My 2021 outdoor adventures by the numbers

As I have surely mentioned a few times before, I am a numbers guy.

Last year, I put together a recap of my outdoor adventures by highlighting a handful of numbers that stood out to me.

My reports continue to get more detailed, so I figured I would take a crack at another recap in 2021.

So here is a look back at my year in the outdoors, by the numbers:

150 – Outdoor trips

I spent over 330 hours hunting, fishing, and dip netting this year. Fishing accounted for 121 of my trips. It seems a bit crazy to say, but these numbers are actually slightly down from a year ago. I went on 19 hunting trips and 10 dip netting trips.

525 – Fish caught

I set a new personal best this year by landing a total of 525 fish with a hook and line. Overall, I caught 19 different species (two more than a year ago) and my first ever golden redhorse. Smallmouth bass were my most common species they accounted for over 46 percent of my total.

You can see a breakdown of my totals below.

SpeciesNumber Caught
Smallmouth Bass243
Rock Bass92
Bluegill63
Largemouth Bass39
Yellow Perch13
Bullhead12
Sunfish11
King Salmon9
Rainbow Trout8
Crappie7
Northern Pike6
White Sucker6
Mottled Sculpin4
Creek Chub3
Walleye2
Whitefish2
Carp2
Brown Trout2
Golden Redhorse1

96.9 – Percent of my fish that were released

Let’s be clear, there is nothing wrong with keeping some fish for the table. But I take pride in only taking what I am going to consume. This is the second consecutive year that over 96 percent of my fish were put back to swim another day.

55 – Suckers caught with the dip net

In 2021, I spent more time netting suckers than usual. I even kept a few for pickling after a particularly good night. (Hey, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it.)

70 – Percent of successful duck hunts

It was no secret that lack of duck production in the Prairie Pothole Region was going to make hunting a bit of a challenge in our flyway. However, thanks to some scouting and some dedicated friends, our group was able to harvest ducks on 70 percent of our trips this year.

53 – Bird species spotted

This year, I took entering data into eBird quite seriously. As I have learned, it is an important part of understanding the health of bird populations.

I submitted 511 checklists on the app in 2021. The 53 species of birds I logged was a new personal record.

21 – Bodies of water fished

I was lucky enough to fish a total of 21 bodies of water in seven different counties this year, including my first time fishing outside of Wisconsin.

80.25 – Combined length (in inches) of the five largest bass in my tournament bag

I only competed in one online bass tournament this year, but I recorded by best bag limit length to date. My five largest fish averaged out at a hair over 16 inches in length. I finished that tournament in fifth place in my region.

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