Fishing Journal

My Fishing Journal – How to Keep A Fishing Journal

“We do not remember days; we remember moments.” – Cesare Pavese

Do you remember your first fishing trip? Or your major days of successful fishing? Remembering those fun, happy memories and fulfilling moments is a great feeling. But, did you know there’s another way to keep those memories? A fishing journal.

This article will teach you how to create a fishing journal and other things related to it. It is a fun activity that you can do with your kids. Let us start clipping photos, making bullets, and journaling!

What is a Fishing Journal?

A fishing journal is a collection of memories or things you learned from your past fishing trips. These can be through notes, photo clippings, or online. Aside from including which tackle you used, it will also include each location you stopped at during your fishing trip.

You can include detailed information of what happened, your first catch, and the actions you took that made it successful. But, if it wasn’t successful, you can write your takeaways and reflections or realizations. You can relive the memory wherever you are and it will help you want to do it all over again.

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How to Keep a Fishing Journal?

Keeping a fishing journal isn’t tricky and you don’t need experience and expensive materials to start one. Sometimes, a dedicated notebook or journal and pen are enough.

Here’s how you can keep a fishing journal:

Determine What You Want to See in Your Journal

Like any project, you must have a goal when creating a journal. It’s the essential information that you need before starting.

Starting one without a goal could make you get bored quickly or cause burnout. Choose a journal template that you can personalize for your fishing style.

Here are three types of journals you could use:

The Standard Type Journal

The standard type journal is sometimes called “play-by-play.” This journal is easy to keep and update because it usually contains a summary of your day in paragraph form. One to two paragraphs are often enough.

It may include details like who you were with, what you were fishing, and where you fished. This type is excellent for anglers who want to look back often and remember what happened on a trip.

The Artsy Journal

This type of journal is more detailed compared to the standard type. The idea is to tell things differently and not just in the usual paragraph, diary-like form.

In this type of journaling, you can spare one to three pages for a specific trip. You can make it livelier by adding reactions, thoughts, or what you felt at that moment. You can also add photos or relevant clippings (but not too much, it would look like a scrapbook.)

This type of journal is suitable for anglers who love art and crafts. If you have kids, you can even do it with them while cherishing those moments on the water.

The Reference Log Journal

This journal can be useful for your next fishing trip as a reference. It contains logs or actual data from your trip, like what time of the day and the specific weather. You may also include the water species you watched or almost caught and your fishing setup.

Anglers who use this type of journal aim to keep important information that they can use to improve. It comes especially handy if they will fish on the same spot.

Choosing from the three types isn’t necessary, but it is recommended. Though you can use a customized one, remember to set a goal before creating one.

Determining What Medium You Will Use

With the effects of modern technology, you can now use two mediums for journaling: digital and print. Here are the advantages of each:


Digital journaling can be great for some anglers, especially those who are more technologically advanced.

There’s no risk of losing or destroying your digital journal since you can make a backup online. It is convenient because you can access your digital journal from numerous devices. It will always be accessible whenever you want to add something to your journal.

You can share your journal with the public through blog sites like Weebly, WordPress, etc. There are also fishing apps that have a journaling feature.


This is a traditional medium for journaling using a pen and paper. And yes: many are still into conventional journaling. Anglers who feel satisfied when they’re able to pull out their pen and use it on paper, for example.

Here are some advantages of paper journaling from digital journaling:

  • A paper journal will not run out of battery, unlike your smartphone for digital journaling.
  • It’s more flexible than digital journals because you don’t need to follow guidelines or forms to fill up before proceeding.
  • Paper journals allow you to draw images of where you fished, add notes, and anything to make it more informative.

So, which one is better? I would say choose the one that you are most comfortable using.

Adapt and Keep Up with It

This may be the most challenging part of making a fishing journal. It’s because it’s not always easy to write your thoughts even if the “feeling” is there.

And, if you accidentally leave your journal hanging, you’ll get behind without you noticing. So, once ideas pop into your mind, get your journal immediately and pour your thoughts to avoid leaving them behind. This way, you won’t skip an exciting moment that you may want to relive someday.

You should learn to adapt and treat it as something that would motivate you to write on it religiously. For instance, think of the benefits that you could gain in the future and make that your motivation.

What Should You Write in Your Fishing Journal?

Here is some important information that you may want to consider writing in your fishing journal:

  • Date when you went fishing.
  • Location where you fished.
  • Time you started fishing.
  • Which rod, reel, and line you used.
  • The type of water body where you went fishing.
  • The weather condition on the day you fished. This may include air pressure, wind direction, and temperature.
  • Adding the moon phase will also be helpful, especially if you believe it affects fishing.
  • The condition of the water body where you fished would be helpful. This can range from the water level, water temperature, clarity, and turbidity.
  • You may also record the types of active water species you encountered.
  • The time you ended your fishing activity.
  • You may also add comments, like the best time of fishing or if the location is great for fishing or not.

Why Should You Keep a Fishing Journal?

You might wonder why we’re discussing fishing journals. Is it beneficial for anglers? Or is it just to become sentimental?

Here are the most beneficial reasons why an angler should keep a fishing journal:

  • A fishing journal lets you make patterns or track one, especially if you are fishing in the same area every season.
  • It will help you compare and identify the best time of the day and the best time of the year. It may even tell you the best weather condition to go fishing!
  • It would help you be more prepared and help you adjust to the changing weather conditions.
  • A fishing journal would help you determine what bait or lure to use on your next fishing trip.
  • A fishing journal will help you improve your fishing skills. It may also enhance your learnings, not only about fishing but also about the other factors affecting it.


They say, “Every picture tells a story.” True enough. But, I believe that words are more powerful and they could bring more life if put with a photo. This is why I find fishing journals very much interesting. 

Some anglers say that having a fishing journal is as crucial as having a playbook for football players. With the fishing journal’s benefits, in the long run, I won’t argue with that statement. Many successful anglers keep track of their previous fishing activities and it keeps them indulged. As Winston Churchill said, “Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm.”

Building a fishing journal is the creative part of fishing. There are no rules to follow. It shouldn’t stress you in any way. Just notes to make things easier the next time you take a trip out with your rod and reel. 

Take care, stay safe, and tight lines.

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