June 12, 2017

Clean Water is Easily Found With This High-Tech Tool

The 21st century is rife with tools that were never meant for us in the first place.

You hear it all the time:Find clean, moving water with bait and you will catch a lot of fish.

In Louisiana's inshore waters, those three conditions are the general rule. Fish like speckled trout and redfish don't enjoy dirty water.

They feed primarily by sight and it's difficult for them to see in dirty water, just like it's difficult for you to see in a dust storm or heavy smoke.

On top of this, dirty water is tough on their gills just like heavy smoke is tough on your lungs.

Inevitably, specks and reds will leave dirty water to find better conditions, especially if the bait has moved out!

Finding Clean Water

I have written a lot about finding clean water and judging water clarity. However, getting it done is not as easy as it seems, even if you are an experienced angler.

After all, Louisiana has a lot of shoreline! A lot of inshore anglers struggle to find clean water.

However, there is this one tool that can help demystify the process. It's a resource on the Internet called MODIS Today.

Hosted by the University of Wisconsin, this site makes available a USA composite photo taken each day by two different satellites of NASA's Earth Observatory System, Terra and Aqua.

Each day these two satellites pass over the United States and take a giant photo of our great country available in three different resolutions:

  • 2000m
  • 1000m
  • 250m

Note The "m" stands for meters per pixel.

So, 2000m is a wider view and 250m is a zoomed-in view.

Since there are two satellites, we have two different pictures taken each day of Louisiana's coast.

This is great, because one photo may be better than the other. A bad satellite image can have sun glare or clouds blocking our view of the water clarity.

Anyways, I made a short video below further explaining how to use MODIS Today and interpret the imagery to find clean water.

Captain Devin

About the Author

Devin is a former fishing guide and lifelong inshore angler. He founded Louisiana Fishing Blog in 2012 to share his ideas as a charter captain and still writes in it today. Since then he's created a fishing university — LAFB Elite — where he teaches inshore anglers how to safely navigate Louisiana's coast and catch more fish.

You may also like

  • Hey Jim, thanks for commenting.

    I get this a lot about Vermillion Bay and can tell you that you’re not alone.

    The short answer is: yes I do.

    The long answer:

    I don’t feel Vermillion Bay is any different from Delacroix, Venice, Slidell or Dularge.

    Why is the fishing hard in Vermillion Bay?

    Because it’s covered in river water most of the year.

    Try as you might, a round peg will never fit into a square hole.

    Think about it, how many guides do you know of that fish Vermillion Bay full time?

    I haven’t heard of any.

    With this in mind, Vermillion Bay is not the only place in Louisiana that gets river water.

    Slidell, Delacroix, Venice, Dularge, Pointe a La Hache and more all get just as much of that nasty, brown river water.

    When that brown water rolls in, fishing comes to a screaming halt.

    When it does, we go somewhere else.

    Nobody catching fish does so by staying put and casting into that dirty, sediment-laden, nasty river water.

    But, when the river water eventually recedes, becomes clear and a tad saltier, the fishing is on fire.

    And I think that’s what happens with Vermillion Bay.

    The Atchafalaya eventually goes down, south winds blow and the fishing turns on.

    Folks hear about the great fishing, can’t wait to go, and eventually launch the boat during opposite conditions, get their ass kicked and go home thinking the people who did catch must have a crystal ball or something.

    So, as it pertains to this website, there are tons of information to help you.

    Things like locating clean water, and understanding seasonal movements of fish according to the bigger picture (and the Atchafalaya is part of that).

    It’s going to take hard work on your part, too.

    I don’t think anyone can expect to be receive a “silver bullet” that immediately enables them to catch limits of fish on every trip.

    But, if you’re willing to put in the time to fish hard, then searching this website isn’t very hard in comparison.

    To make it easier, I created this article breaking down the best way to do that: https://www.lafishblog.com/search-louisiana-fishing-blog/

    Thanks, Jim.

  • I notice all your fishing tips and advice are centered around SE La. I live in Lafayette. I fish primarily in Vermilion Bay. I believe this is the most difficult area to fish out of the SW area, the Central area (Vermilion Bay area), and the SE Area. I believe it is due to the sediment coming out of the Vermilion River and the Calumet Cut. You can easily see this on MODIS. My question is: Do you ever have any tips or advice in the Central Area.


  • Nice technology, I’m really glad you took the time to share this. I had no idea this existed!

  • {"email":"Email address invalid","url":"Website address invalid","required":"Required field missing"}

    Never Miss Practical Fishing Tips & Tricks for Louisiana's Coast