Google+

Eyes in the Sky

 

Eyes in the Sky

Satellite Data that Helps You Find Fish

 

Offshore fishing is as popular as ever and with the advent of larger, more seaworthy outboard-powered boats, the desire to catch tuna, billfish, sharks, kingfish and other pelagic species of gamefish will likely continue to grow. More reasonable fuel prices will no doubt add to the affordability of chasing big fish offshore, and there are certainly plenty of opportunities along the U.S. coastline. 

As is the case with any kind of fishing, the most difficult part of putting together a successful day on the water is figuring out where the fish are most likely to be, but the problem is compounded when you’re dealing with open ocean species that are frequently found many miles offshore. 

SaltwaterFishinVol7No3EyesintheSky043015image7 - Copy

“There’s a lot of water out there,” said Captain George Mitchell, “but there are resources available to offshore fishermen that can help put them in the right place at the right time.” 

 

Mitchell is a tournament fisherman and a professional charter captain with a large and loyal clientele. His home port is Jupiter, Florida, but he also charters from Venice Marina in Venice, Louisiana at various times of the year in addition to competing in professional kingfish tournaments with his son, Eddie. His latest ride is a Yamaha-powered 36-foot Yellowfin® center console, rigged to the nines for offshore fishing. Pushed by three Yamaha F300 outboards, the boat can get him pretty much anywhere the fish are quickly and safely. But how does he determine where “anywhere” is each day?

SaltwaterFishinVol7No3EyesintheSky043015image6 - Copy

“There are tools available that take a lot of the guesswork out of finding the most likely places for the gamefish I’m after,” said Mitchell. “Some of these tools come right out of the sky. I’m talking about satellite-generated sea surface temperature (SST), chlorophyll and altimetry charts. They sound high-tech, and they really are, but getting this quality fishing data has never been easier. Spending a little time viewing online tutorials coupled with some on-the-water practice, these tools are worth their weight in fuel savings.” 

 

Large bodies of saltwater, like the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, are not vast tracts of static water. They are living ecosystems with currents, counter-currents, areas of deep-water upwelling and gyres (eddies) that are constantly moving. While locating physical structure is important when fishing for inshore species, ocean features can also become structures that attract fish. What makes the ocean features harder to locate is the fact that they are dynamic, as opposed to static like bottom structures. Identifying how ocean features can impact the location of pelagic fish requires a whole different set of tools from bottom charts. That means researching current data so you can identify areas where the conditions are most conducive to concentrating forage and gamefish.

“I use SST, chlorophyll and altimetry charts to help me nail down where I am going to fish, regardless of whether I have a charter right here in Jupiter, and I’m looking for dolphin, sailfish or tuna, or if I’m fishing a kingfish tournament out of a port in the Gulf,” said Mitchell. “It’s critically important to have access to real-time data and charts developed from the most current satellite passes for decision-making. When putting together a game plan, I start by identifying the catchable species in the area and then look at the developing trends in water movement, surface temperature, chlorophyll concentrations and areas of water upwelling. If, for example, I am fishing my home waters, I figure in the movement of the Gulf Stream and also factor in wind direction and speed.

 

“If I see an area where conditions conducive to my target species converged over the past few days, it will be high on my list of spots,” Mitchell continued. “But I will try and pick out several locations that look promising so I have a Plan A, B, and C. With the mobility of high-speed fish boats like my Yellowfin,® I can easily hit a number of likely spots should one or two not pan out.” 

 

So what is it you should be looking for on these wonders of satellite technology? You’re trying to find areas where contact between two water mass boundaries occurs; where upwelling of nutrient-rich deep water is being pushed to the surface; and where phytoplankton blooms occur. 

SaltwaterFishinVol7No3EyesintheSky043015image4 - Copy

This sea surface temperature chart of the Continental Shelf off the MidAtlantic states shows the interactions between various water mass boundaries. The warmest water (shown in red) is a warm core eddy moving toward the Poorman’s Canyon, a sure bet for finding tuna and billfish.

SST charts depict ocean surface temperature to locate water mass boundaries and can help indicate where current edges and upwelling might be taking place. SST charts are generated from data provided by numerous earth-orbiting satellites. There can be numerous images available daily or, if cloud cover is persistent, none. Temperature sensing is impeded by clouds, but such areas will be marked on SST charts by the provider. 

 

Chlorophyll data is available from just a few satellites, so one chart per day under optimal conditions might be available. What chlorophyll data provides is a look at where phytoplankton blooms are occurring. Phytoplankton is the bottom of the food chain, which will attract baitfish that feed on these micro organisms. They, in turn, should attract the predators you seek. 

 

Altimetry is a radar image of the surface of the ocean that shows minute differences in the height of the water in colors similar to chlorophyll and temperature charts. Minor depressions in the ocean surface tend to indicate where a deep water upwelling is occurring. This brings nutrient-rich water to the surface, which kicks off a phytoplankton bloom. 

This SST chart helped pinpoint a hot tuna bite off the High Rocks area of Grand Bahama Island. Note the Gulf Stream on the extreme left side of the image is actually cooler than the water found on the shallow banks of the western Bahamas.

This SST chart helped pinpoint a hot tuna bite off the High Rocks area of Grand Bahama Island. Note the Gulf Stream on the extreme left side of the image is actually cooler than the water found on the shallow banks of the western Bahamas.

Offshore of the Mid-Atlantic States, there is a wide Continental Shelf, and the eastern edge is pockmarked with submarine canyons. The Gulf Stream runs up the coast, but for most of the region, it is well offshore of the canyons. However, the Stream creates gyres— great spinning bodies of warm, dark blue water also called warm-core eddies—which break off from the main current and migrate inshore to the canyons along the Shelf. Think of them as huge bowls of Gulf Stream water spinning in a clockwise direction that does not readily mix with the inshore water in its path. Such eddies create upwelling of deep ocean water where they encounter the steep walls of a canyon. SST charts clearly mark the location of eddies or fingers of warm water extending inshore from the Stream. Altimetry charts can help pinpoint where upwelling is taking place, and chlorophyll charts indicate where they are generating plankton blooms. These are the building blocks of a hot bite of pelagic fish that can include a variety of tuna and billfish species. With information like this, coastal anglers heading offshore can narrow down the vastness of the ocean to a few places that have the right conditions to be holding forage and the gamefish they seek.

SaltwaterFishinVol7No3EyesintheSky043015image3 - Copy

Services that provide satellite-generated charts for recreational anglers are in hot demand because these ocean features are often located 60-to-100+ miles offshore, certainly well within the range of today’s high-speed fishing boats. Without these charts, this is a long way to go to troll around blind with no idea whether you’re within five or 50 miles of the action. The charts used in this article were provided by Roffers Ocean Fishing Forecasting Service which, under the direction of Fisheries Biologist/Ph.D. and owner, Mitchell Roffer, has been providing these services for three decades. However, there are numerous companies that offer subscriptions to accurate fishing charts prepared from satellite data. There are also a number of free government and university websites that offer raw SST charts. Y

Visit Yamaha Outboards.com today!

 

Original Source:  Yamaha Outboards.com

 

Hilton’s Realtime-Navigator

www.realtime-navigator.com

 

Terrafin Satellite Imaging

www.terrafin.com

 

OceanTemp

www.oceantemp.com

 

Offshore Satellite Services 

www.offshoresatelliteservice.com

 

Roffers Ocean Fishing Forecasting Service

www.roffs.com

SaltwaterFishinVol7No3EyesintheSky043015image2 - Copy

 

Entertainment

Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara Co-Star in Surrealistic Romantic Fantasy

  A Ghost Story Film Review by Kam Williams Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara Co-Star in Surrealistic Romantic Fantasy C (Casey Affleck) and M (Rooney Mara) are a nondescript young couple living in a modest ranch house in suburban Texas. Nothing of note transpires between the happily-married lovebirds besides carnal canoodling interrupted by … [Read More its Good for You...]

Art

The Day After the Day Of

  The Day After the Day Of by Paul Ilechko   The sky sheds its tears. This morning is the morning of the day after. The day of mourning, the day after the day of.  I beseech the sky to shed tears in order to wash away the tears on my face.   This is the first day of the time after. This is the beginning of a new time, the … [Read More its Good for You...]

Books

Gil’s Goodwill!

  Gil Robertson The “Book of Black Heroes” Interview with Kam Williams Gil's Goodwill! For nearly three decades, writer/author Gil L. Robertson, IV has used the written word to enlighten, empower and uplift. The one-time political organizer initially made his mark in entertainment journalism, penning over 50 national magazine covers and … [Read More its Good for You...]

Real Estate

How to Hire a Winner in Real Estate

  How to Hire a Winner in Real Estate by Amy Lignor   You want to buy that new house because the twins are on their way. Little Betty and Little John are already there, but who knew you would have even more so soon? What’s that? Oh…well, of course, in order to buy that new home with four bedrooms instead of two, you will also need to sell … [Read More its Good for You...]

Lifestyle

Healthy Living: The Cellphone Guide

  Healthy Living: The Cellphone Guide by Amy Lignor   Much like the political realm, there will always be debates and disagreements when it comes to the technological realm—especially when it comes to your health versus the almighty cellphone. Now, it is a fact that communication in the 21st century literally brought about a … [Read More its Good for You...]

Outdoors

Preparation is Key for that Perfect Venison Stew

    Preparation is Key for that Perfect Venison Stew   Although you can find a gazillion recipes all across the Internet on how to prepare the best of the best venison stew (i.e., there are 25+ best ideas located on Pinterest at https://www.pinterest.com/explore/venison-stew/), what most people don’t realize is that when it comes … [Read More its Good for You...]

Sports

NASCAR Fans “Gear Up” for Independence Day Weekend

  NASCAR Fans “Gear Up” for Independence Day Weekend by Amy Lignor   It is that time again. And while some families will be going out on the town or heading to their local fireworks display to sit on the lawn and watch the rockets’ red glare as the local firefighters put on an awesome display, there are thousands of others headed to … [Read More its Good for You...]

Business

Add Value with Summer Home Renovation Projects

  Add Value with Summer Home Renovation Projects by Amy Lignor   There are a whole list of summer activities for you and the kids planned. Most of them, of course, you want to be nothing but fun, such as grilling outside on the patio or swimming in the pool. However, having the backyard pool and patio are two things you really need in … [Read More its Good for You...]

Travel

The Ultimate Vacations for the Ultimate Animal Lover

  The Ultimate Vacations for the Ultimate Animal Lover by Amy Lignor   The numbers may still shock some, but I sincerely doubt it. It is a fact that 79.7 million people living in the U.S. own and absolutely love their pet. (The Humane Society). Oddly enough, however, there are also millions who want to view unique wildlife with their … [Read More its Good for You...]

Green Living

Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden

  Creating the Perfect Vegetable Garden by Amy Lignor   Many are still dealing with that wintery mix Mother Nature just loves to toss down from the sky this time of year. Yet, that gardener living inside the soul – the one just dreaming of the sunny skies and lazy rainy days that are must-haves in order to grow the best vegetables possible … [Read More its Good For You...]

Health

Making Your Health “Resolute”

  Making Your Health “Resolute” by Amy Lignor   It is time for those New Year’s Resolutions to be made. We all know the ones most likely being placed on lists everywhere: stop smoking and lose weight. Why? Because these have always been the top two when it comes to goals, so that the next time the ball drops you feel amazing that the … [Read More its Good for You...]