Fish finders, GPS navigation systems, and paperback fishing journals that end up in the water are slowly becoming the tools of the past. Reach into your pocket and grab your smart phone.
Yes, your smart phone is going to replace all those fancy electronics on your boat, and the fishing journal you forget on your desk at work before you go on a big trip.
I got a chance to beta-test the new Wolf GIS app on the Caney Fork River in Middle Tennessee. I was blown away at how quickly I could take a picture, drop a pin, and keep the secrets of my honey holes on my phone away from my buddies who never go on the scouting trips with me (You know those fishing buddies… the ones who are all catching and no fishing).
Instead of buying expensive electronics for a small flat bottom, drift, or center console boat anglers can easily mark spots fish after fish with the app. Not only did I mark my spots, but collected information on the spot I was having so much success fishing. I usually would write in a fishing journal at home all the data I could remember about the trip, but with the app I had all my pictures, information, and locations in one place…on my app in my smart phone.
Here is the data I collected in my app for each of my spots:
-Weather conditions and time of day
-Flies and lures used
-Size and quantity of fish
-Water conditions/ depth of fish
-Pictures of my fish
Most anglers’ fish in areas that do not have great reception, so being able to cache an area of the river beforehand and use the app was a big deal. I was pretty familiar with this section of the river but being able to use the measure tool to figure out how far the float was from one spot to next gave me an idea how long to fish one spot before I needed to spend time paddling to the next fishing hole.
Testing multiple features on the app made me realize how much of an important tool Wolf GIS is for future fishing trips on the Caney Fork. The data collected gave me a good idea of the trout to expect on my next trip.
This is just one river, and one use for the app I got to explore. The uses and potential for mobile GIS for the everyday user could change the way I fish, and change how average users view maps and data with mobile GIS. The beta version for Wolf GIS Basic is still in the works for IOS, but the Android version is expected to come out the third week of July.