FishCast by Fathom Science

Frequently Asked Questions



How do I get FishCast maps?

Go to the FishCast home page. Scroll down to the map that shows the FishCast regions (purple boxes). Click a region that you’re interested in having a membership to (see “What are region-specific pages?” below). That will take you to a page with more information about that region’s maps. Membership options are on the bottom of each region page.


How do I access my maps once I subscribe?

To access your maps, go to the FishCast home page.  Click the region that you are subscribed to.  Scroll down to find the individual Times for each of the different types of Maps.  Click the Map + Time you are interested in viewing.  If you are logged into a valid account, the map will be displayed.  If you are not logged in, you will be prompted to Log-In or Subscribe.  If your account does not have access to the region or your account has expired, you will be prompted to Upgrade your subscription (see “How do I find out which regions I subscribed to or when my subscription expires?” below.)

How do I find out which regions I subscribed to or when my subscription expires?

At the top of the page, go to My Profile / My Subscriptions.  Under My Subscriptions is the list of subscription you registered for.  Type indicates the region(s) and duration.  Expiration indicates the last day of your subscription.  If your subscription has lapsed, you need to re-subscribe to access the maps.

How do I change my user information, including password?

On in the top menu click My Profile then Edit My Profile. Log in with your current user name and password. The Edit My Profile page now allows you to modify your personal settings, including your password.

What if I have already subscribed but want to add a region?

You can add a region to your subscription by simply subscribing to the new region. Go to the region page you’re interested in then scroll down to the subscription form. A subscription to a region ends based on the date you subscribed to that region.



How much is it to subscribe to FishCast?

Each region has pricing options for a day ($39), week ($59), month ($119), and year ($359). These are visible by going to each region’s page and scrolling to the Subscription Options towards the bottom. For each region you subscribe to, you get hourly SST, Chlorophyll, and Optimal Catch Location maps updated daily!


How do I pay? Is it secure?

We have teamed up with a major online payment processing company (Stripe) to support our online payment platform. You can rest assured that your payment information will be kept confidential. After processing, your credit card statement will show a transaction from “Fathom Science LLC”.



How can you have always cloud-free sea surface temperature (SST)?

We use the proprietary technology we developed over 25 years of university-based oceanography research to create a complete sea surface temperature map. We start with real-world data, including satellite data, then use cloud computing to create the industry’s most accurate SST maps.


What does SST mean?

SST is short for Sea Surface Temperature. By “surface” we mean the very top layer, also called “skin temperature.”


Why is SST I measured on my boat different than what shows on your maps?

Sea surface temperature shown on our maps is the “skin temperature” of the ocean—literally the surface. Your boat temperature sensor is deeper in the water, below the surface, so measures a different temperature. Water there will be a different temp than the skin temp, especially in the summer. Also, SST can be affected by conditions that arise during the day, such as strong sun, wind, and waves. For finding fish, the temperature gradient is more important than the exact temperature.


What goes into your Optimal Catch Location maps?

Our Optimal Catch Location maps show the likelihood of catching a particular species of fish at the given day and time shown on the map. We consider marine conditions and species-specific preferences to show you where in a region that fish species is most likely to be found. We can’t predict whether the fish feel like biting, though!


What are region-specific pages?

FishCast currently covers the U.S. and Canadian East Coast, Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean Sea, and northern South America. To conveniently display data to you, we break this massive area into 26 regions. To view each region, go to the FishCast home page, scroll to the large map and click on your region of choice (note: some regions overlap, so select the area most suitable to you). That will take you to the region page with sample maps, individual downloadable maps for active subscribers showing times and conditions (SST, Chlorophyll, and Optimal Catch Location), and subscription options available for that region.


What are the white areas on your Optimal Catch Location maps?

White patches in the ocean on the Optimal Catch Location maps indicate areas of very low likelihood of finding that fish. They are not areas of no information.


How do I get hourly updates offshore without using satellite minutes?

We prepare our maps the day before your fishing trip, so you can download them before you go offshore. Save them to your device (computer, tablet, or phone) or print them (but it’s easier to zoom in on a screen) before you leave shore. Then you have the day’s maps to flip through while you’re offshore. You don’t have to guess where the water masses are moving to—the maps show you, step by step, throughout the day.


How do I zoom in on the maps?

Maps on your computer/tablet/phone can be zoomed in on. Before downloading a map, while viewing it on FishCast, mouse over the map to bring up the zoom tools in the bottom left corner of the map. After downloading a map, use your device to zoom in and out. A map of a smaller geographic region does not give you greater resolution. It just shows you a smaller area. If you want a map of Cape Hatteras, use FishCast map NA005 (Virginia to South Carolina), and zoom in on Cape Hatteras. Purchasing a map of just the Cape Hatters region would not get you any higher resolution of the Cape.


What are the arrows on the maps?

The arrows on the water represent currents. The longer the arrow, the stronger the current.


What are the smooth curved lines over the water on the U.S. east coast maps?

These arcs, with numbers like “42900”, are TD lines. These are from the Loran-C geolocation system. Some east coast users prefer these lines to GPS latitute and longitude coordinates. Each map has latitute and longitude on the outer edge of the map, also.


What are the squiggly white lines on the maps?

These are depth (also called bathymetry) contours. The lines are (from near shore to off shore) 25, 100, 500, and 1000 fathom contours. A fathom is 6 feet, so these depth contours are 150 ft, 600 ft, 3000 ft, and 6000 ft.


What is map resolution?

Map resolution is how clearly the map shows detail when you zoom in. Resolution is like the size of the pixels in a picture. Finer (or higher) resolution means that you get more details when you zoom in.  There is a limit to how fine map resolution can be, based on the science’s ability to distinguish small features. Resolution is not the same as accuracy. A high-resolution map is not necessarily more accurate than a lower resolution map. A great map has both high resolution and high accuracy. FishCast maps provide both.


How do I save maps on my iPhone/iPad?

To save maps to your iPhone, open a map, click download, then save to Books, Notes, or another PDF viewer. Click here for detailed instructions.


What time are your maps updated?

Our maps are updated by 10 am Eastern Time each day. If you happen to look at the maps during that brief, magic morning window when the date heading on the page does not match the date on the map, use the date on the map. Then check back later in the day and the maps will be updated.


Do you give a written analysis of fishing conditions?

We do not provide a written analysis, because our maps show you the information you need in an image (which is worth 1000 words, and is prettier!). Want to know where to find fishing hotspots? Our Optimal Catch Location maps show areas where fishing should be good to great, based on marine conditions. Want to know where a water body is headed? You don’t need to guess that yourself– just look at the maps for the next hours and days.


Can I use your maps for navigation?

No, these maps are not suitable for navigation.



How do I get in touch with you if I have questions, feedback, suggestions, or stories to tell?

Contact us through the website Contact page or at or through our Contact Form. We’d love to hear from you, and we’re very responsive!