I remember my first monster catch: a 20-pound snapper on the beaches of Key West with my family. I can still remember my dad’s scream of excitement when a wee 16-year-old me pulled that out of the surf. One thing is for certain: there’s nothing like the tug of your reel and the rush of adrenaline before finally pulling in a catch.
Fishing is an age-old pastime that only improves with the advances of technology. Going from my grandpa’s dinosaur of a sonar to my mobile fishing locator, your phone does more than distract the kids.
It contains several apps that can cut your stress in half with handy tools that you may need while fishing. They offer a wide variety of useful tools that you will likely need on your trip. Here are some of my favorite apps to keep on hand.
Best Weather Apps for Fishing
Rain can really ruin a fishing trip, and here in Florida, I’ve got no chance at predicting the weather. Even without clouds in the sky, it can quickly turn into a shower without notice. Even though you can’t control the weather, it never hurts to check.
1. Minute Cast
The rain never ends here in Florida during the summer months. And just when you think it has, SURPRISE! It’s back again. Stay updated on the weather and tides with MinuteCast, available for free download on iOS and Android devices. This app provides an abundance of information: everything from anomalies in sea surface temperature to weather forecasting and radars.
Additionally, MinuteCast shows forecasts for the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic Ocean and the Pacific Ocean in three-hour increments, up to three days in advance. It even alerts you to tropical storm warnings, which are unavoidable in the Sunshine State.
2. Fish Track
Are you worried about the current weather conditions and want to see them before you even leave the dock? The FishTrack app allows you to view the latest high-resolution sea-surface-temperature charts, moon phases and tides, currents, water depth and points of interest.
Moreover, this app has tutorials to help users navigate their saved waypoints and coordinates. The app is free to download, but offers premium services, like unlimited waypoints, for $15 per month.
Best Navigation Apps for Fishing
Getting lost on the open sea is not a great situation to be in. While you could use the traditional strategy of using the stars to help guide you, you could also download a readily available app that does it for you. Find your way across vast oceans or small lakes with the help of these handy phone apps.
1. Deeper – Smart Sonar
I can feel Gramps’ ancient sonar system rolling in its grave as I type this. That man swore by that rusted piece of junk, though it did get us to and from the honey hole to the dock.
Deeper is an excellent tool to have, even if you don’t own other Deeper systems on your vessel. From your phone, the app will warn you of bad weather conditions and dangerous tides as well as offer maps and GPS to track your trip. You can also log and share your catches with the built-in notepad and camera.
With the Deeper fish finder, a separate system that acts like a pole float, the Bluetooth sonar scans the ocean floor and display the depth of the water and any breezers on the way down. With this app, you won’t miss a thing and hopefully will stumble across some toads with this device.
Overall, this app connects to all other Deeper products and is available for both iOS and Android devices. It’ll have you hooked!
2. Navionics Boating Marine & Lakes
I can’t read maps to save my life. Drive a boat? No problem. Get from point A to point B? Sure thing! Still, telling the difference between North and South will forever elude me. Navionics gives a detailed and easy-to-understand map of the area.
Its nautical chart and sonar are regularly updated throughout the day, so nothing with get past you. I really appreciate the overlay feature which allows you to change the perspective of the map to see how deep the water is, fishing hotspots and tides. For example, the bathymetry option shows a detailed map displaying water depth miles past the shore.
As a bonus of the Navionics app, it can easily connect for quick access if you have any other Navionics equipment. You can download Navionics for a two-week free trial. For a longer subscription, annual payments vary by location, ranging anywhere from $18 to $55.
3. Fishing Points
How many times have you made an AWESOME catch and then lost your golden spot? Never? Maybe it’s just me. Either way, the ability to mark special points and easily identify paths is certainly handy. With this app, you can plot courses, save trotlines and trolling paths, and access offline maps. The app also lets you access weather forecasts, tide projections and solunar data!
The app is available on both IOS and Android devices. It contains in-app purchases that include more advanced data, remove ads and allow for unlimited saved locations. You can also add anything you snag to your fishing log and share it with friends through social media.
Best Social Media Apps for Fishing
Not only is communication crucial when on the water, it’s fun! Whether it’s with your family, fishing buddies or total stangers, talking and bragging about your latest endeavors are great ways to pass the time. Since you don’t always have the chance to be within shouting distance of a friend, download one of these apps to take your stories beyond the boat.
If you’re like me and have dreamed of a fishing-specific Instagram app, Fishbrain is for you. Fishbrain is a social networking and location crowdsourcing service that will have you running across the state for some wicked catches.
The app will label a map with your friends’ reported hooks so that you can marvel at their awesome catches. It even tells you which fish are biting and which are the recommended bait!
You can create a profile and contribute your own experiences to your public log, or follow others and track their catches. This free app is available on both IOS and Android devices. Now, you’ll be able to share your wild fishing stories with more than just your bored family!
There are no better interactions than the ones you share on the water over a beer. I’ve met many of my buddies on fishing trips. What can I say, I’m an outgoing person. But it can get quiet and lonely sometimes.
If you’re looking for some friendly competition or are still trying to find your way around the water, Fishidy can help. Displaying recent waterway activity and providing social networking services, Fishidy is available on desktops and mobile devices.
Moreover, you can use the interactive map to discover new areas to fish or watch for dangerous conditions alerts. Overall, Fishidy is free to access, though it offers some fin-tastic premium services, like fishing hotspots, for IOS and Android devices.
Continuing the trend of fishing-themed social media platforms, Fishmore allows users to photograph and log their catches then share them with the world. The free app is available for IOS and Android devices where it offers feeds of activity and guides to more outdoor activities.
If you’re looking for something specific, you can search the app by name or place. If you’re just feeling curious, search by categories. Fishmore allows you to connect with other local anglers, both professional and hobbyists. Whether you’re trying to find the perfect spot or want to meet other anglers, Fishmore will helps you discover areas beyond than your local pier.
Best Apps for Fishing Tips and Rules
Don’t let fishing rules and regulations bog down your family fun. Making a big catch is exciting and should be celebrated, but make sure it fits within your state’s size limits. There atr many signals and signs to pay attention to while you’re on the water, too. I know I’ve accidentally broken the rules and paid the price for it, let me help you not make the same mistake.
1. Fish Rules
I can’t tell you how many times I think my catch falls within the size limits and I’m wrong. No one likes paying hundreds of dollars in fines for being a couple inches below the minimum. It can be hard to judge by the eye, and I’ve learned my bad eyesight isn’t a good enough excuse.
Fish Rules specializes in saltwater fisherman and is helpful when it comes to ensuring you’re within the state size limits. It can help you identify the fish in season and your catch as well as know the regulations. Because these tips are given by other anglers, these pictures possess key clues to correctly identifying your catch.
From Maine to Florida, Fish Rules contains guidelines for saltwater fishing in the Greater Atlantic, Mid Atlantic, South Atlantic, and Gulf of Mexico. It also possesses state regulations for many coastal states on the East and West coasts. The app is free on the Apple and Google Play store.
2. Animated Fishing Knots
Knots are essential to fishing from a boat. If you’re having trouble remembering a step, you could struggle to find a video on YouTube, or you can have an app at the ready. The Animated Fishing Knots app contains tutorials on how to do 60 popular knots that you may need while fishing.
Sorted alphabetically, the app features each knot tying process in animation. You can also pause, rewind and fast-forward each video as you need. Each knot features a description with its uses, extremely handy for new anglers and those learning to tie a knot.
I highly recommend downloading a knot-tying app. Animated Fishing Knots is available on IOS and Android devices for 99 cents.
3. Maritime Signal Flags
The International Code of Signals (ICS) is a form of communication among sailors used to display important messages regarding safety and navigation. Its system features 40 flags that translate to numbers and letters, which are used to spell out messages.
Of course, it takes practice to memorize these signals. Having a translation app available can surely help you learn these crucial flags.
The app is safe for mobile use and requires no internet connection. It displays high-definition photographs of each flag and its translation. It’s meant to be a quick reference for those learning the ropes of the ICS language. It is available for free on IOS and Android devices.
If you want to explore new territories while fishing, download this helpful guide to find great fishing itineraries.