When we built 20Echo, we knew we were undertaking a task that people have been trying to master since the beginning of civilization. How can we better understand the best time to hunt and fish to capitalize on time on the water or in the field? In our preliminary research, we started at the beginning and noticed that people have been trying to pattern fish and game forever. Even the first fishing logs drawn in caves show Native Americans knew certain times were better for fishing and hunting. These drawings and other examples show that humans have learned that life is more active around dawn and dusk and when the moon is full or new for millennia.
As time pressed forward, researchers discovered that the moon also played a role in controlling ocean behavior. The discovery of tides made the sun and moon the cornerstones for the earliest forms of the fishing calendars and fishing logs. It was not until 1926 that someone put the methodology in place to begin leveraging this information, enter Solunar Tables.
In May 1926, John Alden Knight compiled 33 factors that influenced both fresh and saltwater fish’s natural behavior. In his experiments, all but three of these factors were disproven in the capacities he was testing. The only three factors left standing were the sun, moon, and tide. Knight’s realized that the sun, moon, and tide were related, so he built what he called the “Solunar Tables.” These tables were first published in 1936 and were the source of major and minor feeding times. He proved his tables by creating a fishing log of 200 record catches showing that 90% were during his predefined major and minor cycles and while the moon was new. Yahtzee… Knight was on to something!
A Biologist later supported Knight’s major & minor theory at Northwestern University in Chicago. This Biologist, Dr. Frank A. Brown, became fascinated with the ocean’s biological rhythm at a young age after catching rare shrimp off a dock. He went back every night and did not see the shrimp again until precisely one lunar month later. He noticed this and devoted his life to understanding why. Later, Dr. Brown had live oysters flown into his lab in Chicago to prove his theories on the ocean’s rhythm. It is common knowledge that oysters open their shells at each high tide to feed, and Dr. Brown wanted to see if this was caused by local changes in water flow (tide) or, as John Knight hypothesized, from Solunar influences.
By taking the oysters out of their natural rhythm and environment for a week, he discovered that the organisms changed their opening and closing behavior when the moon was directly overhead and underfoot in Chicago. Making things more fascinating, the oysters were not outside and were now in a different time zone, meaning that light and electromagnetic influence were not contributing factors. Dr. Brown concluded that this is only possible if organisms have subtle ways of sensing external environmental changes “right through the laboratory walls.” He said that “All life is probably clued to its local circumstances in ways more intimately and more subtly than we can even measure, and when the locality is changed, life senses that.”
How? Parts of this are still a mystery, but like the drawings and tables that came before, 20Echo takes patterning to a level never before possible. We harness the power of every external environmental condition available and tag them to your pictures generating echoes from that exact location. These echoes allow you never to forget and instantly compare everything for the ultimate environmental leverage…Instinct like leverage previously reserved for ocean rhythm, oysters, and tables.
20Echo uses patent-pending technology to harness your pictures’ power to form an instantaneous journal of your surrounding environmental conditions that is intuitive and simple to use. We allow users to snap photos with mobile devices and instantly capture an automatic log that will help you catch more fish and better understand why and when things happen. Click to LEARN MORE. Additional FAQS
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.
20 Echo gathers Altimetry data and so much more automatically from your photos. Sign in
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.
Why is altimetry important for fishing?
We first talked about ocean altimetry in 2016 in our blog post. Why should I care about altimetry? The surface of the ocean is not flat. There are high spots and low spots. Altimetry imagery indicates the ocean surface height in relation to mean sea level in centimeters. By studying the latest altimetry imagery, you can locate areas of upwelling and downwelling and the location of ocean current features and eddies.
Where does altimetry data originate?
There are various satellites equipped with instruments called altimeters. These instruments are incredibly accurate and measure the ocean’s surface’s height from space to within a few centimeters.
How often is 20Echo.com’s altimetry data updated?
The model is updated once a day.
Why doesn’t cloud cover bother Altimetry readings like it bothers SST and Chlorophyll readings?
Altimetry is measured using an altimeter. An Altimeter works by sending out a microwave pulse, bouncing it off the ocean’s surface. Since a microwave can go straight through clouds and still measure the return signal, it is not impeded by cloud-cover like the instrumentation used to measure sea surface temperature and chlorophyll.
What does “upwelling” mean?
Upwelling is a phenomenon where water from the deep ocean rises to the surface. This cold, deep ocean water is densely packed with nutrients. When it rises to the surface and exposed to sunlight, microscopic plants (phytoplankton) and animals (zooplankton) can proliferate. Squid and baitfish feed on these tiny animals, and in turn, attract larger pelagic species.
How do you find areas of upwelling?
Upwellings are areas on the SSH (sea surface height) chart that are lower than surrounding areas. It’s a bit counter-intuitive, but water in these “low spots” is rising to the surface to achieve equilibrium. Try uploading a photo on https://20echo.com/
Where, in general, are the best altimetry areas to fish?
Generally, the best areas to fish are in the intermediate zones between regions of upwelling and convergence areas. These neutral areas — between the highs and away from the center of the low — is where the food chain will have time to develop.
How can altimetry be used in conjunction with SST and Chlorophyll data?
Where there are upwellings the water is usually cleaner, with less chlorophyll, and colder since it’s coming from deep in the ocean.
How can altimetry data be used as a substitute for SST data when there is cloud-cover?
Altimetry data overlays won’t line up precisely with SST data but it will be close. We would much prefer using altimetry data to find temperature changes than nothing at all!
What else should I know about Sea Surface Height data when thinking about eddies & currents?
The real secret — if there is one — is to understand how the altimetry level you see is created and how that will affect the data’s accuracy. Once you know the data sources’ limitations, you will understand when and how to use it properly. Remember Upwellings have LOWER elevations than Downwellings and you always want to fish where the two meet and form current or in an upwelling where nutrients are coming up from the deep! If you are still wanting to know more about Ocean Altimetry click here for a great video on the subject from the European Space Agency.
All naturally occurring events have one thing in common; each has its own unique time and location. At 20echo, our users harness that power through the most commonly shared medium globally, digital pictures. 20echo provides outdoor enthusiasts with a private platform that will replace journals, photo albums, and even bolster campfire stories while providing users outdoor patterning capabilities never thought possible.
I have built up hundreds of echoes now, finding some tremendous environmental correlations that teach me to look at fishing differently. We call these correlations condition intersections. I am teaching my three and 8-year-old boys the mechanics of fishing, so I am looking for maximum time impact, making us more efficient on the water. Children love catching, not fishing! We need more trips where we get out there, whack them, and get back.
I decided to use 20echo to form incremental knowledge by focusing on the alignment of conditions at specific times, not just the overall macro outlook of one day or hour. I don’t want to disappoint the family when we finally get a chance to go fishing. I needed to find as many condition intersections that have the potential to spark a bite as possible. This tactic is simple in theory – Find enough condition intersections to ensure I have at least one happening every day of the year, always having the best time to fish. The first condition intersection I have found and will highlight today is falling pressure and the solunar rise and set.
Speckle Trout feed during a condition intersection.
Falling pressure January Speckled Trout. 12:05pm with moonrise at 11:51am
Since winter is on the way, I wanted to focus on falling pressure. I quickly noticed that no matter the time of year, I was almost always catching fish when I fished pressure that had marked a downward tendency. After sliding the 20echo query bars around, it was apparent that we saw most of our falling pressure fish in the morning and evening as the sun was coming up and going down. That is my first condition intersection.
When I started looking at the correlation of falling pressure in concert with moonrise and moonset, even more flags started lighting up all over Texas & Louisiana on my 20echo dashboard. Almost every falling pressure echo was matched by the sun or moon rising or setting within one hour regardless of what time of day or night it happened. Every kind of fish showed up at this condition intersection, trout to pelagics at all times of day or night. For my world, this is exciting and leads to one fact, NOT THEORY. I catch more fish when the pressure is falling, and the sun or moon is rising and setting. If you would like to do the same, give 20echo a try today!
Wahoo are often found at a condition intersection.
Falling pressure March Wahoo. Caught at 8:15 am with the sunrise at 7:11 am and the moon set at 9:08 am
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