Monday, January 2, 2012

The Fishing Points System

The points system was originally designed as a way of friendly competition while fishing. This in turn made fishing that much more interesting and fun. As the competition became more and more heated throughout the years, so did our desire to fish and improve our skills. In the beginning, the points system was primitive and simple and over the years has evolved into a well refined system. Today, the points system has also evolved into more than just a way of competition. With the use of logs, we now track our points for every fishing trip. Using this data, we can compare the quality of fishing to various other attributes of a trip. Such attributes include moon phases, barometric pressure, wind direction, wind speed, and so on. Analyzing these comparisons to make conclusions on what attributes produce better quality fishing is one of the goals of this blog and will be discussed in depth in the future.

So how does the current points system work? The basic concept of the system is a base amount of points for a given species plus an amount per pound the fish weighs based on the current Ohio state record fish. This same concept could be applied to any locations record fish sizes. The base points were determined by approximate catch rates of any size fish and are as follows:

Bluegill & Sunfish1/2 point per 5 fish
Perch1/2 point per fish
Rock Bass1/2 point per fish
All other Bass types1 point per fish
Crappie1/2 point per fish
Walleye, Saugeye, Sauger1 point per fish
Trout1 point per fish
Carp, Sucker, Drum1 point per fish
Channel, Blue Catfish2 points per fish
Flathead Catfish3 points per fish
Longnose Gar3 points per fish
All other species3 points per fish

The "All other species" category is reserved for species that we have never caught.

To determine the points per pound (ppp), I came up with a number of points that every game fish of Ohio would be worth if they were state record size. This number (SR number) would be divided by the state record weight to determine an approximate amount of ppp a given species would be worth. The SR number had to be large enough for the ppp of any fish to be a reasonable number (not too small or too big). We elected that the smallest increment of the points system would be .5 as any smaller would become difficult to keep track of. At this time the Flathead catfish had the largest state record of 76.5lbs (pre Blue catfish record). To meet the requirement of .5 minimum increment the SR number would need to be a minimum of 76.5/2 or 38.25 as 38.25/76.5 = .5. This number is then rounded up to a nice even 40. So any state record fish would be worth approximately 40 points. With the SR number determined each species ppp can be determined as follows:

SpeciesCalculationPPP Rounded PPP
Bass, Hybrid Striped40/17.682.262
Bass, Largemouth40/13.133.053
Bass, Rock40/1.9720.3020
Bass, Smallmouth40/9.54.214
Bass, Spotted40/5.257.628
Bass, Striped40/37.101.081
Bass, White40/41010
Burbot40/17.33 2.312
Catfish, Blue40/960.42.5
Catfish, Channel40/37.651.061
Catfish Shovel/Flathead40/
Crappie, Black40/4.58.899
Crappie, White40/3.9010.2610
Drum, Freshwater (Sheepshead)40/23.51.702
Gar, Longnose40/251.62
Muskellunge40/55.13 0.731
Muskellunge, Tiger40/31.641.261
Perch, White40/1.72 23.2623
Perch, Yellow40/2.7514.5515
Pickerel, Chain40/6.25 6.46
Pike, Northern40/22.381.792
Salmon, Chinook40/29.51.361
Salmon, Coho40/13.632.933
Salmon, Pink40/3.0613.0713
Sucker, Buffalo40/46.010.871
Sucker, (other than buffalo)40/9.254.324
Sunfish, Green40/.9940.440
Sunfish, Hybrid40/2.0319.720
Sunfish, Longear40/.20200200
Sunfish, Pumpkinseed40/1.10 36.3736
Sunfish, Redear40/3.58 11.1711
Sunfish, Warmouth40/1.3230.3030
Trout, Brown40/14.652.733
Trout, Lake40/20.491.952
Trout, Rainbow (Steelhead)40/21.31.882
Walleye 40/16.192.472

To increase points of smaller fish we chose to increase points every 1/2 pound on species with 4 or more ppp.

SpeciesCalculationPP1/2P Rounded PP1/2P
Bass, Rock40/1.97/210.1510
Bass, Smallmouth40/9.5/22.112
Bass, Spotted40/5.25/23.814
Bass, White40/4/255
Crappie, Black40/4.5/24.444
Crappie, White40/3.90/25.135
Perch, White40/1.72/211.6312
Perch, Yellow40/2.75/27.277
Pickerel, Chain40/6.25/23.23
Salmon, Pink40/3.06/26.547
Sucker, (other than buffalo)40/9.25/22.162
Sunfish, Green40/.99/220.220
Sunfish, Hybrid40/2.03/29.8510
Sunfish, Longear40/.20/2100100
Sunfish, Pumpkinseed40/1.10/218.1818
Sunfish, Redear40/3.58/25.596
Sunfish, Warmouth40/1.32/215.1515

In conclusion, the points system contains two additional rules.
  1. You must touch the fish for it to count (no letting it flop back in the water on the bank).
  2. Biggest fish of the day breaks ties. 
UPDATE 12/8/2012
We have changed crappie points to 0.5 points base and 3 points for the first half pound only on both white and black crappie. All remaining weight increments will stay the same, IE a 1lb white crappie will still be 10 points (not 8 points as 5 points is still counted for the first half pound if it exceeds the next weight increment) plus the 0.5 base point.

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