Sea Surface Temperature (SST)
FishTrack offers a number of useful Sea Surface Temperature (SST) charts to help anglers locate temperature breaks and ideal conditions to help them find productive fishing grounds. Understanding how to effectively utilize SST charts to cater towards your specific needs is the key to finding fish.
Lets start with the page that comes up when you click on the "Fishing Charts" tab on the menu bar and select a region of interest:
In this model, we will be using North America and the Mid-Atlantic region as an example. What pops up is a cloud-free SST image for the day, along with some useful features around the rim of the image that are rather self-explanatory. If they aren't self-explanatory, that's okay too, just select the "Tutorials" tab on the top right menu bar for assistance.
Satellite vs. Cloudfree Image
The Cloud-free SST image is an optimally interpolated SST chart. That means that the image is created using an algorithm to fill in gaps that are created by cloud cover, or areas where satellite measurements of SSTs are not available. This method predicts, as accurately as possible, sea surface temperatures based off real measurements made by satellite radiometers. Satellite imagery is sometimes 24 hours behind, but primarily updates on a daily basis. The grey box in the upper right had corner of the image verifies when the SST image last updated.
The Satellite SST Image depicts specific longitude and latitude coordinates using infrared radiation that the satellite radiometer converts to exact sea surface temperatures.
Locating a potential hot spot can make a huge difference in determining the outcome of your trip, and utilizing both images can prove to be advantageous when viewed with a critical eye.
Finding temperature breaks and optimal water conditions are key indicators of where game fish may be located. That break of temperature change is where two ecosystems collide, and the big pelagic fish (tuna, marlin, mackerel, etc.) rides those lines because that is where the bait fish congregate.
Remember, it's called fishing and not catching for a reason. Improve your catch with better tracking information!