The California sportsman needs current, accurate information, including maps, fishing reports, big game harvest data, waterfowl hunt results, where to go, tides, and weather.
The information age has been a boon to the women and men who hunt and fish in the Golden State. Time spent in the field is precious. It pays huge dividends to do as much legwork as possible before putting boots in the ground.
Scouting starts with the click of a mouse. Climate and conditions are evaluated in real time. Communicating with others who share the passion has never been easier.
The following online tools make life easier for the California sportsman.
Weather, Tides, Scouting
Looking for that 20 mph north wind to drop specklebellies in the Central Valley? What are the offshore conditions for the salmon opener? If you hunt or fish anywhere in the state, knowing the weather is a major key to success.
2. Google Earth
There is no substitute for getting your face in the wind and scouting afield. Goggle Earth is the next best thing. Using this online tool before you head out can save time and effort, and help increase the odds of a successful trip.
If you ply your craft over or under saltwater, then it’s crucial to understand the ebb and flow of the tides. Whether you are clamming, crabbing, or sculling on ducks, reliable tide data can make or break a trip out.
Anyone who runs a boat on saltwater needs to know basic critical information, including depth, known underwater obstacles, and anchor zones. Navigation maps from NOAA are available for free online for the entire Pacific Coast.
Hunting, Fishing & Communication
My Outdoor Buddy is packed with great information. Always up to date for each season, the site has fishing reports, hunting and fishing tips, recipes, and destinations for those who love the outdoors.
6. Fish Sniffer
Fish Sniffer. The name says it all. If you’re looking to get on the fish, be sure to bookmark this site. Fish Sniffer has it going on: tips and tactics, where to wet the line, what’s biting, and an open forum to communicate with other fishers.
Coastside Fishing Club offers free tutorials for catching salmon, tuna, stripers, halibut, and more. The site also has a well thought out boater safety section, online forum, and links to helpful resources.
SC Surf Fishing provides the basics for surf fishing success: tips, gear, and advanced tricks to land your next big one. The site also has an active forum that allows users to reach out to each other.
The Refuge Forum is a must for any serious California Waterfowler. One of the most active hunting forums in the online world, The Fuge offers a wide range of lively discussion and debate.
Women’s Outdoor News covers issues that relate to the largest growing demographic of sportsperson, women hunters and fishers. This site has information about shooting, safety, gear, and more.
11. Archery Talk
Archery Talk is a bowhunter’s paradise. The site has forums, gear reviews, and lots of information that today’s bowhunter or huntress can use.
California Department of Fish and Wildlife provides license and regulations information for all consumptive users of the state’s wildlife resources. This site also has special hunt opportunities, hunt maps, harvest data, and tips for the angler and hunter in all of us.
Have fun. Be safe. Stay informed.