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[Weekender] Anglers go mobile for fishing

Smartphone apps impact the landscape of an age-old pastime activity.

Mobile apps are expanding into fishing. More Korean hobbyists are using smartphone apps to minimize trouble and maximize fun while out angling.

Not only do the apps make access to information easier, they also allow anglers to carry less in their bags and do more. App users can make reservations at fishing pedestals, find where to fish, remotely check the fishing conditions in real time and even digitally measure their catches and put them online to compete with other anglers.

For a hobby conventionally loved by a more mature population, mobile technology offers a bridge to a younger group of potential fishing enthusiasts.

Halasz is a mobile app that is building its name with to-be-patented digital ruler for measuring fish. In the past, anglers used to carry around a tape measure to check their catches. Now they can take snaps with Halasz’s camera function, which uses a small key-ring that can be placed beside the fish to calculate its length. Since it was launched in March 2017, the app has been downloaded more than 21,000 times. 

Halasz hosts online fishing contest in Jeju Island with its digital fish-measuring and location tracking features. (Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)
Halasz hosts online fishing contest in Jeju Island with its digital fish-measuring and location tracking features. (Park Hyun-koo/The Korea Herald)

“Tape measures had limits,” said Suh Ho-jin, the 36-year-old CEO of Halasz. “They had to be spread out on the fish, contaminating the catch. On rainy or windy days, it was just plain inconvenient.”

While the tape measures often only measured up to 60 centimeters, Halasz’ mobile ruler measures up to 1 meter.

The app also marks down the area where the fish was caught using GPS location tracking, allowing the anglers to compare and contest their catches of the day within a specific region. Using this feature, Halasz is hosting an online fishing competition in Jeju Island throughout the month of July.

“When I use Halasz, my friends know I’m not pulling their legs with the size of the fish I catch,” said Suh, who is an angler himself.

Moolban is an app that boasts partnerships with over 4,000 fishing venues and is adding more. The app detects the location of the user and gives recommendations and directions to the nearest fishing spot.

First released in May, the app is still in the process of improving. September’s coming update will help anglers to book fishing pedestals and boats straight on the app.

Created by the same marketing company that is behind hotel reservation app Yeogieoddae and food delivery app Yogiyo, Moolbangogiban hopes to connect the anglers and the fishing facilities for enhanced fishing experience.

The app is friendly toward novice anglers as it provides basic fishing tips on both freshwater and deep sea fishing.

“Fishing is not an easily accessible leisure-sport, especially for beginners,” said Shin Ji-hoon, the General Manager of Moolban.

“We aim to congregate all information related to fishing on our app for users. For that, our professional staff who have been angling for 10 to 20 years give us insights on all types of fishing,” Shin said.

Over 62 professional anglers are tied in with the app as staff members to provide their know-how on fishing and best fishing spots.

Nakshisarang is an app with history. Originally a 20-year-old biggest online club for anglers, Nakshisarang has been migrating its base to its mobile platform since 2011.

“The reason is simple -- because mobile is the trend,” said Lee Jae-sun, the CEO of Nakshisarang website.

Lee, 54, is an engineer and an avid angler of over 30 years’ experience in fishing. He built the Nakshisarang website in 1997 when internet was still a blue ocean.

Over the years, the website accumulated over 1 million users. More than 100,000 people use the website on a daily basis.

“The number of people on our website and app are half and half now. The best part of mobile app is convenience and mobility. People post photos from the scene so that adds reality to their reviews,” Lee said.

With more immediate communication, Nakshisarang anglers trade information in real time on what fish they catch at a venue and how. The shared hobby helps anglers of varying ages socialize on independent small-scale fishing excursions.

The app also features a market for secondhand fishing tackle and sporadic events for bulk orders of foreign fishing goods.

All of the apps introduced in this article can be downloaded via iTunes and the Google Play Store.

By Lim Jeong-yeo (