The central Florida freshwater fishing forecast for the third week of December will be dominated by a full moon and lunar orbit apogee, plus a weather forecast that will be challenging today through Tuesday but after the midweek it will become more favorable for all anglers as the seasons change with the Winter Solstice occurring this Saturday.
Today a low pressure cold front is passing through the state, so fishing will be tough because fish started to migrate deeper at the beginning of the pressure drop from 30.35 In Hg during Friday's midday to a low of 29.88 In Hg yesterday at midday.
Today pressure will remain below 30 In Hg as it stabilizes, keeping fish deeper in the water column and a digestive-state being already well fed-all fish feed when weather causes movement because they are opportunistic feeders; fish move, fish feed en mass.
With the medium west wind of 12 to 15 mph forecasted for today, fish will also be adjusting to a complete change in plankton and phytoplankton concentrations which will be moving east northeast today. Fish are already facing the north and eastern sides of the lake, holding deep, out and away from those shorelines of the lake. Today the winds will blow the smallest members of the food chain over the heads.
Remember, when winds from 15 to 20 mph causes water to build up on one side of the lake, there is an undertow that develops along those windy shorelines as water returns toward the center of the lake.
And it is in these underwater-current areas that fish wait in depths of 12 to 20 feet, along the lake's bottom, that is "if" they need to feed. And by the way, 'undertow areas' develop where the shorelines drop off faster toward the deeper sections of the lake.
With today's cloud cover forecasted to be 100 percent, fish will be moving throughout the entire feeding area due to the lack of light - I expect the numbers of feeders to be very low today and tomorrow.
So covering a lot of the feeding area is the key to finding a hungry fish. I'll be using long casts and faster retrieves to put my bait in front of frequently moving predominately non-feeding bass, hoping for a reaction strike.
This morning, there is a 30 percent chance of rainfall, and with winds out of the west and a temperature drop of 10 degrees starting early today, some fish will be biting early, hopefully, and then shutting down early.
Even though the solar and lunar factors normally create a midday feeding migration during today's lunar phase, I believe the fish will feed due to weather factors earlier, from sunup to 10 a.m., ending shortly after the rain starts.
Monday there is forecast of mixed sun and clouds, with cloud-cover prevailing in the morning hours. Remember when low light conditions prevail, be prepared to swim your bait through larger areas and when bright light conditions prevail, use a silent bait entry into thick cover, by employing pitching or flipping techniques.
Monday I also expect bass fishing to be tough, as all fish will be adjusting to the temperature and wind changes. By late Tuesday and early Wednesday they should be feeding again as weather conditions normalize.
The major feeding migration of the day for the next three days will be hard to determine due to the aforementioned weather change trumping all solunar factors. When water temperatures reach the middle sixties fish will be feeding, maybe, in small numbers. With clouds they'll be close to cover waiting to ambush and without clouds in large areas moving slowly if at all, feeding on smaller opportunities.
Tuesday morning very early, the full moon occurs which will start to cause a midday and midnight solar and lunar induced feeding migration. The weather should be normalized by then with a mild north wind prevailing, causing sunny skies until Friday afternoon.
With the water temperatures being in the "ideal bass spawning range', and the influence of the full moon peaking in clear skies, bass should be seeking to bed during the clear cool nights of the midweek period - bad news for bass anglers since spawning bass don't feed. However with a lot of patients and hard work, you might be able to get them to defensively strike the intruding bait.
Remember: Please handle spawning bass that you caught with great care. Don't crank open the mouth, and hold it with two hands to support her weight. Be quick about taking some pictures and release her back where you caught her within thirty seconds. So have a camera or picture phone ready before you attempt to catch a spawning bass. And by all means, don't let her rub against the boat carpet as this removes the protective oils on her scales.
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I doubt there is going to be a minor feeding migration developing until Wednesday morning as fish start to return to, developing a feeding pattern. From Tuesday through Thursday the best fishing period will be from 10:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. However a secondary feeding period will start to build during the sunrise.
Feed Ratings would have normally been in the 7-9 range during the midday hours, but the weather change will diminish those numbers to a range of 3-5 at best until the midweek. Tuesday's rating should recover to the 5-6 range during the midday period. And Wednesday and Thursday's rating should top-out at 6-7 on the ten-scale.
Lake Istokpoga's level remains at 39.50 feet above sea level, which is the highest this lake is allowed to rise to annually.
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