Today: Sunday 3 July 2022
  • Ranger Alluminum
    Crappie Kingdom 11 Jul 2018

    Crappie Kingdom




    I have written before about the importance of keeping records and using them as references.  I feel compelled to rewrite about what to record and how to use documented references.  It is important to record every trip you take to the lake.  That information takes very little time to record and I consider it part of the outing.  As the old saying goes “no job is done until the paperwork is finished”.  Once you form the habit of writing down the activity on the trip, it becomes second nature.  The information I record helps me determine a pattern from year to year.  These patterns will generally hold true from year to year with minimal variance.  By referring to my diary, I can tell people when and where fish will be active with good detail.  There are variables that play a role in the patterns but generally do not cause too much of a change from year to year.  The information needs to be recorded in a diary that is more than a scrap pieces of paper.  There are fish journals out there that tells you general information to record.  Specific details are included in my information that I feel is necessary to give me what I need to find fish.


    The question is “what do I record”?  The first bit of information I record is who my fishing partner was for the day or did I go by myself.  Not that this information is critical but it does give me a record of how many folks I take during the year or who I have gone with.  Next, I record what lake and what part of the lake I fished.  This information will include specific structures which I have on GPS or by my generic name I have given a certain brushpile.  The generic names might include names like “battery bank bed”, “water heater bed”,or “spicewood trees”.  They are names I have tagged specific spots I fish.  I will include the depth of these structures and where the fish were located in or around the brush.  Some days the fish will be deep in the brush while other days they will be suspended above the brush.  I will include what technique I used to catch fish.  The two techniques I generally use are “pitch and drift” or “vertical jigging”.  Some folks might include “pulling crank baits”, “pushing cranks”, “rigging”, or “long lining”.  Whatever method is used needs to be recorded.  The color and size of jig body and jig is recorded as well.  If you are using minnows, record that as well.  Any specific that can detail your activity needs to be recorded.  I record lake surface temperature, time of day I fished, and lake level.  Lastly, I will record the number and size of fish caught on the specific day. This list of information sounds like a lot but doesn’t take long to record.  I also keep a running total of keeper fish caught and number of trips taken.  This information is supplemental and if for my personal use only. 

    The value of this information is more than you might think.  If you go fishing a lot, you will forget from year to year or even week to week.  I find that I can look back a year or more and see where I had been and what I caught.  I have also found that from year to year the pattern is pretty stable.  I can determine within a few days when specific patterns will begin and end.  This information directs me to active fish patterns and prevents wasting time looking for fish.  Weather will play a role in when things happen early in the year but as the day gets longer it becomes less important. 

    By having recorded information, I can plan an outing that will give me the best opportunity to catch fish.  I can determine which beds produce from year to year as well as determine which ones need to be refreshed.  Refreshing beds is a whole other article but it is equally important for year to year production.  By having this information available to me, my odds of putting fish in the boat are greatly increased.  I’ve been keeping records for several years and it’s fun to look back and recall past fishing trips with different folks.  The older I get the more forgetful I become but I can look back in my diaries and have accurate information at my fingertips.  I encourage you to keep records and increase your knowledge of the game we play.  Good fishing and good catching!

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