Bass by the Numbers

Anybody here follow Ken Duke’s stuff? Ken is the editor at and whether you realize it or not, you’ve probably read a lot of his work. Aside from being a total bass geek, he’s also a numbers cruncher, which I like.

Ken dissects the sport of bass fishing backwards, forwards, sideways and every other way, and finds some pretty interesting statistical correlations. His latest delve into the digits resulted in a statistic he’s dubbed the Daily Catch Ratio (DCR).

Here’s Ken’s description of why he came up with the DCR stat and how it works:

“I was curious about which Elite anglers were consistently best on the first day of tournaments. I also wondered if there were guys who were consistently falling off after the first day … or consistently improving their catches from one day to the next.

“I took the average weight caught by an angler on each day of competition and used it to measure the performance of each angler in the field. If the average angler caught 10 pounds of bass that day and Angler X happened to catch exactly 10 pounds, he has a DCR of 1.00. If, on the same day, Angler Y caught 20 pounds, he has a DCR of 2.00. And if Angler Z caught five pounds, his DCR is a fairly miserable 0.50.”

Got that? I told you KD was a numbers nerd. This guy ain’t playing around.

Ken has two pieces up at that take a close look at the DCR and reveal some interesting insights about day-to-day consistency and how it relates to overall performance, Classic appearances and all that good stuff. It’s pretty neat to see which guys tend to maintain, climb or bomb from one day to another.

Check out the stories:
The Final Analysis: One day at a time
The Final Analysis: Day after day … after day

Reading these articles got me thinking about stats and the sport of bass fishing as a whole. I was a big-time baseball card collector as a kid. This probably tells a lot about my personality (which is dorky), but I was that Rain Man-esque kid that could recite all the player stats on the back of the cards. I can sorta’ do that with pro bassers now, but in large part, our sport is missing a lot of those juicy stats that make analysis so fun.

Check this out. Here’s Wikipedia’s list of just the batting statistics tallied in baseball. Insane.

Batting statistics

  • 1B—Single: hits on which the batter reached first base safely without the contribution of a fielding error.
  • 2B—Double: hits on which the batter reached second base safely without the contribution of a fielding error.
  • 3B—Triple: hits on which the batter reached third base safely without the contribution of a fielding error.
  • AB—At bat: Batting appearances, not including bases on balls, hit by pitch, sacrifices, interference, or obstruction.
  • AB/HR—At bats per home run: at bats divided by home runs.
  • BA—Batting average (also abbreviated AVG): hits divided by at bats.
  • BB—Base on balls (also called a “walk”): times receiving four balls and advancing to first base
  • BABIP—Batting average on balls in play: frequency of which a batter reaches a base after putting the ball in the field of play. Also a pitching category.
  • BB/K—Walk-to-strikeout ratio: number of base on balls divided by number of strikeouts
  • BsR—Base Runs: Another run estimator, like Runs Created; a favorite of writer Tom Tango
  • FC—Fielder’s choice: times reaching base when a fielder chose to try for an out on another runner
  • GO/AO—Ground ball fly ball ratio: number of ground ball outs divided by number of fly ball outs
  • GDP—Ground into double play: number of ground balls hit that became double plays
  • GPA—Gross Production Average: 1.8 times on-base percentage plus slugging percentage, divided by four
  • GS—Grand Slam: a home run with the bases loaded, resulting in four runs scoring, and four RBI credited to the batter.
  • H—Hits: times reached base because of a batted, fair ball without error by the defense
  • HBP—Hit by pitch: times touched by a pitch and awarded first base as a result
  • HR—Home runs: hits on which the batter successfully touched all four bases, without the contribution of a fielding error.
  • IBB—Intentional base on balls: times awarded first base on balls (see BB above) deliberately thrown by the pitcher. Also known as IW (intentional walk).
  • K—Strike out (also abbreviated SO): number of times that strike three is taken or swung at and missed, or bunted foul
  • LOB—Left on base: number of runners not out nor scored at the end of an inning.
  • OBP—On base percentage: times reached base (H + BB + HBP) divided by at bats plus walks plus hit by pitch plus sacrifice flies (AB + BB + HBP + SF).
  • OPS—On-base plus slugging: on-base percentage plus slugging average
  • PA—Plate appearance: number of completed batting appearances
  • R—Runs scored: number of times a player crosses home plate
  • RC—Runs created: statistic that attempts to measure how many runs a player has contributed to his team
  • RP—Runs produced: statistic that attempts to measure how many runs a player has contributed
  • RBI—Run batted in: number of runners who scored due to a batters’ action, except when batter grounded into double play or reached on an error
  • RISP—Runner In Scoring Position: the batter’s batting average with runners in scoring position
  • SB%—Stolen base percentage: the percent of bases stolen successfully. (SB) divided by (SBA).
  • SF—Sacrifice fly: number of fly ball outs to the outfield which allow a runner already on base to score
  • SH—Sacrifice hit: number of sacrifice bunts which allows another runner to advance on the basepaths or score
  • SLG—Slugging average: total bases divided by at-bats
  • TA—Total average: total bases, plus walks, plus hit by pitch, plus steals, minus caught stealing divided by at bats, minus hits, plus caught stealing, plus grounded into double play
  • TB—Total bases: one for each single, two for each double, three for each triple, and four for each home run
  • TOB—Times on base: times reaching base as a result of hits, walks, and hit-by-pitches
  • XBH—Extra base hits: doubles plus triples plus home runs
  • XR—Extrapolated Runs: A linear run estimator developed by Jim Furtado

I know that baseball and bassin’ are apples and oranges when it comes to history and numbers, but Ken got my gears turning with his DCR analysis. What other types of stats could we analyze that would give us (and those outsiders that still think fishing is all about soaking a worm and getting lucky) a richer view of all the intricacies that make up tournament bass fishing? Think of it like this: If you were printing baseball cards that featured pro anglers, which stats would you want to see on the back?

I can think of a few:
Average of five-plus-pound fish caught in each season
How many 10-plus-pound fish caught in the angler’s career
Limit catch percentage (like batting average, but percentage of how often the angler brings in limits)
Limit weight average (an average weight of all five-fish limits in an angler’s career)
Average amount of time it takes to catch a five-fish limit (no idea how you’d measure this, but we’re dreaming here)
Total hours spent practicing

I could go on and on, but I’d rather hear what you have to say. Hit me with your suggestions in the comments. Anything goes, as long as it’s quantifiable. This could be fun.



  1. Bass Pundit

    March 30, 2011 at 2:52 pm

    I blogged about this subject long ago here:

    My Bass Club the Baxter Bass Snatchers keeps a number of statistics over a season including average weight per tournament and average weight per fish weighed.

    • Bass Pundit

      March 30, 2011 at 3:14 pm

      Our stats also include # fish weighed and total weight for season and everyone’s seasons biggest bass.

  2. Scotty Bud Melvin

    March 30, 2011 at 2:56 pm

    I’d like to see total fish caught each day, how many fish were lost after hooked, how many casts, and time in boat moving from spot to spot.

    But really, I’d like to see numbers on these important tournament topics:

    Valuable time wasted posing for the camera during tournament after a big fish

    How many times you have stuck a hook in your flesh; How many times people say “That’s what I’m talkin’ bout” after bringing in a big un

    How many GPS coordinates each angler snagged from someone else pre-tournament

    How many timems they say “It’s a giant” right after hooking a fish, and it isn’t

    How many times they slip a sponsor name into a 30 second interview at the weigh-in

    How many cliches and witty phrases Dave Mercer will have amassed mid-season

    And finally, how many times a guy flips a fish into the camera man’s equipment bag during a tournament! Show me the numbers!

    • Dave Mercer

      March 31, 2011 at 10:35 am

      How many cliches and witty phrases Dave Mercer will have amassed mid-season

      lol I’m not sure but maybe we can get Vegas to do an over/under on it. I’m thinking it’s going to be very high. I’m having a blast & the more fun I have the more crazy thing I will most likely say.

      • Jason

        March 31, 2011 at 10:39 am

        G-G-G-G-G-Giant bass!

      • Scotty Bud Melvin

        March 31, 2011 at 10:47 am

        Atta boy Dave! Hey, I’m a friend of Zona’s in Kalamazoo. Do me a favor, before the end of the season, find something that rhymes with “Thliveros”, in case he wins a tournament, and you have to scream his name on the stage! Or I guess you could just do Peter T. But finding something to rhyme with “Thliveros” is more challenging, and would cement your spot in the announcing Hall of Fame!

        • Dave Mercer

          April 1, 2011 at 7:07 am

          I will take you up on your challenge I think it can be done so stay tuned to see.

  3. Bass Pundit

    March 30, 2011 at 3:10 pm

    One thing about Ken Duke’s story. Ink on the Internet is cheap. It’s to bad he doesn’t have a link to a page where you can view all the anglers numbers. He obviously had to run the numbers on everybody, why not show it?

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The best, worst and funniest in bassin'! Jay Kumar is the guy who created, co-hosted Loudmouth Bass with Zona, was a B.A.S.S. senior writer and a whole lot more in bassin™. Make sure you sign up for the BassBlaster email!

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