Anglers who take their fishing seriously and are looking for ways to increase their success on the water should know the importance of keeping a fishing log, which we explored in my last article. What many anglers don’t realize, however, is how helpful photographs can be when it comes to catching fish. Here are a few tips on how to utilize your camera to help improve your own fishing prowess over time.

More often than not, when an angler brings in a big fish to be weighed, a photo will be taken. I have several photos of good-sized fish I’ve caught throughout the years, as I’m sure many anglers do. If you’re more serious about growing as an angler, though, it’s also smart to take a photo of the scales showing the weight of the fish and even a photo of the ruler used to record the length. Furthermore, it can be helpful to photograph the location where each good fish is caught, in order to record the kind of cover or structure fish may be relating to in a given spot. Like the comments section in a fishing log, it’s smart to record any detail that may have played a role in each fish caught.

Now, organization will be integral in terms of discovering patterns within your photos. It’s smart to store every photograph on your computer and even back up each file, just in case. Keep the photos from each trip in their own individual folder, and name the folder with the date and lake name. Start off with a folder with a year, and then use sub-folders for each trip within each year’s folder. This makes it very easy to find the photos from previous years. Depending on the camera, you may also be able to set it so that the date and time are displayed on each photograph, which will save you time.

Not only will keeping a photo log of your catches be beneficial in helping to establish a pattern—and, thus, a strategy—for each lake, but photographing can keep you from spending too much time taking notes. Both written and photo logs are great, and serious anglers will want to implement one, or both, to improve their fishing experience.