February 25, 2016

Smartphone Apps for Fishing Conditions

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.

Captain Devin

About the Author

Devin is a veteran of the Iraq War and former fishing guide. He founded Louisiana Fishing Blog in 2012 to share his ideas as a charter captain and still writes in it today. Since then he's created a fishing university — LAFB Elite — where he teaches inshore anglers how to safely navigate Louisiana's coast and catch more fish.

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  • Hey Keith, I honestly don’t know because I don’t use an Android. lol You think I would, but I sold my soul to Steve Jobs a long time ago. LOL

    Look, the app is cool and I think it’s geared more towards the “post-smartphone” folks who use apps for convenience.

    I own a laptop, so I spend most of my time there when on the Internet (big screen…keyboard….80s baby…why wouldn’t I?)

    Otherwise I have it bookmarked on Google Chrome and go straight to it when I don’t use the app.

    Hope that makes sense, and thanks for commenting.

  • Hey Capt Devin, you might not know – but does the Android version of “NOAA Buoy and Tide Data” actually show the measured water level and graph like you show in your screen shot? The android store does not show that or the little book icon, and they make no mention of water level data. I’d check it out but it’s $2 to try it out, and there are already free apps on android that do the same thing sans the water level data.

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