The fishing forecast for Central Florida's freshwater anglers for the last two days of September and first week of October, which is also the beginning of the new angling season, begins on Tuesday. It should be the best fishing week of October.
The weather forecasts predict "ideal conditions," followed by a normal rainy season forecast for the remainder of the week. Atmospheric pressure will consist of minor increases and decreasing averages near 30 In Hg, which shouldn't have a significant affect on daily fish feeding migrations. However due to the water temperatures dropping into the ideal feeding range (upper 70 degree range) this week, expect all the fish to feed at far greater rates than you've experienced over the summer months.
The 'new moon week' also starts on Tuesday, with the new moon occurring late Friday night. Since it's five days away from the lunar orbit perigee, it will be stronger than the previous six months - last March had a five day differential. In fact, for the next five months, the new moon phases will be the best weeks of the month to go fishing, with December and January having the most powerful affect on feeding fish for the entire year. So if you're going to book a fishing trip ahead of time, take that into consideration.
In contrast, the full moon periods over this same duration, will have the weakest affect on feeding fish for the entire year. The only beneficial effect that the next nine months' full moons will have on fish is "if" there are clear nighttime skies during those periods. Fish can't and don't know if there's a full moon unless it shines brightly, or if it occurs in close proximity to the lunar orbit perigee.
This is where the Rick Taylor Astro-Tables have it wrong. The algorithm that he uses gives the full moon to great of a percentage of influence. The lunar perigee should have the greater influence in all seasons of the year and the new moon phase should have a greater percentage than the full moon except when it is close to perigee.
I have fished equally both the new and full moon periods each month for the past eight years, fishing the same exact areas with the same baits and overwhelmingly the new moon near perigee produces 35-percent better than the full during perigee. In fact any lunar phase close to orbit perigee performs better than any other lunar phase of the month - the last or first quarter lunar phases close to perigee, edges out in performance the new moon by a little and the full moon by a lot during those particular months.
In fact, to be really clear, on the subject of why fish feed more or less during the months of the year, since weather factors always have the greatest affect, either positive or negative on the degree of intensity of feeding fish, the factor of atmospheric pressure has more to do with why fish feed any given celestial period.
Also, since we're getting close to the bass spawning season, the full moon has nothing to do with causing that to occur. It is pure folk lore and nothing more. Again as is the case with weather trumping celestial influence factors, so too does water temperature trump all things celestial as to when the bass spawning season starts.
For the record, the bass spawn will begin once the water temperature - down where the fish reside due to atmospheric pressure levels - begins to drop into the 62-72 degree range at any time of the day or night time lows at 69 degrees will trigger some bass to spawn.
And for the record, all anglers attribute their success or the lack thereof, on only what they have knowledge of, and if that's only what grandpa or dad said, then well, you do the math - hopefully their family members were fish biologist.
The major feeding migration of the day occurs during the morning hours this week from 7-11 a.m. with a peak period from 8-11 a.m. that will reach an eight today on the 1-10 ratings scale and top out the scale Wednesday through Sunday. Next weekend should provide exceptional fishing results due to the start of orbit perigee influence on the new moon week.
The minor feeding migration of the day occurs from 6-9 p.m. with a peak period occurring at dusk that should reach a six to seven on the ratings scale. The brighter the sunshine during sundown, the better the feeding action will be.
Fishing Facts: Bait color selections do matter since there's a light-spectrum change that occurs four times per year in correlation with the four seasons. The spectrum of sunlight changes as a result of the position of the sun to the earth. For the fall season, an increase of the red spectrum comes into play which means the "flash color" selection should be red.
For instance, I will start to use a seven inch Yum Dinger with black and red along features that also include black and blue combination - which is good for all four seasons, but especially good for summer and winter. The "Junebug" color is also better during the fall season since it has more reds and purples in the color combination. Many anglers prefer to use "Red Shade" as their go to color at this time of year. I concur with both selections.
Lake Istokpoga's water level is at 39.05 feet above sea level with four S-68 spillway gates open six inches and flowing 725 cubic feet of water per second - per Saturday's 10 a.m. reading.
Dave Douglass is a bass fishing guide and conservationist since 2006 in Highlands County. Website: HighlandsBassAngler.com Phone: 863-381-8474. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org.