Your thoughts on a new Fish Ranger feature?

Fishwrecked users I would like to get your thoughts on a new feature I am thinking of developing for Fish Ranger.

As has already been stated, knowing live wind readings really helps to decide if you are going to stay out (or if you are actually going to get out of bed when the alarm goes off!). The problem with sites that offer live readings is that you only get live data for one location (Fish Ranger / WillyWeather) or you get live data for multiple locations but without forecasts at those locations (Seabreeze).

What about a page where you could see a series of wind charts that have:

1) Live real-time wind data. Seperate chart for each observation station surrounding your area.

2) Forecasts at those locations overlaid on the same charts as the live readings.

This way you would see live-readings and their corresponding forecasts for your whole region. This would give you a better indication if forecasters have got it right in the general area and so give you more confidence the forecast for your spot (ie especially if you are offshore) is going to be fairly accurate or not on that day.

Additionally, if you know there is a forecast change due to hit your location, you can keep an eye on charts for surrounding stations - say 50km away, and see if hits them on time. If so then you have more confidence it will hit you at the forecast time as well. If its early to hit far away stations then it will probably be early to hit you too, and vice versa.

This feature which I'm thinking of calling'Wind Cast' would be a seperate page to the current 'Forecast' page and would probably replace the Tide,Sun & Moon page which would get relegated down the menu priority list.

What are your thoughts, would this feature be: not useful, OK, pretty good or frigin awesome ?

Cheers,

Joe

(Founder of Fish Ranger)

 


scotto's picture

Posts: 2042

Date Joined: 21/04/08

Time saver

Tue, 2017-03-21 05:46

nice one. It would save time. I generally do that (check a few different sites), it just takes time opening, reading, remembering, and then comparing. If it were all laid out in one would be pretty rad.  

piston broke's picture

Posts: 579

Date Joined: 05/11/08

Baywind

Tue, 2017-03-21 06:14

 gives realtime wind on many locations. This may be useful to you. 

Posts: 18

Date Joined: 15/03/17

Point in time limitation

Tue, 2017-03-21 06:29

 Hey Piston,  thanks for your post. While Baywind gives real time wind readings they are only point in time and don't give you any context for the measurement nor indication of what is likely to happen.

Wind can be a 'noisy' event, ie it swings up and down even though it is following a trend, so looking at one point in time is not going to give you a feel for what is really happening.  Live readings come through every 10 mins for most locations, at one interval it could be averaging 10 and gusting to 20 and at the next interval it could be averaging 20 and gusting to 30 (I have a perfect example chart to demonstrate this but I can't see any way to attach photos here?). 

So depending on what time interval you check at you could get a very different picture to what is actually happening there.   Having all the live readings for the day show you what has been happening to this point and having the forecast overlaid on top gives a good indication if its likely to increase or decrease in strength as well which Baywinds does not give you.

 

sonofdarryl's picture

Posts: 7

Date Joined: 20/08/16

Fishranger is unreal. Was

Tue, 2017-03-21 07:17

Fishranger is unreal. Was skeptical until I read your thorough write up on the ‘truth about weather forecast’ and it answered a lot of unanswered questions. You boiled it down with a scientific yet simple explanation of what makes one forecast more accurate than another, and why your site is the best. And it made sense, well played.

The live winds idea sounds good.
Some of my own thoughts.
If you could include some of the live winds that seabreeze doesn’t but willyweather does this would also be good (am aware most of these are inland but they are still a good indicator).

I like the live swell buoys too - height, period and direction for the same reason as live winds.

Make sure on every type of phone you can scroll your finger across and see the winds. ATM on my iPhone I can’t see the full text box to read the winds. If it does work, it only allows me to click on the graph, not slide across it to work out what time the wind comes in etcc - you have to keep tapping your finger trying to get closer to the right spot.

An app may be a good idea. Especially with big buttons that are easy to click with semi wet fingers on a boat. Webpages get painful when you have go to a new webpage to get data for the next location. Especially when that requires you zooming in to make sure the link is clicked correctly. And you have bugger all reception (most WA offshore fishing) so every refresh adds up. Even with home page shortcuts it just feels like a hassle (yes I’m lazy). Thats the one good thing about seabreeze, although its a webpage, all the south west info is on one page. You just have to scroll up and down (which is still possible with wet fingers as you monitor live readings in the sorrounding areas). Even weighing up options in the planning stage, its much easier to assess which boat launch within 100km would be the best option when you can simply scroll up and down to compare the forecast and live winds from all the anemometers in the area, instead of changing links. Especially when you are planning a trip and need to compare 3-4 days worth of fishing.

For that reason I like multiple locations (as an option) per page. I think the most important things to see for most fishos are wind speed/direction, primary swell height and period/direction & live winds. If you could combine those in one graph like seabreeze (which everyone is already used to) i think it would be easier to have multiple locations on one page. Maybe in your user settings you could remove the graphs you weren’t personally interested in (cloud cover, temp, secondary swell etc), then highlight specific areas you wanted to compare (from your saved locations) and see the live winds and predictions of all the places you asked and you can clearly compare. While i love those extras you include , for this purpose it would add too much clutter when comparing areas. I think that is my main drawback for fishranger, I can’t easily compare which area would be best to fish on my day off, for example. But yeah, awesome job, the "best forecast website, see the proof why, and oh yeah its free" will do you well as long as its user friendly, can be proven to work in real world (past week forecast vs live winds history can be viewed), and the word gets out.

Posts: 18

Date Joined: 15/03/17

Great feedback!

Tue, 2017-03-21 13:52

Hey Sonofdarryl,

Thanks for your great comments! I’m glad you like the site and I don’t blame you for being sceptical, anyone who has a vested interest in declaring something is ‘better’ should be approached with caution. The thing is I am a fisherman, perfectionist and proud engineer.  I wanted to solve the ‘which weather site do I use’ problem once and for all and researched for a year before starting to build the site, which after assembling a team took a further two years. I know its been built to be the best and that article myself and the team wrote to explain why (www.fishranger.com.au/the_truth_about_weather_sites) does clear a lot of the waters around the topic. As you correctly point out, weather forecasting and weather sites use well understood scientific and mathematical principles. It’s not a ‘black art’ of secret formulas, it’s well understood processes and broadly used methods and there actually is a best answer.

Regarding the app, an Android app is currently on the Play store and an iPhone app is in development. In the meantime for Apple you can install the WebApp - yes its an extra step than going to the App store but it will give you the same result and can be done in under 30 sec (This video explains how if anyone is interested: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oY5n2RVdwA8&t ). If you have your favourite locations saved then it is much easier to change locations you just press the star and select the one you want, though I understand what you mean about fat, wet and cold fingers on the boat! I’ll have a think about how we can make the buttons easier to press.

Yes the new Wind Cast feature we wish to develop would include inland weather stations as well as stations on the coast, I agree they contribute to a better view of the overall conditions. We would have multiple locations on the one page with this feature, I hadn’t considered swell charts as well but I’ll have a think how we could do it as I think I understand what you would like – easy to use, everything on one page and get a view of the whole area at once. Thanks for the suggestion.

Regarding removing charts you are not interested in, you can already do this for the Forecast page. Create an account, go to account settings and you can select which charts you want to see and you can also change the display order. I will point out though that if you are interested in swell you should leave the secondary swell chart in view. Secondary swell can often be larger than primary swell and it comes down to the point at which the BoM meteorologist declares them one or the other. If you have two different swell fronts (which can occur from having two storms at different points in the ocean), then the larger one will be called the Primary Swell but after a couple of days it may die down and the other secondary swell front could be stronger yet its name hasn’t changed to primary yet. You should always look at both. If they are coming from significantly different directions it can cause huge wave crests where they intersect.

Regarding your comment about customising a page with different locations and the charts you want to see, I’ll have a think about that too. The building blocks are there its about coming up with the glue logic. I’ll also look into what we can do about incorporating live buoy data, this would be a great thing to add to the site.

Also, following your comment about the wind chart tooltip we’ve just made a change for mobile and tablet which is now live on production so you can slide the tooltip left and right rather than continually having to press it where you want it. Try it out. Given it is html based rather than native app it isn’t as smooth as it could be on older phones but its still acceptable IMHO.

We are always happy to take suggestions on new features you want to see or hear about things that annoy you so please tell us. Thanks again for your message, its feedback like this that really helps us understand users and make Fish Ranger better.

Joe

Tom M's picture

Posts: 146

Date Joined: 22/09/15

 Anything that helps

Tue, 2017-03-21 07:52

 Anything that helps fishermen make safe decisions to go out has to worth the effort, sounds like a great idea. AND if you could add some key info from the anglers almanac that would top it off.

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Tom M

Posts: 18

Date Joined: 15/03/17

 Thanks Tom. Thats our goal,

Tue, 2017-03-21 13:59

 Thanks Tom. Thats our goal, to arm fishermen with the best and most up to date information.

Can I ask what Almanac you use?   Solunar theory which most of these Almanac apps are based on is not a proven theory so we have been reluctant to incorporate it into Fish Ranger.   Do you use it to tell you peak fishing times or do you get other information from it? 

Tom M's picture

Posts: 146

Date Joined: 22/09/15

 I use "The Great Outdoors

Tue, 2017-03-21 14:10

 I use "The Great Outdoors Anglers Almanac" to help with identifying best fishing times. Usually reliable I have found, interested in other peoples views though, a lot better fishermen out there than me.

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Tom M

Posts: 18

Date Joined: 15/03/17

thanks

Tue, 2017-03-21 15:13

Thanks Tom I'll take a look at it. 

Swompa's picture

Posts: 1884

Date Joined: 14/10/12

Can you put a section on the

Tue, 2017-03-21 12:50

Can you put a section on the website, dedicated to FW and call it Prekorshuns?

Posts: 18

Date Joined: 15/03/17

what da?

Tue, 2017-03-21 14:00

Swompa I don't get you, but I'm not sure I'm supposed to  

Swompa's picture

Posts: 1884

Date Joined: 14/10/12

 Long story short. There was

Tue, 2017-03-21 18:31

 Long story short. There was a wasted sperm sample here who went out in a tinny during a 25 knot nor wester to have a snapper fish. He couldn't spell...

Posts: 24

Date Joined: 15/10/16

I discovered your site after

Tue, 2017-03-21 14:46

I discovered your site after reading your article mentioned above and since then am favouring the data on your site. I do however really like the graphical interface of willy weather. I like how you can overlay the live plots onto the prediction graphs.  You plans sound really good but it would also be good to get the live plot overlay on the existing pages. Also a small google map image popup showing the location of the station that the live feeds are coming from would be really good. Maybe you could put the weather station location on the map at the top of the page. (For example the Rottnest one is on the hill by the wind turbine)

Keep up the good work mate! great to see someone with our own interests developing these really helpful tools!

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 Cheers

Gruntre69
Cruisecraft outsider 5.75m
Mercury 150 4St

Posts: 24

Date Joined: 15/10/16

Actually, I take it back, the

Tue, 2017-03-21 14:55

Actually, I take it back, the overlays are available on your site, I just hadn't had a good enough look at it yet.... 

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 Cheers

Gruntre69
Cruisecraft outsider 5.75m
Mercury 150 4St

Posts: 18

Date Joined: 15/03/17

Real Time

Wed, 2017-03-22 10:04

 Hi Gruntre, yes real-time is there on the current day forecast.  And unlike Willyweather who only show average wind speed we show average speed and gust speed.

An additional thing we do that Willyweather don't is pick the weather station most representative of the selected location rather than the closest.  For some coastal locations Willy might pick a station 10km inland rather than one on the coast 12km away.  The one on the coast is much more likely to represnt conditions on the water than the one inland. 

gillyL's picture

Posts: 4731

Date Joined: 26/04/14

 Can u make this cyclone go

Tue, 2017-03-21 16:13

 Can u make this cyclone go away so my trip to exmouth isn't ruined

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 lucky i love to fish because i cant catch any.

 

BM294

Posts: 77

Date Joined: 22/07/15

hi JoeJust need some

Fri, 2017-03-24 04:43

hi Joe

Just need some clarification on your wind wave chart.

Is this equivalent to BOM's terminology of 'Sea' or 'Swell' ?

 

 

scottnofish's picture

Posts: 1504

Date Joined: 28/08/07

Good site

Fri, 2017-03-24 07:44

 But every time i open the app it always tells me my email address is incorrect so i cant create favourite locations .you could also use spell correct fremantle only has 1 e at the start not freemantle