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Instructional Video Tutorials

layout Why Satellite Imagery? layout Service Overview layout
Watch a video tutorial to learn why satellite imagery can provide beneficial information when planning a trip Watch a video tutorial on how to use the RipCharts fishing service
Water color (chlorophyll, true color) Sea Surface Temperature (SST)
Altimetry / Sea Surface Height Adding Waypoints
Watch a video tutorial on how to add fishing reports to the map
Fishing Reports Why RipCharts? layout
Watch a video tutorial on how to add fishing reports to the map Advantages of the RipCharts service

Introduction

RipCharts.com is a service that helps indicate promising fishing grounds based on water clarity (chlorophyll), sea surface temperature (SST) and other data.

This user friendly web service will help you locate areas that are likely to hold fish. In addition, this service can help you save fuel by pointing you directly to the most productive waters. It will also help you save time by eliminating potentially unproductive waters.

To use this data effectively we need to understand how to look for three basic things. Food, water clarity and the right water temperatures.

Food: Satellites do not detect fish directly. However, they can help us see conditions that are favorable for the accumulation of phytoplankton in the upper layer of the ocean. By finding concentrations of phytoplankton, we can then find concentrations of zooplankton. Baitfish feed on zooplankton. Find the baitfish, and you will most likely find the pelagics that use them as a food source.

Clarity: It is important to find water clarity. Water clarity is essential for pelagics to see their prey.

Water temperature: The Sea Surface Temperature (SST) should also be within an optimal range to maintain muscle efficiency. In addition, SST breaks (fronts) aid in concentrating fish schools.

Using satellite imagery we can track water conditions known as fronts. Fronts are the leading edges of current flows and are typically where rips, weedlines and color changes occur. These "fronts" concentrate phytoplankton, zooplankton and baitfish.

Fronts can be seen on the maps as temperature breaks as well as water color changes. For instance costal water is usually less salty and richer in nutrients; therefore it has a cloudier color than blue water. These variations create density differences that prevent the two waters from mixing. The boundary where these two meet is often seen as a color change can last for days. It may take 24 to 48 hours to start a feeding chain along its edge. Satellite data is an effective tool in finding these fronts.

Maps

Sea Surface Temperature Maps

Certain pelagics like to live in certain temperatures of water. Find the right temperature break and you will likely find fish.

sst

Here are a few examples of ideal temperature ranges for different target species. Though there are always exceptions to the rule, this should give a pretty good idea of what temperatures to look for.

Species
Lower Temperature Limit
Ideal Temperature
Upper Temperature Limit
Albacore
59
62-65
66
Amberjack
60
65-75
80+
Atlantic Mackerel
40
45-55
70
Baracuda
55
72-80
86
Blackfin Tuna
65
70-75
82
Black Marlin
68
72-82
87
Bluefin Tuna
50
60-72
82
Bluefish
50
66-72
82
Blue Marlin
70
74-82
88
Bonefish
60
72-84
92+
Cobia
65
75
88
Crevalle Jack
65
70-85
90
Dolphin
70
72-78
82
Jack Crevelle
70
75-85
90
King Mackerel
65
68-76
88
Permit
70
75-85
92
Pompano
65
70-82
85+
Red Drum
52
70-90
90+
Red Snapper
50
55-65
70+
Sailfish
68
72-82
88
Skipjack Tuna
50
58-62
70
Snook
60
70-82
90
Spanish Mackerel
68
78
88
Spotted Seatrout
48
68-78
88
Striped Bass
50
55-65
75
Striped Marlin
61
68-76
80
Swordfish
50
60-70
80
Tarpon
70
75-90
100+
Weakfish
45
56-68
78
White Seabass
58
64-68
74
Yellowfin Tuna
64
72-82
80
Yellowtail
60
62-66
70

 

Chlorophyll Maps

Chlorophyll maps show us where the ocean surface plants are growing, which is an indicator of where marine ecosystems are thriving.

These surface plants, called phytoplankton, are the base of the food chain, and regions that support large phytoplankton blooms also tend to support a diverse marine population.

Phytoplankton live in the surface waters of the ocean, where they soak up sunlight and carbon dioxide and convert them into food. Not surprisingly, high chlorophyll concentrations line the coasts where such nutrients wash into the ocean from the land. Upwelling is also more common in coastal regions, where the temperature difference between land and ocean fuels the winds that stir the ocean surface and drive upwelling.

The "color" of the ocean is determined by the interactions of incident light with substances or particles present in the water. The most significant constituents are phytoplankton and inorganic particulates. Phytoplankton contain chlorophyll, which absorbs light at blue and red wavelengths and transmits in the green. Particulate matter can reflect and absorb light, which reduces the clarity (light transmission) of the water. Substances dissolved in water can also affect its color.

Chlorophyll maps help us locate different water color changes.

Chlorophyll

True Color Maps

With True Color, no longer will you have to guess how far out the blue water is, you can actually see it in true color! In addition, as helpful as sea surface temperature and chlorophyll maps are, it is alway nice to see it in true color.

True Color

Altimetry Images

Altimetry is the measurement of the height of the sea. Altimetry is also known as SSH - or Sea Surface Height. The areas illustrated in Blue are lower than the surounding areas and show upwellings. Upwellings provide nutrients from the deep. Areas illustrated in red show downwellings. Downwellings are areas that the sea is higher and the warmer lifeless water is sinking towards the sea floor. As fisherman, we want to target areas of transition between the upwellings and downwellings.

altimetry image

Note that in the illustration below, the plankton will start feeding on the nutrients that rise from the deep during an upwelling and a feeding chain will occur.

altimetry image

 

Site Use Instructions

Login:

Enter user name and password > Click Login

 

Search Maps:

Use the white bar in the header to chose your desired map and then click search.

 

Click on a thumbnail to view a larger picture:

After you search, thumbnails of each available picture will appear. Click the thumbnail you would like to view and a larger image of the thumbnail will appear.

 

Map Navigtion:

Once you click a thumnail a full size image will appear. Note: Because our images are high resolution, if you are on dial up, it may take awhile for your images to load. Once the image has loaded, double click on the area of interest to zoom the image. You can also click the zoom button at the top and bottomleft of the map. To pan the image, just click and hold (a hand will replace the pointer) to move the image to the desired area.

 

Refine:

Once you are zoomed in, you can move your mouse to the area of interest and then click to populate the lattitude and longitude of that point. This will assist you in locating the rip (water color change) once on the water. You may also want to print a copy of the page for reference. Just enter the reference point into your gps and go. Depending on when the map was produced, the rip may not be exactly at the same latitude and longitude as it shows on the map. However, it should be in close proximity.  

Repeat the process for each different map.

WayPoint Manager:

You can add, delete, edit and view different waypoints. It really is up to you to decide which waypoints you would like to see on your maps. Some of our customers chose to see no waypoints, where as others like quite a few to show on their maps. When you add and edit waypoints, it is for your eyes only. Other customers will not be able to view your data. In addition we encrypt the waypoint data just like we do your password data for security. You can access the WayPoint Manager through the Account Info link one you have lgged into your account.



 
 
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