Recfishwest believes that having the best technology at your fingertips can greatly enhance your fishing experiences, while keeping you safe when wetting a line.
With this in mind, we’ve compiled the most handy fishing apps to download to ensure you’re all sorted for having the safest and best day out on the water, or flicking a line off the land!
The following apps have you covered for understanding the best weather, swell and tide forecasts, along with species identification, fishing tips, fish care, GPS tracking and much more – without breaking the bank.
With over 290,000 downloads since it was launched, the Recfishwest recently updated app is a must have for all fishers in Western Australia. The app is free, can work even without signal and contains all the local fishing rules, as well as an advanced fish indentification system and mapping software that shows the different marine protected areas in the state. It also shows all Western Australian FADs coordinates in real-time and artificial reef locations to ensure the most productive fishing trips. The rules section of the app is extremely easy to navigate and understand, with coloured pictures of each species making identification easy. The interactive mapping feature shows shaded polygons for each of the marine parks in WA as well as the app users’ precise location in relation to these areas. This feature therefore makes it easy to know what you can and cannot do in the area you are fishing. Simply tap on the shaded polygon to get a list of the prohibited and allowed activities in that area.
2) Bureau of Meteorology
The Bureau of Meteorology weather app is an Australian app that is free to download and gives data on historic, current and forecast weather conditions. Some of these include but are not limited to a rain radar, temperature, wind, waves and humidity. One of the most useful aspects of the app is that it provides weather warnings in the form of push notifications for your specified location, these warnings may include tropical cyclones, fire weather, floods, tsunamis, severe weather, severe thunderstorms or heatwaves. One of the key reasons to use this app over others is that all other weather apps base their forecasts off data retrieved from the Bureau of Meteorology and therefore is it wise to base your observations off this app and use the other apps as secondary sources to further inform your plans.
Willyweather is completely free, but its downfall is that the wind strengths are represented by different shades of green which can make it harder to interpret than Seabreeze, as well as the graph being slightly more congested looking. The advantage of this app is that it overlays the live wind onto the same model allowing you to better predict how accurate the forecast has been previously that day and whether wind conditions are likely to stay above or below the prediction. Willyweather also includes predictions for tides, swell, moon, sun, UV, temperature, and rain and is therefore a valuable resource for a variety of information.
Seabreeze gives a weekly forecast for some of the key data needed to plan a day’s fishing, including wind, swell, wave height, temperature, tides, and moon phase. The best aspect of sea breeze is that it is a completely free app that allows an ease of visualising the best times of the week by colour coding calm, moderate and strong winds in green, yellow, or red respectively. These colours can also be reversed in settings if the user prefers it. Due to the use of these colours, easy visualisation of the conditions is possible, and the user can quickly determine if any good weather windows are coming in the week ahead. Seabreeze is often the first ‘port of call‘ before using other apps to refine your location further and get a more data to help gain an accurate weather prediction.
Navionics is one of the most useful applications you can have as a recreational fisher. The app is identical to the Navionics chart packages available for GPS units and therefore a subscription fee is required to access most of the most useful features. Some of these key features included in the application include depth and topography overlays, as well as satellite and relief shading and some community added fishing spots. The app also allows you to create routes and waypoints and therefore can function as a powerful back-up unit if your boats GPS system fails, an important safety feature to ensure you make it home safely after a day’s fishing. The app can also be used remotely by fishers, as they can search for likely fishing spots by assessing the structure and depth in different areas of the map and search for community added fishing waypoints.
The iDfish app costs $9.99 per year but provides a free 1-month trial. The app is an extremely fast and effective way not only to identify different species, but also to obtain fisheries regulations and useful information like the eating quality of your catch even whilst offline. The app uses a key-based system that eliminates different species until you are left with the correct identification. The colour of the fish pictures used for identification purposes appear as if the fish was recently caught to further improve the ease of identification. As a bonus, the app also provides an almanac with tide and bite times for your location.
The Deckee app is free and can be used throughout the country to track and share your location whilst at sea. The app also provides useful information such as the required safety equipment, boating infrastructure locations, weather conditions, boat registration reminders and a hub for community discussion and non-compliance reporting. All of the information from the Department of Transport is uploaded to the map and therefore it can be used to see your location in relation to naval waters and marine parks and infrastructure, as well as publicly shared GPS coordinates like fishing spots or other points of interest.
8) Ike Jime
The Ike Jime app provides information on the fish in your region such as basic description and distribution, as well as their most common size and best dispatch method. One of the most useful features of the app is the X-Ray filter that shows the bone structure of each species along with the precise brain location, making the humane ‘ike jime’ dispatch method as quick and pain free as possible for the fish.
9) Fishing Knots
This free app explains, through simple diagrams, each step of tying some of the most useful fishing knots. There are different knots included for a variety of different applications such as connecting lines together or to terminal tackle. A key factor in the success of this app is that all the knots include simple to follow steps and are available even without network connection.
Fishtrack charts are designed for those planning offshore fishing trips. The main oceanographic data included in the map package includes sea surface temperature (SST), Chlorophyll imagery and currents. There is a free version that is more than adequate with maps being updated several times each day, however to get the full experience and to export GPS coordinates, the paid version is required.
The SunSmart app gives temperature and UV ratings for the day based on your location and will inform the times during the day that sun protection is recommended. The app gives tips on how best to be sun smart based on their slip, slop, slap, seek, slide catch cry, as well as providing information on the UV index for the day and forecast for that week. One of the most powerful aspects of this application is that it can be set to send push notifications to remind you when you’re due to top up sunscreen. Another feature is that the app provides a ‘sunscreen calculator’ which calculates how much sunscreen you require based on the clothes you are wearing on the day.