

There are apps that do that , one I heard of did everything for you when you took a photo of the fish you caught but it is a subscription app -around $50 a year iirc.

Might be something Deckee could add to their app in the future ? They already have all the info you need on the app it is just a matter of allowing the app to use the camera on your phone and adding the info like weather , tide moon phase , location etc on the bottom of the picture - like a time / date stamp .You could then transfer these photos to a file on your phone or pc . Even if it didn’t take a photo it would be nice to be able to quickly open the Deckee app and click on an icon so the app records the current conditions and location so you can refer to it when you get home or maybe even print it out .

I usually find that by the time I get home , clean the boat , clean my gear and sort out the catch I forget to write down everything I want to record .

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I went a little further into the note area on DECKEE trip log

You will see in the screenshot how I stepped through it

I took the report link¬†and added it into notes and saved it. There is an option to ‚Äúmake private‚ÄĚ.

So I can make my report into fishraider complete with photos of captures , video content and details of weather conditions, scientific data and add the link in DECKEE trip log notes.
 

It would good to design an e-form with reportable ability in fishraider perhaps? We would not want to ruin the great fishing reports and anecdotal accounts. The form could be for those that wish to use it. 

Thanks for the thread Mike. 

78DADD59-86CC-45E7-B588-466FF00C90F3.jpeg

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On 6/19/2021 at 6:41 AM, Koalaboi said:

I think the important determinants are tide, wind, swell, location, time of year, time of day, target species and bait.

A diary sounded like a good idea but in my case I struggled to maintain it and did not bother to go back and read it as I remembered the information anyway. The goal is to work out where and when to fish for what species. I mostly target flathead and luderick so not too hard.

Thanks KB, I will make sure I pull these things in. I want to make this as easy as possible so I can be consistent with it.

On 6/19/2021 at 8:22 AM, frankS said:

I had a book that I used to keep data in, Tides, moon phase, sun rise/set, location, time of day, boat or land based, bait used , fish activity etc. I found it handy and certain patterns were forming and it taught me a lot about fishing over the years.

Then back in about 1992 or there abouts I bought a Rothery's Tide and Fish Master. an electronic fish computer gadget that tells you pretty well all you need to know . Tide, moon phase, sun rise/set, for location and time that you intend to try your luck. You do need to guess what the barometer is going to do as this puts a variant into the prediction. 

It works on the Polynesian theory for hunting and fishing and I found it pretty accurate.

For instance ( For Zoran and others ) this coming Wednesday in the Sydney area the fishing will only be fair with the peak times from 8 am till 10 am and the 2nd peak roughly 12 hours later. That is based on a steady barometer.

The best days for this month has already come and gone,   9th and 12th with the next best days 26th 27th.

352629172_fishdiary2.thumb.jpg.8d75d2af63f022cd2e8137e745757b96.jpg

922745281_almanac2.thumb.jpg.9bfa882a4b9131de67620335c6ace1c6.jpg

I very rarely use this now and it is just an ornament but for anyone starting out it OR something similar would be very handy.

Frank 

 

Thanks Frank, I've always been quite fascinated with those guides (but couldn't afford them in their heyday). I am completely fascinated that you have found them accurate. Always thought they were too good to be true, but here we have it from a truly experienced fisho.

On 6/19/2021 at 11:33 AM, Yowie said:

The oldest records I made were from 1968, and I still record things today. I do not record days, dates, time or anything else, just the size (by weight only, and in pounds, to the nearest quarter pound, not kilos, as that is how I started) I just use a notepad.

I do not record locations, unless fishing in locations other than inside Port Hacking. Looking back at the old records, I sometimes can remember where I was fishing due to the species of fish caught.

I think your reports are proving to be quite a rich source of information Yowie as per Mrs Swordie's previous comments! Also I suspect you don't need the 'Donut Report' functionality that I do!

1 hour ago, mrsswordfisherman said:

I went a little further into the note area on DECKEE trip log

You will see in the screenshot how I stepped through it

I took the report link¬†and added it into notes and saved it. There is an option to ‚Äúmake private‚ÄĚ.

So I can make my report into fishraider complete with photos of captures , video content and details of weather conditions, scientific data and add the link in DECKEE trip log notes.
 

It would good to design an e-form with reportable ability in fishraider perhaps? We would not want to ruin the great fishing reports and anecdotal accounts. The form could be for those that wish to use it. 

Thanks for the thread Mike. 

78DADD59-86CC-45E7-B588-466FF00C90F3.jpeg

Thanks Mrs Swordie. I've installed Deckee and will give it a whirl next time I am out...was supposed to go out and log a trip today but I have severe enough man-flu that I am holed up at home in bed :( I guess I will find out in due course, but are there places to enter in custom fields such as bait/lure/technique/rig and is it possible to export the data?

Regardless, I think that linking the diary entry to the Deckee log would be very useful in the future.

As to the reportable form, for sure some raiders will like it. But that said I think I enjoy the yarns on here as much as I enjoy the information! I think the minute details are just for information junkies like myself :D

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6 hours ago, Little_Flatty said:

Thanks Mrs Swordie. I've installed Deckee and will give it a whirl next time I am out...was supposed to go out and log a trip today but I have severe enough man-flu that I am holed up at home in bed :( I guess I will find out in due course, but are there places to enter in custom fields such as bait/lure/technique/rig and is it possible to export the data?

Regardless, I think that linking the diary entry to the Deckee log would be very useful in the future.

As to the reportable form, for sure some raiders will like it. But that said I think I enjoy the yarns on here as much as I enjoy the information! I think the minute details are just for information junkies like myself :D

Hope you feel better soon.

The Deckee notes area is just a free text box. 
Swordie and I had a think tank here this afternoon and came up with many ideas/fields that could produce meaningful data for any angler who wishes to use it. 

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Like you, I've done the same, google documents. I spent a fair bit of time prior to creating my own form/data to test a few apps but at the end, I couldn't find exactly what I wanted. I started off with basic info, but more than what you had above, but over time the amount of data grew.

I log all session, including session where I did not catch anything, and the reasoning for this, was primarily cause I do a lot of landbased fishing off rocks. This info helps a lot as I log details of the behavior of the water/wind in different conditions for the exact location.

Things I log:

  • The usual forecast info (tide, height of tide, wind, moon, start/end)
  • What the water is actually doing at the location, eg how strong current, amount of wash, comfort levels, clarity
  • What the wind is actually doing, was this workable or how annoying it was (as sometimes you can hide from high winds in some locations), which way was it physically blowing at location
  • Species caught (size/weight) and time

From the above information, I create custom data points/graphs, that then shows me roughly what time of year, for what area do I manage to do ok for what species. Also I add in anomalies in within seasons as notes, harder to use in graphs, but something you can read over the years.

The above, combined with my own custom google map for marks/location, so I know exactly where was what caught and conditions. Also, with this, you can add further location based info/notes, such as rock type, comfortability, height of ledge. (This would be for places newly explored or location you hardly go to)

I am at the stage where I am not sure, if I enjoy gathering the data or actually fishing. But it does make it a little more interesting.

As for photo of species caught, that is captured by the phone automatically anyways and so you can run your photo apps search function for that.

Nothing wrong with many apps, but I just found I wanted a little bit of this and that for too many apps and this allows me to narrow down what I use and customisation.

Edited by Rob81
corrected minor spelling error
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2 hours ago, Rob81 said:

Like you, I've done the same, google documents. I spent a fair bit of time prior to creating my own form/data to test a few apps but at the end, I couldn't find exactly what I wanted. I started off with basic info, but more than what you had above, but over time the amount of data grew.

I log all session, including session where I did not catch anything, and the reasoning for this, was primarily cause I do a lot of landbased fishing off rocks. This info helps a lot as I log details of the behavior of the wate/windr in different conditions for the exact location.

Things I log:

  • The usual forecast info (tide, height of tide, wind, moon, start/end)
  • What the water is actually doing at the location, eg how strong current, amount of wash, comfort levels, clarity
  • What the wind is actually doing, was this workable or how annoying it was (as sometimes you can hide from high winds in some locations), which way was it physically blowing at location
  • Species caught (size/weight) and time

From the above information, I create custom data points/graphs, that then shows me roughly what time of year, for what area do I manage to do ok for what species. Also I add in anomalies in within seasons as notes, harder to use in graphs, but something you can read over the years.

The above, combined with my own custom google map for marks/location, so I know exactly where was what caught and conditions. Also, with this, you can add further location based info/notes, such as rock type, comfortability, height of ledge. (This would be for places newly explored or location you hardly go to)

I am at the stage where I am not sure, if I enjoy gathering the data or actually fishing. But it does make it a little more interesting.

As for photo of species caught, that is captured by the phone automatically anyways and so you can run your photo apps search function for that.

Nothing wrong with many apps, but I just found I wanted a little bit of this and that for too many apps and this allows me to narrow down what I use and customisation.

Thanks. I have the same intention - to be able analyse what I am doing over the course of multiple sessions. I think we are probably on the same page with the apps. I guess if it was easy to create a diary that enabled all of the analysis all anglers have done, we would be using it already.

I have to say that I enjoy the idea of collecting the data as well.

2 hours ago, Rob81 said:

Also, 50 trips isnt much info, unless you are fishing the one location that entire time.

Agreed, but I can’t see myself fishing more than 50 times in a year. That is in itself a stretch target for me :D That said, just owing to convenience, most of my fishing happens in the same 5km stretch of shoreline so I might still collect some useful data.

I guess what I am really looking to achieve is to establish a new habit that is beneficial to my fishing. Even if it makes us think more actively about what we are doing, there probably is already a benefit there.

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Yeah understood. Will be interesting to see what it all looks like in a couple years time to see any form of trends.

My data I believe still needs a couple more years to get anything greatly useful out of it (as I tend to fish in various places). But I am in no rush to fill it in, but I do like to go back here and there to see what I do have written down.

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Filling in the donut days is just as important as filling in productive days.

My biggest problem when I did keep records of every fishing trip was that I would roam from place to place and hardly ever fished the same spot regularly, even if I went to say Botany Bay I would be in various locations in the bay at any time during the trip, so data was hard to keep tabs on. 

I did learn heaps from years of keeping data, some good some not so good.

These days I just go fishing whenever the opportunity crops up, which isn't often.

Frank

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Great topic! 
As the memory bank dwindles I use mainly two forms of social media to record my trips. One is Instagram where I put fish I only catch on that day, that way it’s time stamped. 
Then I write a detailed report on Fishraider which gives me the memory recall I need of where I fished etc. 

Works for me! 
 

cheers scratchie!!! 

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Just started playing with the Willyweather API. If we know the time and location of our fishing session, we could have a lot of fun with this and find out some facts about conditions that we weren't even thinking about at the time we were fishing.

For instance, most intermediate saltwater fishos would at least be aware of tides, weather and temperature. More advanced fishos might consider moon phase and barometer. But for instance, have we thought about the length of the day (even if we weren't fishing twilight periods) or the UV levels?

I will say one thing after many years working with data and studying statistics; a lot of the time you don't find anything at all (and often hunches are not supported by data after a bit of investigation). It comes with the territory and I'm prepared for that. I've come to value the 'no finding' results over time; basically it gives me another piece of the puzzle as to the question: 'would I bet the house on this?' . Obviously the answer would be 'no' if I don't have the evidence, and if evidence was found, then I'd have reason to ask more questions and perhaps invest - monetarily, time or otherwise - in the findings.

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1 hour ago, Little_Flatty said:

Just started playing with the Willyweather API. If we know the time and location of our fishing session, we could have a lot of fun with this and find out some facts about conditions that we weren't even thinking about at the time we were fishing.

For instance, most intermediate saltwater fishos would at least be aware of tides, weather and temperature. More advanced fishos might consider moon phase and barometer. But for instance, have we thought about the length of the day (even if we weren't fishing twilight periods) or the UV levels?

I will say one thing after many years working with data and studying statistics; a lot of the time you don't find anything at all (and often hunches are not supported by data after a bit of investigation). It comes with the territory and I'm prepared for that. I've come to value the 'no finding' results over time; basically it gives me another piece of the puzzle as to the question: 'would I bet the house on this?' . Obviously the answer would be 'no' if I don't have the evidence, and if evidence was found, then I'd have reason to ask more questions and perhaps invest - monetarily, time or otherwise - in the findings.

There are already publications out there that have done the hard yards already for you & looked at the historical tide/bara/lunar etc & worked out the best "theoretical" times to catch fish.

2021-Anglers-Almanac.thumb.jpg.7bd7f6980a31f6cf1051a462f283805b.jpg

 

I have never bought one but should as they are cheap(about $8 a year), but these could be an easy way to associate catch rates with a date & time to the tide chart of the day & add notes to the type of weather on a particular day??

Put it in the cupboard & look at it next year for the same period or use it to plan around.

 

There is one for pretty much every state.

 

Just an idea :thumbup:

 

 

Edited by kingie chaser
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1 hour ago, Little_Flatty said:

Just started playing with the Willyweather API. If we know the time and location of our fishing session, we could have a lot of fun with this and find out some facts about conditions that we weren't even thinking about at the time we were fishing.

For instance, most intermediate saltwater fishos would at least be aware of tides, weather and temperature. More advanced fishos might consider moon phase and barometer. But for instance, have we thought about the length of the day (even if we weren't fishing twilight periods) or the UV levels?

I will say one thing after many years working with data and studying statistics; a lot of the time you don't find anything at all (and often hunches are not supported by data after a bit of investigation). It comes with the territory and I'm prepared for that. I've come to value the 'no finding' results over time; basically it gives me another piece of the puzzle as to the question: 'would I bet the house on this?' . Obviously the answer would be 'no' if I don't have the evidence, and if evidence was found, then I'd have reason to ask more questions and perhaps invest - monetarily, time or otherwise - in the findings.

I guess you have to look at why you are collecting data. How relevant is it and is it high quality?

In my other life I am a qualified health informatician and looked at health data in an effort to improve patient outcomes and digitise hospitals and clinical environments. It is a whole new ball game. 

My other half is a very technical angler and I asked him yesterday what sort of info he would like to have. He lives and breathes fishing and all aspects every day of his life. He came up with a whole lot of things that have not been mentioned yet. He uses that knowledge every time he fishes and most of the time he is successful. Does the average angler need that? Perhaps not but it would be great to have the opportunity to log it all somewhere to evaluate the efforts to share with others. 

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18 hours ago, frankS said:

Filling in the donut days is just as important as filling in productive days.

My biggest problem when I did keep records of every fishing trip was that I would roam from place to place and hardly ever fished the same spot regularly, even if I went to say Botany Bay I would be in various locations in the bay at any time during the trip, so data was hard to keep tabs on. 

I did learn heaps from years of keeping data, some good some not so good.

These days I just go fishing whenever the opportunity crops up, which isn't often.

Frank

Yes, this is the exact issue I have with my dataset. But over time, it'll all make sense and worth it.

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