Hook, line and earbud; ‘iFish Minnesota’ aims to give anglers a tech edge
Fishing and iPads may seem like an odd combination, but Canada-based software developer The App Door has launched the Minnesotan version of a fishing app they hope will catch on in the land of 10,000 lakes. iFish Minnesota, which went live Feb. 20, is a combination that includes both state agency fishing data and information that’s uploaded in real time by users, said Randy Chamzuk, president of the App Door.
“This tool really helps and allows you to scope out where you want to go,” he said. “You can see the activity and everything that’s going on before you get there.”
Chamzuk said iFish Minnesota can give info ranging from hotspots, to depth charts, to basic boat maintenance, to the fish species available by lake. Users can either search for a particular lake they know of or get a list of lakes near their location.
So far the developers have info for upward of 9,400 Minnesotan water bodies. The app is designed for iPads, iPhones and iPods, but Chamzuk said a version for Android is in development.
Deb Macheledt, manager/clerk at Ben’s Bait in Battle Lake, said she was keen to the idea of a fishing app. She said her son had one on his phone, and although she couldn’t say for sure whether it was iFish Minnesota, he likes it quite a bit.
Nate Larson, another Ben’s Bait employee and avid fisherman, seemed more skeptical.
“I don’t see me bringing an iPad or iPod or whatnot out fishing with me,” Larson said. “It doesn’t seem the safest place to be with a piece of electronics.”
However, the app has safeguards that might help a fishing enthusiast in case their device winds up in the drink. Chamzuk said the app has a feature called the “glove box” that he claimed was useful for storing images of an angler’s important documents like fishing licenses and boat insurance. The images are backed up to the App Door’s servers so that they’re available even if something should happen to your phone.
iFish Minnesota is one of the first in a series of state-specific apps that is based on an older program that covers fishing across the entire country. Besides Minnesota, Chamzuk said fishing apps for Texas, Arizona, Florida and New York have all been launched, with plans to cover the rest of the U.S. by this summer.
Chamzuk said those interested in learning more about the app can visit www.appsforanglers.com.