www.fishingspotspecs.com – The Difference Between Weight and Avg. Weight

When locking fishing information into a database format one question in particular comes up about how to record multiple fish caught at one time. The simplest entry is when only one bass is caught: smallmouth 3.1 lbs. If I catch five smallies and they are all at 3.1 lbs. then that’s not so hard, just add a field for how many were caught: 5 smallmouth 3.1 lbs. It gets a lot tougher when those five fish all weight something different. On the water the latter is the most likely scenario and that’s where the AVG. WEIGHT comes in.

A typical catch of five bass on a single spot can look like this: 2.1 lbs., 1.7 lbs., 1.9 lbs., 1.7 lbs. and 2.4 lbs. (weight in 10ths). The way this report would record the event would look like this:

WEIGHT – 2.4 lbs.
AVG WEIGHT – 2 lbs.

The top weight available is 2.4 lbs. and that goes into the weight entry, the average weight comes to 2 lbs. and that is a good indicator of what you can expect should you decide to use this spot.

But wouldn’t it be more accurate if each bass was listed separately like this:

2.1 lbs.
1.7 lbs.
1.9 lbs.
1.7 lbs.
2.4 lbs.

More accurate, perhaps but there are two important parts of information delivery that would suffer.

1) Managing data input – When using the first method data entry for the WEIGHT and AVG. WEIGHT was simple and easy to do on the water and when entering the data into the database. Sure, it makes it easier on me but it also increases the demands on the search engine and the shear volume of time it would take to enter absolutely everything.

2) Getting reliable and actionable output – For the end user the two facts concerning the biggest bass and the average quality can be the most useful. This distills the list of five bass (it could be a lot more than five in many cases) into it’s significant components.

If we went with the second method of listing weights, one-by-one, then the data would have to be crunched at the back end otherwise the user would end up with reams of accurate, but un-distilled information to sort through. Entry time would be increased significantly and the search engine would be tasked harder with no increase in the value of the data.

Hopefully this report was helpful toward understanding the WEIGHT v.s. AVG. WEIGHT issue. When you do your free sort you can talk a look at the strength of these categories to help you decide what report to purchase.

(c) Wayne Carpenter

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