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Key words are in bold.

As I get older (wait a minute - I AM OLDER !), memory inevitably fails even for those with good memories! Used to use a written log that I could refer to long before the advent of the computer and digital camera. But once both became available there was no longer the necessity to write stuff down such as was kept on this page in 1994:

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I fish different water different times of year. Keeping them straight is a challenge - even more so now. But one thing I find very valuable is knowing what I've caught fish with. A few years from now I may question whether certain lures still in my box are capable of catching fish more often than others of the same type . A photo log says it all.

Now I'm no longer entering information in a book but instead take along a digital camera.  A picture speaks a thousand words is the reason for photo keeping. Photos are entered into digital folders starting with a folder labeled with the lake's name. Each folder within is dated for the day the shots were taken and holds photographs that can be referred to the next time the water is fished.

Even a counter is photographed  at the end of the outing to give an idea of numbers caught on a particular day/month :

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Much is lure related:

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(All the above were taken on the same day.)

I my case a big part of fishing is lure design. Once I find particular designs that catch fish, I know to stock them for reproduction for future use. You would be shocked by all the soft plastic designs that catch different fish species and sizes of fish - almost none sold anywhere. To remember them requires a photo journal and at times a text page is added that includes more information than photos alone.

If all you do is simply go fishing and don't vary waters or lures, record keeping isn't for you. Even with photos I don't remember catching fish on certain lures pictured, but at least I can trust that they did and can.

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To continue:

We all ask questions before choosing what to cast (lures) and what gear to cast them with. Once a question is answered - that's it! We can be confident the information is valid for future use.

example: I modify soft plastic and hard lures, test them and note how well they did (above photo examples). Body and tail combinations are key for these lures to catch fish. Memory won't cut it a year from now as to which excelled.

example: questions need answers before fishing a water such as how early in the season can numbers of fish be caught? What type of lures worked in this lake or river? Species of fish caught? Structure types (humps, drops, depth of flats, pre and post spawn areas )? 

That's not to say things don't change, but that many things don't change and can be relied on to find and catch fish. The older I get the less I can count on memory to remember all of the key information that may save the day. I've seen many anglers skunked that have fished the same water before, not having a clue that where they're fishing and how fished is going to end up fishless or with few strikes.

Not me !

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