5 Free iPhone Apps Every Fisherman Must Have: Pimp Your iPhone Like a Sailor
Your iPhone has the capability to be a great source of entertainment, a great business partner and a spectacular fishing buddy!
The following list of the best fishing apps for the iPhone consists of my favorite when I’m on the water. I’ve used all of these for at least the last year on the iPhone 4S, and I’ve been nothing but satisfied with them. These are the apps that don’t glitch or freeze, in my experience. Best of all, each app on this list is absolutely free to download in the App Store at the time of this article’s publishing!
Note: To make your iPhone the best sailor it can be, consider purchasing a quality waterproof case or pouch that will protect it from moisture and the salt air.
When grey clouds are swelling on the horizon and bearing down on you with high winds and lightning, you need an instant animated radar image zeroed in on your exact location without the unnecessary frills that just slow it down. The free MyRadar app gives boaters and outdoorsmen the information they need to stay safe and dry on the water, without waiting for annoying videos or login screens to load.
At the free level, this app displays a small banner advertisement across the bottom of the screen, but it’s hardly in the way at all. The radar image itself is top-notch, and you can zoom in as tight as you’d like on a specific location. Zoom all the way out to view a complete radar picture of the entire continent.
Of the many apps that offer a radar picture, the MyRadar app is far and away my favorite because it always works, loads fast and presents a simple-but-detailed animated radar image.
2. Marine Weather by Bluefin Engineering
Weather forecasts, tides, current conditions and sun rise and set times, every boater or fisherman needs them to plan a trip. With the Marine Weather app by Bluefin Engineering, you can plan the next outing in just a few seconds because all of your key information is in the palm of your hand.
This app has the chops to satisfy the most demanding old salt because it draws information from NOAA’s National Weather Service and weather stations, the Rutgers Coastal Ocean Observation Lab and the Naval Oceanography Portal. Information through Bluefin’s free app is the real deal, and its simple interface makes it easy to use while using minimal battery energy and network bandwidth.
When I realize I have a few hours to fish in the afternoon, I use the Bluefin Engineering Marine Weather app to find out where the tide will be right and the weather favorable.
It’s hard to say enough about this app. The iFishStick app by Gaff Magazine and the Wildlife Foundation of Florida may be the best all-around app available for Florida anglers–and it’s completely free!
The iFishStick app gives you instant, free access to Florida freshwater and saltwater fishing regulations, solunar tables, Gaff Magazine issues, Florida fishing license purchasing and the ability to donate to the Wildlife Foundation of Florida. It even includes a fishing log which allows users to track detailed information about every catch. As a bonus, the radar image offered by this app isn’t half bad.
Download the iFishStick app and fish happy.
4. West Marine Catalogs
How much will it cost to replace that bow light? What’s the best West System combination to fix those oyster scratches? The answers to nearly all of your boating questions lie in the palm of your hand with the free West Marine Catalogs app.
This app is extremely simple in design, yet it is a literal tome of useful information for any boat owner. Now this isn’t a shameless plug for West Marine, I certainly don’t buy all of my boating supplies there, but it is a testament to just how useful their extremely thorough catalogue is.
The app contains every page you’d find in the bulky annual catalogue, plus it features the more specific sailing and fishing catalogues for the current year. With West Advisor articles, full-length product descriptions and the ability to check for items in stock and order directly from the app, this app helps you nail down a parts list, fix-it plan and project budget while freeing you from the burden of carrying around one of the heftiest catalogues in boating retail.
Scratching your head? Well then, you must not be a football fan! The WatchESPN app is an indispensable app for me in the fall, which is my favorite season to fish Florida’s Coquina Coast.
The redfish are feeding shallow and voraciously, the weather is perfect and NCAA, NFL and EPL (English Premier League) football happens every weekend. The WatchESPN app lets me take the big games with me in the form of streaming or replayed video, effectively combining my passions into about the most perfect day out of the office imaginable (just add coffee/beer). This app is free, but you’ll need a Brighthouse, AT&T, or other partner account for your home television or Internet service to have access to the video feeds.
The difference between this app and the others in this list is that this one does tax the battery and ride three-wide on the ol’ bandwidth. A twelve-volt plug on the boat will help you keep the phone charged with your car charger, and a decent signal will be enough to carry the load, in my experience. In full disclosure, I’m on the Sprint network and I’m very happy with its ability to support this app whenever I have at least three bars of signal indicated.
Whether out fishing, working on the boat in the garage or sitting on the porch in the evening winding down from a day on the water, the WatchESPN app brings my favorite games to me.