Altimetry data will help you find fish offshore and is one of the most important conditions to consider when looking for pelagic activity.  Below we will give some detail into what ocean altimetry is and why it’s important to fishermen.

Ocean Altimetry is the altitude of the ocean.

This value is a satellite product that is radar-based so its measurement is never affected by cloud cover.  High spots in the ocean surface column that are associated with positive values are not good for fishing and are called downwelling zones.

These are usually associated with nutrient-poor waters, the equivalent to ocean deserts.

Low spots in the ocean surface column associated with negative values are more ideal for fishing and are called upwelling zones.

Upwellings are nutrient-rich areas that are much like rainforests and have everything needed to attract food for pelagic fish and other predators that are at the top of the food chain.

In these areas and on their borders cooler water from deep zones comes up attracting fish.  Neutral values around 0 are transitional areas, these are neither good nor bad and should be judged based on other conditions.

Many times these areas are found between upwelling and downwelling zones forming oceanic highways for targeted species.

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Jason 1 Satellite - Ocean Altimetry

Jason 1 Satellite – Ocean Altimetry

Jason 1 was the first major satellite to focus on ocean altitude.  Its success was followed by the Jason 2 satellite launching in 2008.  The lineage of the name begins with the JASO1 meeting (JASO = Journées Altimétriques Satellitaires pour l’Océanographie) in Toulouse, France to study the problems of assimilating altimeter data in models. Jason as an acronym also stands for “Joint Altimetry Satellite Oceanography Network”. Additionally, it is used to reference the mythical quest for knowledge of Jason and the Argonauts.  

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