SORD HILTON’S WEEKLY SYNOPSIS

Each week the team at SORD will write a full synopsis of what we are seeing on Hilton’s Realtime Navigator for the Alabama region. This synopsis will cover forecasts from the previous week and how they played out, as well as what we are currently seeing on the day of the report, and what we expect the rest of the week to look like. These will be released every Thursday afternoon of the week and will be sent out via email and sms pushes. If you want to be able to track the synopsis on your own, we recommend that you get a subscription to Hilton’s Realtime Navigator, which is $200 a year for a single region. We write these synopsis to the best of our abilities to help put you on more fish and they should be used as a tool in a large tool belt. We are not responsible for the safety and decisions that are made on the basis of this report.

WEEK 45 SYNOPSIS

We are back with our week 45 synopsis of the Northern Gulf. The team went fishing this past week on both Tuesday and Wednesday, in which the forecast was spot on for each trip. We focused on fishing good bottom structure from 150-400 feet of water and it came up with 4 wahoo, 1 yellowfin tuna, 1 blackfin tuna, countless kings, and a handful of other trash species. The oil rig bite has also stayed consistently hot and we are expecting that the bite stays hot as long as the upwelling stays present over the MS canyon floaters.

Week 45 should be a great week of fishing if you have the ability to reach the strong current lines running over near the squiggles and north to the Ozark, or targeting good bottom structure nearshore in 150-400 feet of water. The MS canyon rigs should remain hot for the next week as well.

SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURE

Cloud cover this week is proving it difficult to accurately forecast where there may be places of interest. The best shot that we can see right now is the WED NOV 8, 2023 18:10 UTC shot where we are showing the colder water near land has started to push between 15-25nm offshore, which is normal for this time of the year. There are no rips or temperature breaks to write home about this week due to the cloud cover.

ALTIMETRY

The altimetry this week has slightly shifted from last week, with the upwelling that was present near the MS Canyon starting to dissipate and move southeastward toward a massive upwelling event happening beyond Lloyds Ridge. There is an area of interest that continues to build over the FADs and looks like it has improved since last week’s synopsis. It remains an area of interest for us as we head into the fall fishing season.

CURRENTS

The currents this week have slowed down a touch from last week, with the same strong northward current running through the squiggles and bending to the west between the fads and the shelf. The currents that were running through the MS Canyon rigs had started to move off to the southwest with most arrows showing very light currents near the rigs. This is the same for the elbow, nipple, 131 hole area. The arrows here look a bit confused as if there was a slack current. We would search out areas with more current if you are running out of Destin or PCB.

CHLOROPHYLL

The chlorophyll charts this week are showing the majority of the northern gulf being covered in clear, blended blue/green water. This water is still conducive to catching nice fish, so there is nothing on here that is screaming to avoid. There is a nice push of blue water due to the stronger current lines moving north starting at the squiggles and this push ends at/near the Ozark. This is an area of interest and targeting bottom structure in this area should yield good results.


WEEK 46 SYNOPSIS

We are back with our week 46 synopsis of the Northern Gulf. The team did not get out fishing in the last 7 days, but we heard reports of a consistent tuna and marlin bite at the MS Canyon rigs. We did not receive any reports from the shelf structure from last week. If you have reports from last week, please “reply to” this email and let us know!

The overall forecast for this week is high for the shelf area from the Elbow to the Ozark. We also believe that it will be any day now when the FADs will have another hot wahoo bite and signs continue to point to that. We are forecasting that the MS Canyon rigs bite will remain steady, but it will not be as strong as it was the past two weeks as a result of the downwelling event moving over the rigs and the upwelling event that was present has now moved southeast.

SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURE

Cloud cover from the past 72 hours has not provided a usable SST shot for this week. No report to be made.

ALTIMETRY

The altimetry this week has quite a few things to talk about. Starting from the far left, you can see that there is a strong upwelling event happening north of the Green Canyon. Bordering that upwelling on the right, a downwelling is pushing north into the MS Canyon rigs. These rigs have been hot for the last 3 weeks and we are expecting them to slow down as this downwelling moves in. The “conventional wisdom” of a negative altimetry is that once the predator species surrounding a specific structure have been caught, then they are not being replenished with new predators due to the life cycle of nutrients. We went and checked last year’s altimetry report when the bite was still hot at this same time of the year and the upwelling event remained present in the MS Canyon.

Moving to the right, you will see the upwelling event that was once situated over the MS Canyon rigs has now moved off to the southeast, south of Lloyd’s Ridge. You will also see that our area of interest over the FADS has become slightly better and is something we are still watching.

CURRENTS

The currents this week have remained steady for the northern gulf. There are still strong current lines and areas of interest near the squiggles moving northwest. There are also stronger lines moving to the west near the elbow area, which we marked as another area of interest. We would seek out bottom structure in these areas as places to troll for wahoo and blackfins. You can see the counterclockwise rotation of the upwelling event near Lloyd’s Ridge.

CHLOROPHYLL

The chlorophyll charts this week are also extremely affected by the cloud cover from all the rain in the last 72 hours. If you select the 3 day chart, you can start to make inferences about where clean water is. You will see on the below image that there are patches of somewhat clear blue water, surrounded by mostly blended blue-green water. We do not rely heavily on water color data this time of the year and we believe that the fishing is great as long as you are not fishing in yellow or red areas.


WEEK 47 SYNOPSIS

We are back with our week 47 synopsis for the Northern Gulf. As a brief glance-back to the previous week, our forecasted area of interest on the altimetry chart has now been confirmed and we are reporting a high confidence for this area over the next week. The warm water continues to stay close to shore and it has changed from being blended blue to clear green.

We expect the fishing to continue to be hot around the shelf ledges and structure as well as in our area of interest. The fishing in the MS Canyon will remain steady, but pick up once an upwelling event moves back over the area.

SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURE

The rain scattered along the Gulf Coast today means that we are going back in time to Monday to find a usable SST chart. You will see on the below image that the warm water continues to stay in close, hanging out at the shelf. Once the colder water (below 70*) begins to move further south then we will see the bait move out as well as the bite on the shelf die off. This event typically happens mid-January for the Northern GoM.

The MS Canyon floaters continue to remain in warmer water around 76-78 degrees. This temperature means the tunas should be up and feeding most hours of the day, which would make sense after seeing the large amounts of smaller YFT be caught.

There are no rips or large sargassum lines of note and to reiterate, we do not look for those this time of the year.

ALTIMETRY

The altimetry this week has a few things to note. The first is the area of interest that we highlighted the last two weeks. We now have high confidence that the fishing there will be strong for the next week. The second is the developing downwelling event that is now over the MS Canyon floaters. We believe that the bite here will remain steady for the next week and will pick up once an upwelling event moves back over the area. The last part is an upwelling that is trying to form to the west of the MS Canyon and looks like it is moving towards the east. This could merge with the area of interest by mid next week.

CURRENTS

The currents this week show a stagnant current over the MS Canyon rigs, which correlates with the downwelling event happening in the MS Canyon. There are still strong current lines to the east over our area of interest highlighted in the altimetry chart. We would seek out the areas of stronger current where you can find bottom structure (ledges, wrecks, fads) and once you find the bait you should find the pelagic species.

CHLOROPHYLL

The chlorophyll charts this week are showing a large swath of blended blue green water starting between 40-50 miles offshore. The nearshore ledges will all have clean green water on them and water clarity will not affect wahoo or blackfin tuna fishing. If you find the bait you will find the fish, regardless of the water color this time of the year. Another thing to note is that there is a push of bluewater, we believe being associated with the upwelling event, that is moving to the east over the MS Canyon rigs.


WEEK 48 SYNOPSIS

We are back with our week 48 synopsis for the Northern Gulf. It has been 9 days since the last synopsis, so we are excited to dive in and see what has changed since Tuesday last week.

Our personal report is that we did not catch any wahoo close in over the last week. The water temp was 73 and we believe it is going to start dropping off over the next month. The fish will begin to move out to warmer waters and we should start to see a good bit of fish caught at the fads over the next two months.

SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURE

To get the accurate SST shot, check out the Thu Nov 30, 2023 5:50UTC shot from hiltons. We scaled this from 65-76 to get a better look at the shot. Starting close to Destin/Pensacola you will see a large blob of 72-75 degree water sitting near the shelf. This water should continue to produce wahoo until the temperature drops below 70 degrees. We have found in our area that once it falls below 72, we generally stop seeing them caught consistently close to shore.

The north central gulf around the FADs is holding at a constant 73-75 degrees. This area should be conducive for wahoo and tunas, with the occasional winter billfish.

Southwest of the Mississippi river mouth, you can see that the temperature is holding a bit higher than the rest of the Gulf. This is normal and expected for this time of the year and is the place where incredible numbers of wahoo like to hang out around heavy structures.

ALTIMETRY

The altimetry over the last 9 days has had some considerable changes. The first is that our area of interest near the fads has moved further south, away from the FADS and into open water. For an interesting take this week, if you turn on the “loop image” for the altimetry, you can see the effects of multiple days of north winds last week happening in video mode.

The second part is that we have a new area of interest building south of the MS River and we will watch that development over the next 7 days. Our hope is that this moves into the MS Canyon (Proteus, Appomattox, Nakika, Blind Faith, Thunderhawk/horse) and brings with it big tunas and the occasional marlin ready to eat.

CURRENTS

The currents are showing a stagnant current up to 60 miles off the coast. There are some stronger current lines running north west through the squiggles and the FADs that should be bringing warmer, moving water into the eastern FADs.

You can see in the picture below the area of interest that was over the fads has now moved south as also represented in the Altimetry shot. These are the arrows that are in the center of the image.

CHLOROPHYLL

There is not much to write home about the Chlorophyll this week. Most of the northern gulf is showing a blended blue/green color, without any deep blue areas.


WEEK 49 SYNOPSIS

We are back with our week 49 synopsis for the Northern Gulf. We have not received any first hand fishing reports yet other than there were a few small wahoo caught at the western FADs this past week.

This week we are forecasting above average fishing conditions if the weather allows you to get out there. Find the warmer water, current, and structure, and you should be able to locate a good area for fishing. There are still wahoo around in that warmer water close to the shelf and we believe the tuna fishing in the MS canyon should be HOT this week with the altimetry conditions changing for the better.

SEA SURFACE TEMPERATURE

There was a perfect shot this week of the SST if you go to the Thu Dec 07, 2023 07:00 UTC shot. If you want to see the exact image that we are working on below here, then scale your shot from 78 to 71 degrees so that the breaks are more drastic.

You will see in this shot that there is a push of warm water starting from south of the squiggles and working its way northwest to end around the nipple area. This time of the year you are wanting to look for the warmer sea surface temperatures, so we would fish the warmest water that you can find that overlaps structure. The eastern fads are in warmer water than the western ones, so we would prefer those due to this temperature difference.

The MS Canyon rigs are showing a range of water temperatures from 72-75 degrees. We believe the tuna bite will remain steady and hot throughout the winter from the MS Canyon to the shelf and over to the Viosca Knoll/Lumps area.

ALTIMETRY

The altimetry over the last 7 days has remained consistent with last week’s report, with the addition that the areas on the fringes of the MS canyon rigs are starting to show positive upwelling signs. This should mean that the fishing near the Proteus, Appomattox, Blind Faith, Horn Mountain, Nakika, etc. should become extremely good over the next week.

There are no altimetry reports to write about closer into shore as it remains the same as last week.

CURRENTS

The currents this week look stronger than they have in previous weeks. The strong current line that is running northwest is also correlated with the warmer water push that we are seeing in our SST shot from this week. This would mean that any structure (floating or bottom) near the stronger current lines and pushing into the nipple would be areas of interest to fish and a place that we believe bait will be holding.

There are also signs of the upwelling event near the MS Canyon happening as marked by the arrows in the picture.

CHLOROPHYLL

There is also not much to write home about in the SST shot from today as it is covered up by clouds. You will see the 7 day aggregated SST shot below, which shows that the majority of the gulf is still in blended blue/green water.