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Technology is an abundant thing in today’s world. While we often think of technology as a separate part of fishing we can also embrace it and use it to aid us. The reality is that we have already been using the technology for fishing.
Sonar units attached to boats and digital scales are a few examples. In today’s world, there are social media and logbook apps for anglers to share and learn about their favorite pastime.
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and Reddit are great platforms to share your adventures with friends and family but there are platforms that are dedicated specifically to fishing that have features that the other platforms do not.
Other fishing apps that may not be as social still offer great features such as weather and fishing reports of specific areas. These features typically use a public weather service such as NOAA to provide you a forecast of these areas.
There are many apps out there and it can be very hard to decide on which to use. Many are feature-rich but some do things that others do not or just do them better. I have compiled a list for you of a few top fishing apps available today. They were selected based on their utility, user-friendliness and popularity.
I have listed them, however, not by the number of downloads, but rather by their ratings and reviews. This will give you the best understanding of whether an app is even worth your time.
Here are my top 5 favorite fishing apps. They can be found on both the Android/Google Play and iOS/Apple App Store platforms.
FishAngler is essentially a social-heavy 100% free app for fishing. Opening this app I immediately feel like I am on a much more interesting version of Facebook. Setup is simple, you enter your email and set up the region you fish and you’re immediately connected to a stream of photos and tips from your area.
The forecast is an amazing feature that I like very much about this app. It does much more than tell you the weather and considers many factors as they are happening to give you a score on how good the fishing is that day.
Moon Phase, Moon Distance, and Solunar Coincidence are all tallied up and held against other factors such as air pressure, temperature, humidity and dew point to give you a relatively accurate fishing probability.
One issue that arises with this app is the up-to-date weather information and its accuracy for extremely remote areas. For example, the NOAA station for Montana is far from where I generally fish and at times the weather is different than what is shown in the app. For popular areas near civilization, the weather feature works great. But if you are going extremely remote, you may want to look at other apps.
This is one of the best full-feature fishing apps on the market. It boasts nearly 10 million users and is a great social platform in which you can see catch reports in real-time from just about anywhere you can get a connection.
FishBrain bills itself as “the world’s most popular fishing app” and is one of the best apps available to anglers today. It offers a great mapping feature as well as a good social aspect. One of the app’s most useful and popular features is its on-the-fly fish identification. Simply snap a photo of your catch and the app will identify the species for you.
If you like the idea of connecting with other anglers, discovering new and productive fishing spots, or the social aspect of sharing details about your trophy catch and chatting about fishing with a community of fellow anglers, then this app is for you.
Fishbrain also offers a great weather forecast for anglers as well. It may not be as extensive as FishAngler but sometimes you do not need to be extensive. Weather reports can always be traced back to the NOAA, even the weather on television had its data collected by the NOAA so remember that weather features are great, but it all comes from the same place.
One feature that I really like about this app is the ability to see what gear anglers used to make their catch and then be able to click on the gear and see some really helpful ratings and reviews by other fishermen. Another, though others may not like it because of its commercial nature, is the ability to make in-app purchases of related fishing gear.
The basic app is free but users are given the opportunity to upgrade to Fishbrain Pro (currently $9.99/mo.) with premium add-ons such as enhanced catch details, private waypoints, spot prediction and a host of other premium features.
Leaving the spectrum of “in general” fishing apps, let’s look at another app that has a different approach. FishTrack was designed with saltwater fishing in mind and has features that only a saltwater angler would need.
Tidal, chlorophyll, surface temperature, weather and what I consider the most precious of its abilities, offline maps. When you head out to sea, you won’t have much reception, and that means that the other apps fall short.
FishTrack allows you to cache or “store” map information onto your device where you can view them without a connection of any kind. Keeping in mind however that the information you save will be the map and conditions at the time you save them.
The app is free but also has a paid option that allows for a more detailed map and some navigation features that are great to have for fishing areas where you have an internet connection. This app lacks an expensive social aspect like others but it is a great app for the saltwater angler.
Troll Master Depth Calculator
One of the hardest factors of trolling is the depth you need to fish and this is further complicated in saltwater fishing. Troll Master Depth Calculator is a simple app that does the math to tell you specifically what depth you are going to run.
By entering your line type, the length you are releasing, and what lure you are using, the calculator will give you a solid number for your trolling depth. This is a useful tool for trolling shallow areas where fish congregate during the cooler part of the day.
An issue that this app may run into is water current speed (provided there is a current). Any increase of a water current will slightly affect the depth of any lure. This however is generally a small factor in most freshwater lakes. Saltwater and rivers may be poor locations to use this app.
To sum this app up, trolling lakes and stillwater locations, this app can take the work out of calculating an otherwise difficult amount of math. This means more fishing and less work.
The Depth Calculator app comes in both a free and a paid version that unlocks trolling information for more lures and tackle.
iAngler (and iAngler Tournament)
iAngler is a great tool for tournament information and catch recording for every angler. This app is a sibling to the iAngler Tournament, which is geared toward anglers interested in tournament information and participation. Both apps are free.
Many people really enjoy the logging of their catches, so the guys at iAngler made an “in general” app for the everyday angler to be able to do that and more.
One thing that really makes me happy about this app is that all catch recordings that are logged are saved by iAngler and shared with local fish and game biology officials to help them better manage recreational fisheries.
The goal of the app is to promote the conservation of our natural resources while providing a great way to catalog your catch.
For those interested in tournaments, in addition to promoting conservation, the iAngler Tournament app offers pertinent information on those events along with the means to register to compete. It even lets anglers log their catch (via photograph) while on the water before releasing the fish.
This app does not have anywhere near the features that some others do but it may be my favorite on our list because of its simplicity and conservation theme. Even if you have this app as a secondary app, it will be a great asset to your fishing experience.
Apps Are Useful Fishing Tools
Generally, I enjoy fishing as a way to unplug and be with the outdoors. No electricity, no noise, just me spending a day on the water but I like to be in the know and informed. To understand what is happening in the fishing community around my area, or simply to just log what I catch.
It is mind-blowing what we can do with a phone the size of a wallet. And having some of that technology to aid in my fishing and outdoor activities is a great ability to have.
These were just five of many apps available, there are many others available on all platforms. Some are great at weather forecasts, others are a place to get together and chat about fishing and the outdoors, others can be extremely simple and record your catch and calculate a depth.
I love and enjoy the ability to bring technology into my pastime to a certain degree and you should embrace it as well. There is so much we can gather from using apps such as these.
I remember reading the fishing report on the wall at my local bait shop back home as a kid. It was a very small town and anyone could walk in and share their fishing success or failures on the board. This was essentially one of these apps.
Fishing is very important to me and I am sure it is for you too and that is why convenience and efficiency are wonderful additions to our trade. Knowing before you go is extremely important to most anything and it allows us to enjoy what we do.
I hope that this has been a help for folks new to fishing apps or maybe those who have tried them already. They are sport-enriching tools that we can utilize for our benefit.
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