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Ham

The Devil is in the details

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 A long time ago when I was single , I did some guiding . I taught my self how to mentally keep track of how many, what size and what species my clients caught on a trip .

 

A year or so ago , I was finally able to turn that off in my mind , long , long after I wanted to .

 

 If you like keeping track and it's part of your joy in fishing , I'm all for it . Every one likes to do things differently , the only right way is the way that makes you happy .

 For me it turned from being useful in a business to something that drove me bonkers .

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Well I didn't have access to my fishing records spreadsheet during my previous responses. And yes I do maintain a fishing spreadsheet. So my totals since March 1, 2016 are as follows:

590 fish total - my best year ever and with two more months on my "fishing year" should easily exceed 600 fish

55 fishing trips in MO, Arkansas, and New Jersey

19 new fish species (I do include subspecies in this listing), including Shadow bass and cutthroat trout that I caught while fishing with Ham in Aug and Dec and Neosho smallmouth bass that I caught in SW MO - really looking hard to get that 20th by end of Feb. - walleye or yellow bass (if I get out ice fishing with daughter) most likely candidates; my original goal was to catch 15 new species to bring my life total up to 110 species.

46 different species - again looking for ways to get four more different fish to hit 50 before end of Feb. Currently looking at golden redhorse, spotted bass, chain pickerel, grass pickerel, yellow perch (if I get out ice fishing with daughter), blue catfish, McCloud rainbows as possible options; I didn't set a total species goal instead was focused on the new species this year.

Increased my PB smallmouth with an 18.4" smallmouth I caught on my trip with Ham in Aug. Even before I caught this fish, I was planning on setting 2017-2018 goals to increase my PB for trout and bass. Now that goal just got a little harder for smallmouth.

 

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On ‎12‎/‎28‎/‎2016 at 8:20 AM, Haris122 said:

I only got up to 251 fish. And that's counting even small sunfish and such. Actually quite a lot of them were little sunfish of various types.  I got about 25 species, with White Crappie, Black Crappie, and Rainbow Trout as the 3 most frequently caught (I lumped a lot of the sunfish into 1 group, for the ones I wasn't sure of species type so I'm not counting them as 1 species otherwise they'd be #1).

Haris122 - My philosophy is to catch and count them all no matter how big or small. You know I have been loving the small guys lately. if you get some good photos of the sunfish, I may be able to help with the id. The little ones are tough, but it doesn't hurt to have someone else take a look at them.

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39 minutes ago, Johnsfolly said:

Haris122 - My philosophy is to catch and count them all no matter how big or small. You know I have been loving the small guys lately. if you get some good photos of the sunfish, I may be able to help with the id. The little ones are tough, but it doesn't hurt to have someone else take a look at them.

Every fish counts. 5 inch chub or 5 pound LMB.

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Ham and John

 

 With the records you keep, I guess you pretty much do what one buddy of mine calls keeping a life list of species caught , with likely more detail .

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4 hours ago, Johnsfolly said:

Haris122 - My philosophy is to catch and count them all no matter how big or small. You know I have been loving the small guys lately. if you get some good photos of the sunfish, I may be able to help with the id. The little ones are tough, but it doesn't hurt to have someone else take a look at them.

One of the things I always try to keep in mind and have been known to say is every big fish started out a little fish.

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57 minutes ago, Norm M said:

With the records you keep, I guess you pretty much do what one buddy of mine calls keeping a life list of species caught , with likely more detail

Norm

Yes I do have my life list. Here's an example what records I keep for species caught. You can't see comments about the largest fish of each species that I add in a comment in the excel cells.

Common    Date Water    
Name Species Caught Type Location Photo
           
Shadow Bass Ambloplites ariommus 5-Aug-16 Freshwater Current River, Missouri yes
Ozark bass Ambloplites constellatus 20-Jul-03 Freshwater James River, Missouri  
Northern Rock Bass (goggle eye) Ambloplites rupestris Jul-80 Freshwater Weston, Connecticut

yes

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For my individual fishing trips, I keep the following records:

      Number    
  Date Species Caught Caught Location Bait/Lure
           
  04-Mar-16 Largemouth Bass 1     McCreede Farm Lake, Callaway CO, MO Green/Black Trout Magic black jig
  05-Mar-16 Black Crappie 1     McCreede Farm Lake, Callaway CO, MO Green/Black Trout Magic black jig
  05-Mar-16 Orangethroat Darter 1     Harrison Branch; Auvasse (Bobby's) creek #20 long shank hook with worm piece
  06-Mar-16 Orangethroat Darter 8     Gans Creek / Little Bonne Femme Creek, MO #20 long shank hook with worm piece
  06-Mar-16 Creek Chub 3     Gans Creek / Little Bonne Femme Creek, MO Worms
  11-Mar-16 Central Stoneroller 2     Niangua River; Dallas CO, MO UL minnow 06 jerkbait (brown trout)
  11-Mar-16 Brown Trout 1     Bennet's Springs; Laclede CO, MO  1/125 oz chartruese grub microjig

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I used to keep track of every trip, though on the bass fishing trips I only counted bass.  In other words, I never counted the sunfish and other incidental fish caught while floating an Ozark stream.  I finally got tired of the record keeping a few years ago.  I still count the fish in my head as I catch them, as Norm once did, but not every trip.  Some trips I just ain't curious enough to keep count.  When I do keep count, it's usually on streams within the Meramec Basin, because I want to keep track of the spotted bass situation.  I keep this running count of the three species in my head, always smallmouth first, largemouth second, spotted bass third.  So for instance, when I catch a bass, I add to the correct number in the sequence.  Like, 15-4-13.  That same sequence of numbers keeps running in my head as I'm fishing, to the point where I don't even realize it.  Once in a great while I lose track of a number and have to think about it.

I also have a life list of species caught.  I've very seldom fished saltwater, so my species list is almost entirely freshwater fish, but I've fished in Africa and Australia, so I picked up a few species that probably few if any others reading this have caught.  Partly because I'm an artist and paint fish, I study the fish I catch and take pains to correctly identify them (partly, though, I'm just interested in fish!).

The other thing I've done is kept track of the states (and countries, but that's easy) where I've fished, and the states where I've stream fished.  I consider myself a stream angler who sometimes fishes lakes.  I don't have any particular desire to fish somewhere just to add to my life species list, nor just to say I've fished there, but one my life goals is to fish a river in every state (though I've about decided that there are a few states, like Kansas, where I don't really have much interest in fishing, so that life goal isn't as important as it once was.

Back when I was keeping careful records, for many years back, I found it kinda interesting that my average catch of bass from Ozark streams per trip remained pretty consistent over the years, at right around 50 bass per day.  Now...that includes bass of any size, including the occasional 5 incher.  That sounds like a lot, but I think a lot of those who fish Ozark streams and DON'T count fish would be surprised at how quickly the little ones add up.  Since my average day is probably at least 8 hours of fishing, that averages out to a little over 6 bass per hour.  On average, at least back then, maybe 40% of the bass I caught were over 12 inches, so that averages out to between 2 and 3 12 inch plus bass per hour.  Also, those averages included cold season trips, which dragged the average down somewhat...during the summer, a 50 bass day was actually a little sub par.

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Because of my tournament fishing background I always keep a running tally of the estimated (and often times actual) weight of my best 5 when I'm bass fishing.  

My heaviest 5 this last year was 21lbs. 14oz. (Actual).

Hit the 18lb. mark 3 times.

Had quite a few 14-16 lb. days. 

And more days under 12lbs. than I care to admit. ?

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