If you’re not on board with the 21st century, then you’re going to get left behind by those that are. I harp on using this readily available and free information to better plan fishing trips. I do! In fact, you may have walked past me at Breton Sound Marina, as I sat on the front porch and used my Android to check information critical to the execution of my fishing trip. You know how conditions can change at the last second and it’s helpful to know as it’s happening.
Check out these links. Further down I have descriptions of how I use them to my advantage.
- NOAA National Weather Map
- NOAA Marine Forecast
- Shell Beach Buoy
- Chevron MP41M Platform Data
- RodnReel Tide Tables
I use this map to get a general idea as to what weather is cooking across the United States. This let’s me know what happened, what is happening and what will happen. This is very crucial during the fall and winter months when cold fronts come into play.
You will find an interactive map that you can use to find the Marine Forecast for your zone. Use this if you fish somewhere other than the zone I linked in the first place. The Marine Forecast has been the most accurate for me and is consistently reliable.
A GREAT way to do an “after action review” of your fishing trip is to take a look at the Shell Beach Buoy, which provides up-to-the-minute information on water level, temperature, wind speed, direction and much more. When you visit this site, click on the “Water Level” link to go see all this information presented in graphical form. You can sit in your office and watch these graphs to learn more about how the winds and air pressure affect the water level! I have noticed that some winds can cancel out or even turn around the tide! Sometimes the water level will be lower than what you actually think and this information will help you plan accordingly. Not everybody has time to fish every day, but this tool especially will help you plan your fishing trip to achieve more potential!
You can also use the interactive Google Map on the page to access information from other buoys in the area.
This is very similar to NOAA’s Shell Beach Buoy, but the information provided is just mind boggling. The station is located at 89º 02.128′ 29º 24.07′, just a little past the Breton Island chain. You will need to hit the “I agree” button every time you return to this webpage. The MP41M station reports really cool stuff like water salinity, water current speed, direction and even wave height. Using this is how I know if I will have a smooth ride all the way through Breton Sound. When I pay attention to the information it provides, I may see data that will reveal something I never noticed before.
Last, but not least, I prefer to use RodnReel’s very own Tide Tables. They’re just easier to use and understand over other tide tables. I remember looking at them with my dad when I was a kid and always noting the Inshore Fishing Forecast. This is a number that judges on a scale from one to ten how good a day will be for fishing with all other factors being equal. A seven and up are my favorite days, but with enough experience I have been able to overcome this number. Yet it’s still a good method to judge a particular fishing day, especially if you can’t fish often and need to maximize your time. Without going off topic, there are exceptions to this number. I would have to say full moons during the spawning season are still good for trout as they are spawning all night in drumming aggregations. Furthermore, I noticed that on nights (at other times of the year) with a full moon, but with heavy cloud cover (therefore canceling out the moonlight) have caused the next day to produce well for trout.