Thursday, Jul 24, 2014

Best fishing day of August


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The fishing forecast for Central Florida freshwater anglers will be dominated by a full moon two days past the orbit perigee, which means it will greatly influence fishing. The weather forecast will offer nothing out of the ordinary for this time of year; a mostly clear morning with little cloud cover if any, and afternoon storm activity scattered throughout the Heartland.

Since the majority of anglers plan their summertime fishing trips during the coolest part of the day, this fishing forecast will benefit most anglers by pushing fish into feeding areas during the midmorning and late evening hours. And because the position of the moon's orbit in relation to the earth matters greatly - many anglers argue that the perigee is more of a positive influence than the new or full moon events - the number of fish migrating into feeding patterns daily will rate highest for the 28-day monthly lunar cycle.

Today's weather forecast could ruin your fishing plans depending on which lake or area of the Heartland you're planning to fish. As of yesterday morning at 5:30 a.m., I could not ascertain with certainty anything weather wise for you so, plan for rain no matter what if you're going out to your favorite lake this morning, afternoon or evening - and good luck.

Barometric pressure will not be a significant fishing factor for the next three days, as forecasters are predicting very little fluctuation up or down, with an average just above 30 In Hg. So fish will not be adjusting from their current depths, which has been very consistent for the past few weeks - smaller fish at three to five foot depths, and larger fish at five to eight foot depths. This is true of bluegills, specs or crappie, and bass. However, the bluegills are still spawning throughout the summer months.

Monday through Wednesday the chance of rain drops to twenty percent in the afternoons, while sunny mornings without cloud cover are predicted as well, which works perfectly for the morning anglers. However, the moon will be triggering fish to feed slightly later in the morning hours each day as the moon will be full on Tuesday.

The major feeding migrations of the day occur from 8-11:30 a.m. and from 9 p.m. to midnight over the next four days. Peak periods will occur right at the beginning of the feeding migration and the rating will reach the monthly high-point today and tomorrow of nine or 10. By Tuesday and Wednesday, the rating drops slightly to eight with the majority of the fish still feeding early in the migration.

The key to remember here is that all fish species are looking for the coolest water at the right pressure depth. But since dissolved oxygen rates are at their lowest annual rating this month, fish also will move to the closest healthy vegetation near the coolest comfortable depths. Once you discover where the majority of fish are, you'll be 'on fish' until the seasonal pattern changes in October.

During the morning hours as the sun heats up, the environment and habitat of the fish oxygen production increases as does the water temperature, so the early morning feeding migration will be weaker than the yearly normal rates. However, fish will 'turn on' as the temperature rises from 83 degrees. The four degree rise that occurs by midday hours is when the bulk of the daily feeding occurs.

Once that daily high temp is reached, fish shut down until after the sunset, when the process reverses. In both cases fish will feed more vigorously when the oxygen rate is in the ideal range for that particular species. The larger the fish, the higher that ideal range is - a 10 pound bass requires over 5 parts per million (ppm). Smaller species can function fine throughout the 4 ppm range.

The best fishing periods of the next four days will occur Monday morning from 9 a.m. to the midday and again twelve hours later from 9:30 p.m. to 1 a.m. Oxygen rates will be within the ideal range, although the nighttime period will have a greater rate due to the rate climbing to its highest point right at sunset. And temperatures will be close enough to the daily low to trigger the right combination of summertime fishing factors to produce a vigorous feeding migration,

If barometric pressure rises as I suspect it might do so on Tuesday and Wednesday. Anglers might experience better results as fish head toward areas that anglers prefer to catch fish - visual target points along shoreline that look like they should hold fish. I said early in the article that atmospheric pressure is forecasted to remain mostly unchanged, but I am skeptical of that forecast with the predominately easterly wind forecasted over the next three days.

Lake Istokpoga's level is at 38.40 feet above sea level with four S-68 spillway gates open at nine inches and flowing 900 cubic feet per second.

Lake Okeechobee's level has dropped slightly as water management has been maintaining a level at 16 feet above sea level.

Dave Douglass is a bass fishing guide and conservationist since 2006 in Highlands County. Website: HighlandsBassAngler.com Phone: 863-381-8474. Email: davidpdouglass@hotmail.com

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