TidesPro - The Skiff Pilot's Preflight Planing Tool!
When not on the Skiff with my SIMRAD with it's installed FMT Chip in front of me, my new favorite Tides and Preflight planning tool is TidesPro
Not only online, but they also have PC Windows program as well as iPhone and iPad applications... This as well as being able to download the tide KML files for use with your Google Earth Pro desktop software that can also come in handy at the same time. Extremely easy to use and very visual in its UI (User Interface) design that at a quick glance, you can "see" what the tide is doing and how it is trending along with Solunar and Weather (pending version) related information.
So, let us cover these versions more in-depth and how you can utilize each one for the various platforms before jumping on your Skiff or Bay Boat for you next Fishing, Scouting or just Media collection trip 😊
Android based Phone and Tablets...
The Android based applications are still under development, but you can open your browser and use the online version by clicking Here
It will over time, start saving past locations (called My recent sites) near the top of the page that you have reviewed which comes in very handy!
Naturally, no marine weather information with the online version, but plenty of other sources for such like My Radar which is due for an updated review in the near future here on Flats Nation.
The Apple / IOS application...
My personal favorite since I have both a iPhone and iPad of course, but just a ton of good information for trip planning all at a quick glance before I even fire up the Skiff! I can set in the house or take a quick look while out running errands and know what that tides and weather are doing so I know how to best plan my time.
The weather section (for premium users) has several sections at the top of the page so you can get updated for the On-Shore, Marine and (if any nearby) reporting Buoy's so you can secure items like Water and Air temperatures at the same time.
And don't forget to add these widgets to the home screen on your iPhone or iPad for an even quicker access to this information! I also have the widgets configured for the tidal information nearest your current location, so it is basically (when it updates) is following you around if traveling or running the boat in those waters.
Again for the premium users of TidesPro that have an Apple Watch, they have widgets for them at the same time which that alone, might convince me to finally break down and buy one! When you remember how much the original Tide Watches were back in 198X, this could be considered now a bargain!
For $11.99 a year for the IOS Premium version, this is a pretty strong feature set!
Windows PC / Google Earth Pro KML files...
Much of the same features, I just do not have all the screen shots for that version yet to post up. When setting in my office working though, I usually just take a quick glance at it for tidal information or check it on my iPad which I use as a second PC anymore.
For trip planning to other areas, you can use the search bar found at the top right of the screen if you know the name of the reporting tidal station or stations.
Or you can download the KML files and then import them into your Google Earth Pro desktop software. Once that process is completed, then open your copy of Google Earth, use its search box at the top left (see screen shot below) then click on the yellow pins in that area to then bring up the local tides for that area. The Google Earth Pro files do come in handy to help you visually pick off an area you are headed towards to scout or fish, and may not know the actual names of the nearest reporting stations. And naturally, you can zoom in and out to do a little PC scouting of those areas long before you burn any fuel to get there, comes in handy at today's insane fuel prices!
Some fishermen I know are really hung up on fishing certain Tides or Solunars. Well, if you have that kind of time in your life, which is fine... I do not and will fish any tide though I do try and hit points or edges when the water is moving. Stronger tides do help "flush out the forage species" like crabs, but some of the largest fish I have caught were on near slack tides! We give fish a lot more of an IQ than they actually have, and most strikes are reactionary by nature as it is...
Knowing the tides / trends does come in handy for access to (or knowing when to leave) certain areas either for scouting or fishing purposes. Winter tides combined with strong North winds can really leave you High and Dry if you are not paying attention when running into or out of places that "might" have a foot of water most of the year!
As mentioned above, it costs much less to drag your Skiff / Bay Boat to a location than drive it there so, having this information comes in handy for trip planning and hitting and reviewing those areas on your PC long before you hitch up the Skiff.
For those who do not have the budget or the space for a nice SIMRAD unit on your Skiff or Paddle Craft, TidesPro and either your iPhone or iPad in a nice water resistant case can go a very long way in building yourself a nice suite of applications to help you both plan your trip and use while on the water!
Another aspect is redundancy, any MFD device can fail at any time from a simple loss of power. Thus, having a suite of applications on your cell phone or tablet might prove to be a real day or even life saver! This is way I have a nice and quick release iPhone mount on my grab bar (more on that soon) that holds it in place right beside my SIMRAD unit easy to reach and right in plain view but not in the way... I also have all of those what I call "Skiff Operation Applications" on one single dedicated page where I can access each one at a second’s notice and in the order, I usually use them. Here is my List / Skiff Page and many of these are free! We will cover many of them soon to help you get the most out of each one 😊
Adam and the Team over at TidesPro / ASR Concepts created an awesome little program and looking forward to see how it develops! So, give TidesPro a try (let them know Flats Nation sent you if you contact them) and see how you like it versus others you have used?
Here are the links for the various versions...
Android you will just have to use your browser (for now) and you can find that URL Here:
Apple / IOS click Here:
Windows desktop application click Here:
Windows / MAC Browser (and I find that Firefox seems to work the best) you can find that URL Here:
We invite you to take in a few Flats Nation Podcast Episodes to help "Scratch that Fishing Itch" when working or traveling and you just cannot hitch up the Skiff and go, on these links:
Our main podcast page that works great for your mobile device since they will stream right on your phone / tablet can be found by clicking Here
And our new Flats Nation YouTube Channel can be found by clicking Here and share them with family and friends if you find them Entertaining and Educational! We have some great guests in the works and planning stages on a wide range of topics and product coverage soon.
Tight Lines, and God Bless!