Using your phone to find the best fishing

By Scott MacDonnellNZ Fishing World
Using your phone to find the best fishing

When you are heading out for a fish, doing a little homework and making a plan the night before is often a good idea. If you’re like me, quite often the day ahead is lived over as you try and go to sleep, waking several times as you wait for the 5.00am alarm to arrive. One of the greatest technologies for available for fishing success, does not live in your tackle box, but on your phone.

Sometimes big things do come is small packages.  And a couple of the many apps that are very useful to fisho’s can be really valuable both pre-launch and while at sea.

Three such apps that I rely on regularly include Swellmap, Windy, and Navionics.

Nothing that involves forecasting can ever be 100% accurate, but taking the information from several sources helps build a good consensus for what might happen by the weekend.

There are a couple of 'Windy' apps.  This is the one we like most


Windy, as the name somewhat obviously suggests, is a very easy to navigate application that gives an excellent visual breakdown of the wind movements anywhere in NZ, forecast well in advance, and I’ve found it to be pretty accurate most of the time.

It lets you drill right into specific areas not only for wind, but for swell, and rainfall.  It’s a free app, so why not have a look. 

Swellmap is well known to many fishermen already, but if you have not got it.  Get it :-)


Swellmap may be familiar to most anglers, but in case you have not seen it, this app is a great quick snapshot of the wind, sea, and tidal conditions for most areas around the country.  It’s very easy to navigate, and generally gives a good picture of the days ahead.


This is a killer app that has several great attributes and uses for fishermen.

Essentially, Navionics is a Garmin based web and mobile app that allows you to access comprehensive marine and sonar chart information wherever you are at sea, regardless of cell coverage.

When you select the ‘show sonar’ option, you’ll be given a detailed diagram of the seafloor structure that also includes a lot of proven fish marks as you drill right down into the detail.

This app makes for a perfect backup for your boat mounted electronics in the case that they should ever fail.

What I love about the Navionics app, is the ability to identify where fish should be, and what areas of the vast sea floor are worth a nosey, particularly if you are fishing an area that is new to you.

With this app, you can launch a kayak or head out to the deep sea with added knowledge and a few fishy marks to try that you might not have realised were there.

The app does carry a small charge to download the full version, but it’s pretty nominal compared to the value.

I wouldn’t be without it.

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