Fishing is an age-old pastime that's never been afraid to embrace new techniques and tools, whether it involves different types of bait or rods. Add mobile apps to the angler's bag of tricks, as they offer everything from fishing guides and logs, to solar and lunar timetables, social networking tools, knot guides and more. Check out 15 useful apps for fishermen. (Image Credit: Andreas Berheide/Shutterstock.com)
Fishbrain (Android, iOS) is social networking app of more than 3 million fishing and angling enthusiasts. Once you sign in, you can use Fishbrain to check out a crowdsourced database of more than 1.7 million fishing locations. Through the millions of recorded catches, you'll find out where to fish, what bait is working and what fish are biting. You can even contribute your own experiences. Fishbrain also works as a personal catch log to record your angling progress.
The Fishidy mobile app (Android, iOS) works in conjunction with the Fishidy website to provide users with a way to save and record their favorite fishing sites and catches and share them with other users. The app provides fishing maps to more than 17,000 waterways, with users able to log catches and favorite sites on the map. In addition, Fishidy includes social features with users able to share information with other anglers and friends, as well as view a feed of current activity and reports for individual waterways. A Premium subscription offers more detailed maps and fishing hotspots, fishing tips and mapped underwater structures.
Aimed squarely at saltwater fishermen, Pro Angler (Android, iOS) provides a wealth of resources to users, from a guide to more than 15,000 GPS fishing hotspots, radar weather maps, easy-to-use state and federal regulations and a guide to 250 saltwater fish species. Users can check out weekly updates of "What's Biting" in their region, read up on fishing reports from professional anglers and captains, and guide their boat in to hot spots and artificial reefs. Bonus features include guides to knots, rigs, and gear, a digital wallet for storing important fishing documents like licenses and a variety of fish recipes complete with nutritional info.
FishTrack (Android, iOS) is intended for saltwater anglers, providing a wealth of data such as sea surface temperature charts (SSTs), satellite imagery, and marine weather forecasts displayed on a layered map for easy reference out on the water. Users can view the latest SST, chlorophyll and satellite imagery, bathymetry, currents, and sea surface heights, and create and save routes and waypoints. In addition to the navigational data and weather forecasts, FishTrack also lets you look up tides and isolunar tables. The app is available as a free trial for 15 days, but you'll need to pay either $15 a month or $80 a year to unlock premium features.
Navionics' Boating Marine & Lakes app (Android, iOS) provides users with a wealth of up-to-date nautical charts and navigation tools to help you out on the water. Detailed data overlays, sonar charts, community notes, auto-routing, navigation modes, and syncing with a variety of WiFi enabled plotters help keep you on course so that you can focus on the fishing, rather than navigating. Auto-updated charts and weather and tides data mean you're always kept in the loop and up-to-date with potential weather and navigational hazards. The app lets you try things out for 15 days, with in-app purchases and subscriptions available after the trial ends.
Fishing Points (Android, iOS) provides a versatile toolkit of useful info for fishers. You can save your favorite fishing spots, trot lines and trawling paths, with Google Maps and offline chart views to help you get back to just the right spot. In addition, you can create a catch log for everything you manage to snag during your trip, complete with catch photos. The app also includes fish activity, tides, weather and isolunar calendar forecasts. In-app purchases allow you to upgrade to basic and advanced premium versions, which remove apps, add offline nautical charts for the US, allow you to add unlimited fishing locations and introduce more advanced forecast data.
Ikijime is a technique for dispatching caught fish with a spike to the brain that's said to be quick and humane, minimizing stress on the fish. The Ikijime Tool app (Android, iOS) provides a mobile guide to the technique, with diagrams for 53 different North American fish species, as well as a variety of others worldwide, showing where to spike a fish, with a searchable database of fish species for easy reference.