There are five different apps I rely on to help plan my fishing strategies.
I have been old school my entire life. Don’t get me wrong, I have electronics on my boat, and have all the tools needed for up to date weather and tides. For me, looking at a Capt. Segull Chart and listening to the NOAA Marine forecast on a handheld VHS while sipping coffee the night before still gets done. However, in today’s high tech world, there are a lot of Apps out there that will make your life a tad easier.
There are five different apps I rely on to help plan my fishing strategies. The four I use on a regular basis Google Earth, PredictWind, Tides Near Me and Nautical Eye. I also keep my Boat US App available should the need arise! Some of the Apps offer similar options, which also allows you to double check for accuracy. Predict Wind and Nautical Eye offer very similar predictions, but can tricky while scrolling through them. This is one of the reasons I use three basic Apps for most of my needs…keep it simple stupid. Predict Wind for wind; Tides Near Me for tides and Nautical eye for the marine forecast and radar option.
Tides Near Me
I have found this App to be very accurate throughout the year, and also the simplest of them all. Open it up, go to the map icon, pick your fishing area and the tides are there for the given day. It will give you the next two tide phases. If you want the day’s tides, click on the “week” icon and you get all four tides for the day, plus the next seven days. Simple and accurate!
We all know how wind plays a part in our fishing. PredictWind offers anglers a quick look ahead at what to expect for a certain fishing area. It gives you early, morning, afternoon, evening and overnight readings, which are in blocks of four hours except overnight which is the reading from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. It also gives you a quick look at air temperature, sky conditions (cloudy, sunny etc.), sea conditions and tide. Simply add the location you fish and you are set. And, it is not just wind! Click on the “wave” icon and tap anywhere to see wave height and interval. Click on “tables” and you get wind speed, direction, gusts, barometer wave height, temperature and tide in a table format. A lot of info, but I just use the “Daily Briefing” icon for the wind.
This is my newest App and it offers a lot of info like Predict Wind, but in various formats. I am still learning this one. It also has a satellite upgrade if you feel the need. If you tap the “Radar” icon, you get a live feed of pending weather moving in. Tap the “Weather” icon and this is where you really get the info. On the weather page, you get conditions (overcast, sunny etc.), air temperature, wind speed and direction, barometer and visibility. Scroll down and you get the wind forecast, including gusts, plus the extended marine forecast, similar to what you would get on the VHS. Go to the “Surface” icon and click on a “T” for updated tides and predictions for the next five days. The App is a little tricky to navigate, but offers a lot of info.
Google Earth offers options boaters can use in saltwater and fresh. In the salt, leaving a rough inlet and knowing where sand bars may lie is pretty important. How about locating edges of channels or possible cuts in said channels that are not on the charts? By zooming in on the flats, you can tell if they are sandy or have life in the form of mussels etc. On the freshwater side, looking at history from years before when water levels were lower or higher can help pin point hot spots. Another feature, not on charts is docks. Docks play a huge role in lakes, especially if you may be fishing a tourney. Seeing the type of dock, and how far it juts out is a key component.