We no longer rely on Granpa's bum knee to know a squall is coming. These apps provide you with the most accurate forecast.
An app for anglers requires more than just a wind forecast.
Things like sea state, the height of the Mississippi River and current water levels are important, too. Anglers need a marine-oriented source of information for wind, weather and more, so you have a complete picture and not just parts of it.
Weather Apps for Anglers
The following apps I use whenever I am out on the water. Using this streamlined information I am able to get an idea as to what the water looks like long before I ever get there.
Before I launch the boat, I already know where I am going to catch fish. You can find them by searching on iTunes or Google Play.
I use Weather Bug for very specific things and a wind forecast is not one of them.
I enjoy using their radar and its multiple layer options to give me an idea as to where storms are, where they have been and where they are most likely going.
This is key during the summertime, when we are experiencing a lot of lows and unpredictable summer squalls that form without notice.
I also use WeatherBug for their lightning map, aptly named "Spark."
Spark tells me how close lightning is.
At the time of this writing, the nearest lightning strikes are 1,944 miles away in South America. I think that is a very safe distance for lightning!
In addition to those things I use Weather Bug to get an idea as to how sunny it will be. The is especially important for sight fishing redfish.
U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Vicksburg District
The Corps of Engineers have their own app and I use it to see water levels in the Mississippi River. This app can pull up a graph depicting past, current and predicted water levels at different stations along Big Muddy.
The Mississippi River directly influences where trout, redfish and bass can and cannot be found. Monitor these stations and with time you will learn what areas will have clean, salty water and what areas will not with certain river levels.
NOAA Buoy and Tide Data
This app is by far the coolest and has made my life much easier when pulling up buoy data for local conditions in areas I plan to fish.
A few years ago I wrote an article called Tide Charts Don't Work Anymore.
If you haven't read it I strongly suggest you do, it gives you an idea as to how the water moves not just according to the tide, but also other factors. I use data from local NOAA buoys to see those factors and have a more informed insight as to what is happening in the marsh, even if I am not there.
From this app I can save my "favorite" buoys and access them from the home page.
I can also tap the "book" icon in the lower part of the screen and it takes me to the buoys website, where I can tap on "water levels" and get a graph depicting actual water levels versus predicted water levels.
NOAA Marine Forecast
The NOAA Marine Forecast is my resource for wind and sea state forecast.
I have not found an app that reliably and comprehensively delivers the NOAA Marine Forecast.
There is Boat Weather and it is spot on, but it does not cover every NOAA Marine Forecast Zone.
There are thirteen zones in southeast Louisiana alone and having each one is important because each area is different.
Winds in Barataria Bay almost always seem to blow slightly different than winds in Breton Sound.
In the absence of a reliable app I have bookmarked the pertinent marine forecasts in my browser. This way they are quickly retrieved.
I don't use these apps to help me decide if I should go fishing or not, but to give me information I need to make my fishing trip a good one.
At the end of the day, you have to go to know. If you don't launch the boat and learn the marsh in the best way you can then you are setting yourself up for failure and it does not matter what technology or hardware you are packing.
Tight lines, y'all.