Fishing Log version 2.1
by
Dave "Nugget" Downie

You can gain a lot of valuable information for future fishing trips by keeping a record of the details of past trips. For years I’ve kept a little book recording places, times, tides and what was caught, it gets as much attention as the little black address book I had as a teenager. Its possible to see definite trends in fish habits just from past fishing records.
However, nowadays computers have moved the recording of fishing data into the twentieth century, my little record book has been made obsolete thanks to a software program written by keen Australian angler Ken Fox. Over the past five years I’ve seen plenty of computer programs for recording fishing information, however, they have all been written by Americans for the American fishing scene. They don’t work very well when put into practice in Australia. Ken Fox’s program ‘Fishing Log’ is not only written for Australian anglers it is the best logbook I have ever seen, it leaves the Yankee stuff hands down.
Lets look at just a few of the features.
The program opens with a desktop layout where you can select ;
 
 Log Book
This is similar to my little record book. You can enter all relevant data under predefined headings such as date, area fished, ramp launched at, number of crew, hours fished, time departed, sky, wind strength and direction, barometric pressure as well as sea conditions. You can also view or search for past records, searching by any of the input parameters. All this information can be listed or printed. Lets look at this in practice. Lets say you intend to fish the Seaway on Saturday night. You can see what the moon phase is and then recall every trip you have ever done to the Seaway in the past on that moon phase. Is it worth giving it a go? You could also recall every trip you have done on that tide or that moon phase and see where you have had the most success over the years. You can instantly see that it would be a better option to fish the Gateway (or whatever your record show) based on past results. As you’ll soon see, the longer you use it and the more information you feed the program the more useful it becomes. If you’ve been writing down fishing records in a book for years like I have, then it is only a matter of sitting down for few hours and entering all you previous records. But wait, there’s more.
 
 Tide Times
From the opening desktop you can select ‘Tide Times’. This is the best display of tidal information I have ever seen. There is a bar graph of tide heights for that 24 hour period. There is also the now familiar tidal graph, however Log Book’s tide graph also shows the percentage of water flow between high water and low water. I can see at a glance that the run in tide might be 50 percent water flow whereas the run out tide might be 90 percent water flow. Indicating there will be less tidal run on the run in on that day than the run out. This is great for planning trip to areas that only fish on a slow tide or predicting where the whiting will be based on the amount of run in the tide. As well as all this there is also the moon phase, moon rise and set times, sun rise and set times, when the last full or new moon was and when the next one will be. All this can be adjusted for any location from a predefined list or you can manually input variations to cover you exact location. Bloody Brilliant !
 
If your like me you probably think that it is already a valuable tool just with the features described so far. But wait – there’s (lots) more.
 
 Mark Records
This is a way of recording and storing you fishing marks. You input visual marks such as foreground and background points that line up for position fixing. You can integrated this with any drawing program you choose such as Microsoft ‘Paint’. This allows you to add sketches to your marks as shown in the diagram below. This all integrates with the GPS section for the best fishing location storage package there is.
Bloody Brilliant!

mark.gif (1841 bytes)

 

 GPS

 Selecting the GPS allows you to enter or view GPS information. If the ‘Mark Records’ page is open the GPS will display the GPS information for the mark record displayed. All GPS information can be entered manually or linked to the Log Book or Mark Records data.

 

 Navigation

Whilst only a casual navigation system, maps of the whole of Australia’s coastline are provided. It is possible to zoom in on areas or zoom back to look at a whole state. By clicking the mouse on a map the exact longitude and latitude are displayed which assist in storing mark and GPS data.

All this is topped off with a ‘Fish Facts’ file which includes information on common Australian fish.
There is also step by step pictures of a large variety of fishing knots. You can run this like a video of how to tie the knot or step through each stage of drawing the knot, step by step. Bloody Brilliant!
The best fishing related program I have ever seen, and the best part is it’s all Australian made for Australians.
The program is written in Visual Basic and requires Windows 3.1 or 95, 4 meg of ram and a 386DX or better processor.
The program sells for Aus$ 99, you can get your copy of Fishing Log from Ken Fox at Bayside Programing Phone 1800 350 045 (whithin Australia)
Mention Dave (Nugget) Downie for a special deal.