Student Creates Bass Fishing App

Georgia Lord '18

Junior Michael Alfano was out on the lake with Burr and Burton’s Varsity Bass Fishing team one day last fall trying to decide which lure to use. Debating between two different lures, Alfano realized how helpful it would be to have an objective recommendation based on conditions to take away human error. 

Fast forward a few months, and Alfano has combined his love for fishing and computer science to create Lure Cast, an app useful for any level of fisher. In the app, users select the target area, weather, water clarity, water depth, wind speed, and water temperature they’re fishing in, and within seconds, Lure Cast gives a list of lures that can be used. 

“I really just wanted to turn the bass fishing lure, location, and depth selection process into a science and give fishers a better chance at having success out on the water.”

Alfano discovered his passion for computer science while taking a course with BBA Technology Director Amy Wright called Amazon Future Engineer: CP Intro To Computer Science. In the class, he learned the basics of Python, a programming language that led him to create a few smaller projects, including a GPA calculator, a chatbot, and a program that helped him solve his math homework. 

“The most important thing Mrs. Wright did for me was introduce me to the world of computer science. Without her facilitating the Amazon Future Engineers program, I might have never realized how much I love computer science.”

For the past few months, Alfano has been waking up at 5:00AM each day before school to work on Lure Cast. With a basic understanding of Python, he taught himself Swift, a programming language used to create iOS apps, through Youtube videos and forums. Lure Cast was put in the App Store over February break where Alfano spent over 70 hours finalizing his app.

“Michael is a brilliant, independent, creative, joyful and curious individual who has taken to computer science, and creative and computational thinking, like a fish to water,” said Wright with smile. “This was all Michael's work and vision. One of the things that we are able to do at BBA is to foster individual interests of students. I have been able to  provide Michael with pathways that support his interests in computer science and collaborate with him on directions he would like to go.”
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