You've probably heard the old saying, "Ya gotta go to know."

If you’re not familiar, it just means that you really don’t know the fishing conditions until you actually launch the boat and head out.

But it’s nice to at least have an idea as to what the winds will do — especially since wind dictates everything in a fishing trip.

I've always had a pretty rough idea about wind predictions with the NOAA Marine forecast, which I have used for years.

But recently I've discovered a far more reliable source for wind predictions.

This tool has significantly improved my fishing trips: It’s called the Windfinder smartphone app.

Experience has shown me that Windfinder works the best, and here are some reasons why:

1. Precision Forecasting

The marine forecast I used for many years only predicted winds on a 24-hour basis. So if there was an afternoon slump, or winds actually picked up unexpectedly, that wasn't included in the forecast. 

This made for missed fishing opportunities — and some bumpy rides back to the launch.

However, Windfinder doesn't lack in this area.

Its forecast is more exact, reporting in 3-hour periods instead of the less-precise 24-hour timeframe.

So should the wind will lay down for a few hours, you’ll know — and you can take advantage of it.

This additional information opens up new fishing opportunities, especially in places like Lake Pontchartrain, where there is little protection from strong gusts.

2. A Bigger Picture

With Windfinder I'm also able to view current wind speeds across the entire state, giving me an idea as to what's going on all along Louisiana's coast.

And because of its easy-to-use interface, I’m able to discover new weather stations providing wind data I need to make informed decisions before I launch the boat.

In fact, there's a lot more this app can do, so check out the video for more details.

Tight lines, y'all!

Editor’s Note: Devin Denman is an avid inshore fisherman who writes the Louisiana Fishing Blog. To read more of his articles, visit lafishblog.com