bad weather over marsh

Fishing Trip Planning

fog bayou hopedale speckled trout redfish planning fishing trip marine forecast

Be prepared for events like this. Can you see the boat just ahead?

There is no reason to not be prepared for the fishing conditions. Here at the Louisiana Fishing Blog, we harp on using readily available Internet resources to better plan fishing trips. Being prepared is part of Fishing Smarter!

Check out these links. Further down I have descriptions of how I use them to my advantage.

National Weather Map

Use this map to get a general idea as to what weather is cooking across the United States. This let’s you know what happened, what is happening and what will happen. This is very crucial during the fall and winter months when cold fronts come into play.

NOAA Marine Forecast By Zone

You will find an interactive map that you can use to find the Marine Forecast for your zone. The Marine Forecast has been the most accurate for us and is consistently reliable. Remember that conventional forecasts do not include the sea state! Wind forecasts made on “land lubber” websites like are not accounting for you being on the open water, where wind is typically stronger. Use the Marine Forecast!

Shell Beach Buoy

A GREAT way to do an “after action review” of your fishing trip is to take a look at the Shell Beach Buoy, which provides up-to-the-minute information on water level, temperature, wind speed, direction and much more. When you visit this site, click on the “Water Level” link to go see all this information presented in graphical form. You can sit in your office and watch these graphs to learn more about how the winds and air pressure affect the water level. We have learned that some winds can cancel out or even turn around the tide. Sometimes the water level will be lower than what you actually think and this information will help you plan accordingly. Not everybody has time to fish every day, but this tool especially will help you plan your fishing trip to achieve more potential!

If the Shell Beach Buoy is not local to you, then go to the National Data Buoy Center to find one relevant to your fishing location.

National Data Buoy Center

RodnReel Tide Tables

Last, but not least, be sure to use RodnReel’s Tide Tables. They’re just easier to use and understand over other tide tables.