Guide Secrets To Consistent Catches: Log Your Success

by Mark Melotik

HuntStand Pro Contributor MORE FROM Mark

Find some big fish in an unusual location? Saving the details of all your catches using the ScoutLook Fishing app “Fish Log” helps build a “treasure chest” of future hotspots.

FishPlanning1 600You have heard it a thousand times: “Hard work pays off.” That couldn’t be more true when it comes to planning and tracking your daily fishing adventures. I know a plethora of successful guides who keep a calendar and use it religiously to track their year-long daily catches. By doing this they are able to pull these old calendars out each year and identify patterns that worked during similar timelines and situations. That kind of info can be priceless.

Knowing what the fish were doing and where they were doing it from year to year helps you narrow down the water to begin your search. Logging your good fishing locations has been made easier than ever with today’s electronics. With a push of a button we can save the waypoint of a specific location so we can mimic the same presentation on that exact location again and again.

BashorePlanning2 600The ScoutLook Fishing app’s Fish Log feature lets us take this info-gathering to a whole new level. Let’s say you are on the water and you catch that 28-inch, heavy-bellied walleye you’ve been seeking. You certainly

BashoreScreen600 want to keep a record of exactly where and what you were doing at that moment, to put such an epic spectacle of a fish in your boat. With a simple push of a button, you can. I use my ScoutLook Fishing app “Fish Log” setting to do just that. It’s as simple as hitting the “log” button.

PlanningScreen600Of course, there is much more to this if you want to use the ScoutLook Fishing app’s “Fish Log” feature to its full potential, and I highly recommend you do just that. Start by snapping a quick photo of the fish you just caught and take a minute at that moment to fill in the rest of the logging info (fish length, lure, water depth/clarity, etc.), or go ahead and pull it up later that evening and enter the pertinent info then. I recommend you do this sooner than later, so the day, your catch and its details are fresh in your mind. The best part about this “log” feature is that once you hit “save” it will also, automatically, save the location, time and current weather (see above for example). Now you have just created a waypoint with loads of info on how you caught your fish. This can also come in real handy during ice fishing season.

You will be amazed how logging your fish catches will increase your fishing success in the future. This is very critical for me as a tournament angler. I log all of my fish over a specific size, based on the fishery. As you might guess, this is especially important any time I’m fishing a lake or reservoir that may be on my tournament circuit. This information comes into play as I’m putting together my program for the tournament, and the info is something for me to consult for guidance if a certain weather situation arises.

BashorePlanning6 600Many times you are catching fish all over the place, but in tournament fishing it’s the weight that matters. Typically, you must go big or go home. As such, certain areas of a reservoir will often hold heavier fish than others, and this knowledge can often be the difference between a good finish and a great finish.

I am also able to closely analyze the info that I have logged by entering it into a custom spreadsheet that I have created. By adding filters, with a sizeable sample amount, I can identify the pattern that was most effective, based solely on my logged info. I will then use this info to help me narrow down the most-likely locations on the lake that will be holding the type of fish I am looking for. It’s been remarkably accurate and effective.

Some might say that with all the technology available to us, fishing has been made too easy. I can guarantee you it isn’t easy, and all of these gadgets are only as good as the person operating them. This is all part of effective pre-fish planning. It is well worth your while to spend some time—especially during those times when “cabin fever” is setting in—and create some test logs, as well as set up your favorite fishing locations.  A little time spent doing some “homework” during the off season will go a long way during the open water season.

BashorePlanning3 600Fish are most definitely creatures of habit and seasonal patterns; however, we have all experienced situations where we have caught some nice fish that “shouldn’t have been there.” Logging these particular situations will soon help you identify new patterns, and areas for you to search out. Don’t get stuck in the norm of what you “should” be doing. When you create your own book of success and hot spots, you will be one step ahead of the competition. Or simply, use the info to help you show up your buddies; maybe you will find yourself racking up epic catches from three feet of water, while they are all out pounding the extreme depths with limited success.

Over time, based on your logs and patterns, you will know when and where to deploy your arsenal of fishing tackle to realize your best chances for success. In fishing, and all other outdoor pursuits for that matter, more knowledge equates to more success. Start building more of your own right now by using the ScoutLook Fishing app and its valuable Fish Log. Good fishing!




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