Video: Using online satellite imagery to find clean water

MODIS Today website provides info that will help you plan your trip

How many times have you heard, “Just find clean water” — but were at a total loss where to start?

After all, fishing in clean water improves the odds of getting on a great bite.

Speckled trout and redfish don’t enjoy dirty water: The suspended dirt irritates their gills and makes it hard for them to see.

That’s a big deal since they are primarily sight feeders. They will eventually leave for greener pastures and when they do, how will you locate clean water again?


Finding clean water isn’t always as easy as it seems.

An angler can cover a lot of real estate before finally discovering water worth making a cast — after all, Louisiana is home to the nation’s largest inshore fishery.

But, there is a cutting-edge, 21st-century tool that can help simplify the process.

It’s a resource on the Internet called MODIS Today.

It’s a website that makes available a daily composite photo of the United States taken by two satellites in NASA’s Earth Observatory System, Terra and Aqua.

Each day these two satellites pass over the U.S. and take a giant photo of our great country available in three different resolutions: 2000m, 1000m and 250m.

The “m” stands for “meters per pixel”, which defines the resolution of the image. Simply put, it means 2000m is zoomed out, and 250m is zoomed in.

Since there are two satellites, we get two images each day — which is nice in case there is glare on the water or clouds obstructing the view.

Anyway, I made a short video earlier this summer explaining how to use MODIS Today and how to actually interpret that imagery to find clean, fishable water. Check it out here.


No Internet resource can beat on-the-water experience. But new tools like MODIS Today give savvy inshore anglers an edge over others who never get a bird’s eye view.

Tight lines, y’all. Questions or comments? Feel free to chime in below.

Editor’s Note: Devin Denman is an avid inshore fisherman who writes the Louisiana Fishing Blog. To read more of his articles, visit

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