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Thread: The Anatomy of a Good Fishing Report.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Blog Entries

    Default The Anatomy of a Good Fishing Report.

    NOTE: I write this not as an official moderator of the site but simply as a user of the site (so it's not official, just my opinion).

    We have a lot of new people on board and we are getting some great fishing reports or as I like to call them, catching reports. In fact I think that is one of the most popular reasons people come to forums like this one. I read a lot of reports, listen to a lot of them on the phone and talk to professional guides every week. All this is in an effort to give the most accurate and useful report I can in the newspaper column I write weekly.

    So over time I have developed an eye & ear for certain things, you may have noticed what I'm talking about in reports here and elsewhere. Some reports are just for bragging rights (it's okay to brag, more on that further down), others are vague on facts but make interesting reading (like a novel or short story), some are full of useful facts and info. The best combine some of all of those elements.

    Here's what I look for and appreciate in a report (not in any particular order):

    1. What's biting
    2. When was the best time
    3. What bait or lures were most effective
    4. What technique was used (trolling, casting, jigging, etc)
    5. Where (general, we don't expect exact locations)

    In giving the facts go ahead and incorporate some of your experiences from the trip to make it interesting if you want.

    By including as much of the above as practicable you get to brag about your catch or your kid's catch but at the same time you help fellow anglers out, most of whom have limited time for fishing and want to make the most out of the times they do fish.

    A word about photos: I think folks like photos as much as they do reports. Nothing like seeing some nice fish and big smiles. It also lends credibility to your post and makes the place look nice . Not that you have to post pictures every time you report. Many people don't post pictures of average size fish they catch on a regular basis every time but occasionally even average sized fish are nice to see.

    Just my opinion, what's yours?

    Check out my website: for information on fishing the Topsail area. Follow me on Facebook. - the LOCAL tackle shop for the online community!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2008

    Default Re: The Anatomy of a Good Fishing Report.

    sounds good to me. Reading that gives me a guide to go by when I post a report. I have only posted a few but when I was typing them up I was not quite sure of what to put in, and after reading your guide I realized I forgot a few things, lol. Thanks, and I will be sure to incorporate answers to those questions in future reports.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2007

    Default Re: The Anatomy of a Good Fishing Report.

    Thanks for the tips! This will help us all.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2007

    Default Re: The Anatomy of a Good Fishing Report.

    Thanks TA, that is some good info...Chris

    2006 Stratos Bass Boat 115 Yamaha

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2008

    Default Re: The Anatomy of a Good Fishing Report.

    Thanks for the tips.....

    I would like to add just one commett::::this is just me talking.

    use TA's as an example, use spaces to separate different ideas and it makes it easier for an old man with really bad eyes to read. Instead of just typing a three page report with no makes it hard to figure where I was if I get distracted..

    Something like the above where the paragraphs are written and then a space and start another idea....


    Friends, Fishing, Fellowship..RED X ANGLER

  6. #6

    Default Re: The Anatomy of a Good Fishing Report.

    Nothing like the voice of wisdom and experience. Thanks TA guitly of many things mention or not mention I should say. Easy to get caught up telling about your catch to mention the where and how.

    There is never enough money to do it right but there is always enough money to do it over.

  7. Default Re: The Anatomy of a Good Fishing Report.

    Hey Mike,
    When we put a few of those Bonita in the boat we'll have something good to report for sure!

    NCPIERMAN, sundrop, and Topsail Angler like this.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2008

    Thumbs up Re: The Anatomy of a Good Fishing Report.

    Thanks top sail like what you said.I agree even though I am still dumb on this box.
    NCPIERMAN likes this.

  9. #9

    Default Re: The Anatomy of a Good Fishing Report.

    thats all great, the only thing i can say is that some people get too specific....its ok problay to mention that you were catching cats below lock#1 but its different if you mention river "a" thats only 30ft wide and mention you were just above hwy "a"........its not my call, but somtimes i mention where i was at and sometimes i dont...the smaller streams cannot support the pounding they may get, but the bigger ones can...i may say i was on the cape fear above raven rock but thats 10 miles of will not here me say i was on the river "a"(small river) at such and such dam..........if you want people fishing your spot then mention it.......if not then just tell the general area or just the river..........jmo...mack
    BugSlinger, NCPIERMAN, and wademaster like this.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    May 2009


    I agree with Topsail Angler's list of what a good post should contain. Time of day, water conditions, lures and techniques used. This is the most important stuff and people leave it out all the time. Pictures are always a plus for sure!

    I also strongly agree with Mack's post about using some discretion in posting the location you fished. Big water, fine. But smaller water, don't post the location unless you want to risk it being overfished and poached out within a year to 18 months. I could name a couple places that have been over-posted and ruined...

    You can leave out the location and still give the ncangler community a fantastic fishing report containing all the relevant such as the type of water (lake, pond, river) and give some info about the water temp, clarity, current flow and weather conditions. There really is no reason to post the location by name. If people really want to know, they can send you a private message and you can tell them then if you want.

    Moderators: Can we lock this thread at some point and copy/sticky it into the NC Piedmont and NC Mountains report sections as well? Thanks.
    NCPIERMAN, and Topsail Angler like this.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jan 2009


    I missed this post the first time around. Good tips. I for one try to incorporated all of those items in my posts but am guilty of writing a novel sometimes. I do this to try and put the reader out there with me on a fishing trip, knowing how much we all love to fish. I'll have to work a bit to edit down my posts a tad.....
    NCPIERMAN, and RouseD like this.

  12. Default

    Topsail... Great topic/discussion... And I could not agree more.....

    Agree to some point about the locations... Small private pond, if I have a great day, and catch a hawg... My answer to this is simple... I just would not post it! Simple. If I have an equal day at on a river.. Unless it was some river that was 1 mile long, by 10 feet wide, Id post the location and exactly what was mentioned above... As in techniques.... My experiences and time spent on the water since moving here 5 months ago has been very "scarce" to say the least... My experience in fishing and time on the water as a hole... are pretty extensive.... When I moved to Florida in 99, I joined a forum, and learned more from that forum in 6 months, than I did in 6 years reading magz/books/literature and visiting local stores/shops... What was passed on to me from the forum is and was something I will always cherish... I could go on forever naming people who pointed me in the right direction... Only a few actually physically "put me on fish" - however, many said "go hear, and do this"... Id go there, and do that, but in the end, it was my "doing this" that made me that much more successful... And in the end in turn, I posted most of my reports with locations/tips/techniques/times etc.... To give back to the community that taught me. :-)

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jan 2012


    I completely agree, I hate when I look for a report online and it will say something like "the drums are hitting." That doesn't help me, I want to know where they are biting and what you are using!
    "My biggest worry is that my wife (when I'm dead) will sell my fishing gear for what I said I paid for it." -Koos Brant

  14. #14


    I agree i cant learn anything by sayin the specks are biting

  15. #15


    Don't know if anybody has this or not but it's a great app. Also, if you export it to Excel it downloads your coordinates. Dean
    Click image for larger version. 

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