Saturday, January 5, 2013

2012 Stats

With the year winding down its time to begin another fishing log and reflect on the previous year of fishing.

Sean

Last year I purchased a jon boat in March so the year of fishing was quite different than the previous years. I took the boat fishing every chance I could, and chose to bank fish when boating was out of the question.....due to extreme weather conditions, high wind, ice coverage, etc. Last year I fished out of a boat 102 trips out of 146 total trips, compared to 2011 in which I fished out of a boat only 8 out of 112 fishing trips. Although I feel that we did significantly better this year than previous years, I don't feel that the increased boat usage is the only attributing factor to our success. Each year we learn new tactics, try new techniques, and fish new waters. With that said, if you asked me if I thought a boat increases ones catch rate, I would have to say yes.

As I mentioned above, I do feel that we had a successful year overall. Our best fish of 2012 can be seen here. Each of us set multiple new personal bests, while personally setting a new personal best Yellow Perch, Rock Bass, Common Carp, and Freshwater Drum. We also all caught 5 different species of "Fish Ohio Trophies" and achieved "Master Angler" status under the Fish Ohio Program. We didn't manage any huge fish, like Amanda's 48lb Blue Catfish of 2011, my 33lb Flathead of 2010, or Rylan's 32lb Carp of 2010. However what we lacked in size we made up for in numbers. In 2011 I fished 746 hours and caught 979 total fish, for a total of 1.31 fish per hour. Last year, 2012, I fished for 877.5 hours and caught 2,242 fish for a total of 2.55 fish per hour.

Along with an increase in number of fish, I had a much higher average Points Per Hour, a qualitative measure explained here. In 2012 I averaged 3.17 points per hour, in comparison to 2011 where I only had 1.51 points per hour. To put things in perspective 3.17 points per hour would be the same as 19 points for every 6 hours (average time spent per trip), 19 points would be the equivalent to catching five 1lb bass every 6 hours...or 2 7lb channel catfish every 6 hours,  two 15lb blue catfish every 6 hours...etc.

Below is two graphs I created with Microsoft Excel showing the points per hour by trip for each year. The date runs across the x-axis, bottom, and the points per hour runs up the y-axis, left side. The points scale is the same so you can see how much better we we did in 2012. In 2012 you can see the peak in May/June and then again in October/November.


On the year I fished 12 different locations, of which most of my time was spent fishing the Ohio River, Rocky Fork Lake, Paint Creek Lake, Ohio Brush Creek, and a few various other locations. Out of 146 total trips, 49 trips (33.9%) was spent at Rocky Fork Lake, 40 trips (27.4%) was spent at the Ohio River, 14 trips (9.6%) was spent at Ohio Brush Creek, 9 trips (6%) were spent at Paint Creek Lake, the remaining 23% of my time was spent at the other 8 locations....consisting of small pounds and state lakes.

Goals:

Each year I set a few goals for myself in order to give me something to shoot for. Last year my main goal was to set a personal best carp, something respectable, because my previous personal best carp was 12 pounds. Almost everyone that I fish with has personal best carp well over 20 pounds... Jake with a 34lb carp, Rylan with a 32lb Carp. So I was shooting for a 20 pounder to set the year off right. On March 24th, I landed a new personal best carp at 30", 14 pounds and 15 ounces.

Although it was respectable, I wasn't satisfied. I continued to fish for carp for several trips and watched as Amanda caught monster carp after monster carp, literally. In two trips she landed a 20lb carp, a 20lb 13oz carp, and a 27lb carp. I quit carp fishing at that point and began focusing on largemouth, crappie, and catfish. Looking back, that was one of the dumbest things I could have done, we had the fish figured out and we were on nice fish.

My goal for the upcoming year will be to land a 25 pound or larger carp. My secondary goals are to become a master angler under the Fish Ohio Program, land a new personal best bluegill, and to help others get new personal best fish.

Rylan

Last year for me, like Sean, was the best year of fishing I've ever had as far as stats go.  Number of hours, trips, fish caught, and points per hour were way higher than previous years. Like Sean said, all the boat fishing really made the biggest difference. I sold my boat back in June as I wasn't satisfied with it's capability and wanted something bigger and better. Currently I'm still looking for a new boat although various things are holding me back such as financial status and boat storage options. If I find the perfect used boat I probably won't hesitate. The one thing this year was lacking was any of those truly monster fish, although numbers and average size was very good. My personal favorite catch of the year was my 1lb 8oz 14.25 inch crappie, not a monster crappie but a solid Fish Ohio trophy and a solid personal best.
1lb 8oz 14.25 inch White Crappie
Here's a look at my stats from 2012 compared to 2011
2012 2011
Number of trips 101 85
Total hours on water 521 512.5
Average hours per trip 5.16 6.03
Total points 1399.5 694
Average points per trip 13.86 8.16
Points per hour 2.69 1.35
Total Fish 1167 607

You can see that although I fished more times last year the average hours per trip was somewhat reduced as working and tiredness reduced trip lengths.

Here's what my fish totals looked like from 2012 compared to 2011.
2012 2011
Bluegill 374 258
Crappie 278 69
Largemouth Bass 241 127
Hybrid Striped Bass / White Bass 126 45
Channel Catfish 38 33
Smallmouth Bass 22 20
Rock Bass 21 5
Freshwater Drum 21 8
Spotted Bass 12 9
Trout 7 2
Yellow Perch 6 8
Blue Catfish 6 0
Longnose Gar 5 2
Saugeye 4 2
Common Carp 2 4
Flathead Catfish 2 2
Bullhead Catfish 1 0
Buffalo 1 0
Sucker 0 1

As you can see the crappie numbers were significantly higher than the previous year. I believe the increase in crappie fishing along with boat fishing was the biggest factor in the significant increase in stats. With the new points modification to crappie, my stats would have been significantly lower.

Here's what my stats would look like with the points modification compared to my actual stats.
Actual stats Stats with modification
Total points 1399.5 1214.5
Average points per trip 13.86 12.02
Points per hour 2.69 2.33

Goals:

Last year my goals were to get master angler, and set a new personal best smallmouth bass, flathead catfish, and blue catfish. I met three of those goals with achieving master angler, setting a new personal best smallmouth of 1lb 11oz, and setting a new personal best blue catfish of 15lb 10oz.
1lb 11oz Smallmouth Bass
15lb 10oz Blue Catfish
This year my goals are pretty much the same. I'd like to achieve master angler again and bump up my personal best smallmouth bass, flathead catfish, and blue catfish. For the species that I fish for the most I feel that I have the most room for improvement on these species. As a secondary goal of less importance I'd like to also catch another 5lb+ largemouth bass. Since we started fishing for largemouth so often last year I believe it is achievable. To achieve this I would like to use bigger bass baits more often.

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