I am often asked what tips I can offer for fishing; best lures, best rod and reel, best location, and I always start off with the same advice: keep a logbook. This may not seem like much of a tip at all, but in all reality it is in my opinion one of the best things you can do to become a better fisherman. This is the same advice that my dad gave to me many years ago. Even today when I ask him, he tells me to consult my logbook.
My dad has been keeping a logbook since before I was born and he just recently gave me the one that he has been keeping since 1979. It is a treasure trove of information from years of experience. In my logbook I record things like the date, time, tide, moon phase, weather, water conditions, bait and of course, my catch and location. Here is an example from my last trip:
Low Tide 8:30, sunny, winds calm till about 10:30 then was blowing around 7-10mph 2 days after the full moon
1 Red at 1st creek mouth
1 Red near fallen tree and oyster point also 3 flounder
2 Flounder near the 2nd creek mouth
2 Flounder past the point by the bridge oyster bars
5 Flounder by the 3rd creek mouth
2 Snook at the both small on a DOA all other fish caught on root beer slayer paddle tail
I generally try to record these when I get home from fishing so that the information is fresh in my mind. If you think about it, fish are creatures of habit and eventually if you fish in the same areas and keep a logbook you will start to see patterns year after year. Of course fish always throw curve balls at you, but by keeping the logbook you will have a general idea of what to do on the same tides and times of the year.
The article was originally posted on the New Smyrna Beach Kayak Anglers website.