Even hardcore Android geeks need a break from the shell and their code editor every now and then, and I like to spend some time getting a line wet at one of the many creeks and streams around my area. I'm not the best fisherman around, and I'm certainly not at the level of expertise you see from fishing professionals (what a job, eh?), but like everyone else who shares my passion for angling, I'd love to catch more, and bigger, fish. The secret to doing this, according to the experts, is to keep track of the when, where, and how you catch them so you can repeat what's successful, and have a plan for any conditions.
What if you had an application for your Android phone (any version of Android is supported) that could help, and even fill in many of the important details for you? You would have the records and locations, and know what to look for the next time your out. Well we have such an app, FishNotes by Jimmy Houston. It's not cheap -- it checks in at a whopping $12.99, so I think it's pretty important to give this one a close look so you can decide if it's for you. We cover it all, with a mess of screenshots and the download link, after the break.
FishNotes is like a series of logs (including photos and video) you activate with the press of a button when you catch a fish. You can, and should, make things a little easier by taking the time to set up your equipment and lure list,but for the most part everything is automagic. Once you land the fish and push the button, the entry in your logs is started, and location and local conditions are taken and written to the entry. The next step is to specify what you've caught, and the entry itself will be opened so you can enter the size and weight of your catch.
Then you can fill in the details of water conditions, lure used, add a photo, video, audio clip or any special notes. Once you have all the details entered, going back or pressing the save button will save your entry for easy retrieval later. You can also share your catch with Twitter, LinkedIn and Facebook, or by email or SMS it to make your friends jealous. By default your catches are public so people near you can search them, but all it takes is a tap to mark them private and protect your secret fishing hole.
Now all the details of your catch are saved, and can be searched and retrieved by date, species, location, or any other criteria you can imagine. And as mentioned -- you can share your catch via the app so others can find it, as well as search for the catches others have shared. You can do all this on your phone, or on your computer while logged into your account at FishNotes.com. This should be very nice if you want to get a little rod and reel time in and you're not in familiar waters -- like on vacation or an "extended" lunch break.
Remember we talked about some settings? They're simple and easy to understand. FishNotes takes care of most of the details, you just need to enter a bit of your information and whatever you would like to share with fellow anglers, and add any special secret lures you might have that aren't included in the built-in database.
To round things up nicely, FishNotes also gives you a few handy tools that most any fisherman is interested in. You can read RSS feeds about fishing news, check your local weather forecast, check out the moon phase, and see the solunar tables for the week to determine what time the fish are feeding. This is a really nice touch, and one I would have never thought of having on my phone. It never hurts to stack the odds in your favor.
FishNotes really does it all if you want to keep track of your luck on the water, and looks like an extremely valuable tool for anyone involved in a fishing contest or derby, amateur or pro. But what about for the rest of us? 13 bucks is a little steep for an app, but don't let the price scare you away without considering it. I can't seem to walk out of a sporting goods store without spending at least that much on hooks and flies, and feel that spending the money on the app only helps
feed my addiction further my hobby. Google has changed the trial period for applications, and there's no way you'll be able to evaluate this one fully in 15 minutes. All I can say, is if you're serious about catching some fish, I think you'll find it helpful, and a little fun all at the same time. You can grab the app below.