I used to write down my outings in a notebook for years before personal computers and digital cameras were invented and affordable. But when both became being available, I went to town with fishing logs in picture form that were far more interesting than the written stuff.
This was from the original notebook:
Photo taking was rare considering cost and hassle to develop. The digital cameras, pc's and the internet changed everything. Now notes in digital form allowed organization and easy reference.
I start out with a lake or river folder:
Then add one folder for each day fished:
When I open the folder: ,
I store all photos taken and remove the ones not needed in that outing folder:
Now I can refer to them and use them in posts on forums.
The memory is limited so having picture proof is a reminder what really happened, what worked and where.
For example: If anyone asks what a Kut Tail worm catches, here's photo proof:
... as well as bizarre catches:
I can label structure shots fish were discovered and caught:
Most important are new lure designs I came up with that caught fish:
BTW Thanks you to all the anglers that suggested the wacky rig !!
Doesn't matter how old you are, memory can not be depended on for the little things we experience and with solid memories kept in photo form, new ideas are born and recorded when they work. Trophy fish can be returned to fight another day and a water judged over many outings with photo proof. Variety is the spice of fishing and there's no better way to document it.
+1 - I have journals that go back 25 years. Have them set up by lake/river. I also made the switch to a digital version so I could query data more effectively (time of year, weather conditions, etc). This makes my prep a lot cleaner, quicker. t took a while to get everything entered into the digital format but once there it was all at my fingertips within a matter of seconds.
I'll take screen shots and pics from my electronix and upload those as attachments. Beats the heck out of drawing cartoons like I used to. Capturing lat/long data helps, too!
I have detailed spreadsheets on my crappie and catfish catches for the last three years. I have total numbers caught as well as the specific number of "fish caught per hour." It is very informative. I wish I had been doing this for all of the 14 years I've been guiding.