December 2013 – Favorable Conditions Remain in the Central Gulf of Mexico

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This is a special analysis to showcase the ocean conditions that are occurring in the Central Gulf of Mexico. Overall, multiple filaments of blended blue and blue 72.0°F-75.0°F water continue to push northward into 100 fathom depths towards the Mississippi Canyon. Once here, the blue 74.0°F water diverges in the area near the Innovator Rig, with a filament flowing northeastward towards the Viosca Knoll area, before heading eastward and moving offshore. The second filament of blended blue water flows southwestward from the area of the Innovator Rig area towards the Calumet Mound, before flowing offshore. This influx of blended blue and blue water suggests favorable, inshore conditions for a combination of tuna, wahoo, dolphin, sailfish and swordfish action; especially along the water mass boundaries that push inshore over the Chandeleur Valley, Gulfport Valley, Redfish Valley and Whiting Dome. However, if you are fishing the area offshore of South Pass, you may not even have to travel this far offshore before you locate a series of strong, blue-green to blended blue 8°F water mass boundaries (64.0°F-72.0°). These water mass boundaries form a strong ocean frontal zone that is likely to act as a convergence zone (which tends to concentrate bait fish and larger fish), increasing your chances of fishing action. Remember to look for weed lines and rips as an indicator of convergence zones.

South of Atchapalay Bay, another filament of blue 72.0°F-73.0°F water creates favorable conditions for combination of tuna, wahoo, dolphin, sailfish and swordfish action over the deeper depths of Timbalier Basin and Tiger Basin. Between this area and the Mississippi Canyon, the water continues to move in an offshore direction, which is not favorable for forming new concentrations of fish.  This suggests that the fishing action over these areas is likely to be slow and scattered. However, after three days of favorable ocean conditions, experience suggests that the fish are likely to be associated with the good bottom structures. Please note: Our usual purchased analyses contain highlighted hot spot dots to direct your fishing effort to the most favorable fishing conditions (with numbers inside of the dots to indicate the number of consecutive days that we have seen favorable conditions in that location). These are not included in these special analyses due to their broad scale.

It is very important to use your sea surface temperature (SST) gauge to locate the boundaries of the water masses, which are outlined in black. Please keep in mind that we use a combination of NOAA buoys to calibrate our daily SST each morning. Therefore, rather than trying to find water based on the absolute temperature values shown on the map, search for the relative change in SST where the water mass boundaries occur. Arrows indicate the main current direction. Noon to afternoon SST may be 1°F or more WARMER than the morning calibrated SST shown on the analysis charts.

FULL MOON WARNING: Many times the tuna fishing action slows during the daytime during a full moon as the fish are feeding at night. Experience suggests that the better fishing action with tuna during the full moon is at first light and last light of the day. Thus, be sure to get to the fish before first light so that you can start trolling early. The fish will bite before the human eye senses the light.

ROFFS™ winter hours: Mon.-Fri. 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM, Saturday CLOSED. Have a happy holiday season, and a healthy and successful New Year. ROFFS™ will be closed December 25, 2013 and January 01, 2014. Remember you can order and/or purchase your fishing analyses from our website ( and click on Order Analyses button) or by email.


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