The fishing forecast for central Florida freshwater anglers for this week includes the last-quarter lunar phase which is in orbit apogee and a weather forecast with very little chance of rainfall and a low pressure system that will slowly move out of the state.
Since the lunar phase is at its weakest influence level of the month due to being furthest from earth, it will not be much of a fishing factor to consider. However what is a considerable fishing factor is the formable low pressure system that dropped barometric pressure readings into the 29.75 In Hg range last night. And according to forecasts, this level of atmospheric pressure should remain at or near this low level for the next several days.
If this barometric plot forecast is correct, and there is no significant increase in pressure, fish will be holding primarily in the lowest depths seen yet this past summer season. So if you like fishing in the deeper open water areas of the lake, you'll love this forecast, and if you're into fishing along shoreline shallows, well, be prepared to catch a lot of smaller fish, but even they will be migrating out deeper in order to adjust to a more comfortable state.
The 'good news' is that - if weather forecasts are correct - we shouldn't experience any more days in the 93-degree range this year. And this means water temperatures will be dropping into the 'ideal temperature range' for fish to feed-at-will daily. It will only take a week to ten days to put the daily average temperature into the upper 70s, triggering fish to become very active and aggressive feeders.
And there's more 'good news', even though the moon's affect is at it weakest point of the 28-day cycle, it will cause fish to want to feed at the same time as the summer-weather feeding pattern time already established.
Deep water structure fishermen should be boating some of the largest fish of the past three months during the next several days because all the fishing factors have aligned perfectly just for them.
The major feeding migration of the day occurs from 4-8 a.m. with a peak period occurring from 7-8 a.m. The one-in-ten scale rating should climb to an eight during this time and quickly shutdown, settling at the daily average of five to six.
The minor feeding migration of the day occurs from 5-8 p.m. with a peak period occurring during the sunset, 6:30-8 p.m. The feed rating should tip the scale at six or seven for about forty minutes, just as the sun disappears over the horizon.
Last weekend, on Saturday morning, the last day of summer, I experienced yet another milestone in my bass fishing career. My wife Chris and I were out early on the lake and as we started fishing my first fishing hole the sun was shinning bright and the winds were ideal, producing a very light chop on the water.
On my eighth pitch a 26-inch bass engulfed my bait and charged through the vegetation toward open water and into the waiting net Chris had quickly placed sideways next to the boat's back deck. The first bass of the day weighed 10.5 pounds. In the live-well it went to be photographed later.
As we continued to comb-through the vegetation Chris snaps her rod back suddenly and says, "I've got a big one on". She played that bass perfectly, didn't over fight or force the bass, and waited for me to power the boat through the vegetation with my trolling motor on high. It took us over 10 minutes to get that fish free from the bottom. I had to rip out vegetation, poke the fish with the net handle several times before it finally released into an opening where I netted the 'big girl', She measured 25 7/8 inches and weighed 10.15 pounds. In the live-well she went for a photo session debut.
I quickly realized that this particular 'hot spot' was loaded with huge feeding bass. We continued along the outside edge of this area, pitching back some 20 to 30 feet into the vegetation and swimming the big worm as to replicate a hiding baitfish.
After about 20 more yards and several pitches, I felt a 'faint thud' in the line and reel. I snap-set the hook - a shoulder shrug type hook-set motion-and free-spooled the reel to allow the big bass to tire-out before I crashed through the vegetation with the trolling motor. After about 45 seconds the bass came to the surface, it was another huge bass. Chris was able to get the net into the small opening to net a 24 3/4 inch bass that tipped the scales at 8.50 pounds.
Now, since we were fishing Lake Istokpoga which has a 'protected slot limit' we had to do our photo session right then in order to comply with the law. So we took pictures and released the three trophy bass and continued on.
As we came to the end of that particular fishing-hole's vegetation, I decided to turn around and fish it again, from the opposite direction. As we got to the middle of the area Chris says, "I got another big one on" the strike came on the outside as another 24 1/2 inch bass inhaled her bait. This one weighed right at eight pounds and we put here in the live-well.
Now, at this point, I realized my wife was keeping up with me on the big girls and I wanted her to have the fishing experience of a lifetime so I switched to a big jig just to see what would happen.
What happened was, Chris says yet again, "I've got a big one on" heck; it wasn't even 30 feet from the last battle. This bass was 24.5 inches in length and weighed 8.25 pounds.
This was the first time I had partnered with anyone to boat a 45.4 pound five bass total. What a day on the lake. Florida bass fishing doesn't get any better than that.
Dave Douglass is a bass fishing guide and conservationist since 2006 in Highlands County. Website: HighlandsBassAngler.com Phone: 863-381-8474. Email: email@example.com.