With the recent major rain events of the past five days our lakes and streams have had little sunlight to trigger dissolved oxygen production and this slows down the ability of fish to feed in water temperatures in the middle to upper 80s.
Contrary to what many anglers believe or think, rainfall does not equate to more oxygen in the water. In fact the opposite occurs; more turbidity builds up due to 'wash-in' and 'wave action turbulence' causing sediment to become suspended, and this in turn triggers more decomposition, which uses oxygen in the process. This is more true in shallow lakes than deeper lakes however.
So, fish did not feed normally and therefore were in a state of suspension more often. And since water temperatures have dropped to a temperature range from 80 to 82 and barometric pressure is on the rise albeit, slowly. Fish will move in larger numbers for greater durations into healthy vegetative feeding areas.
The major feeding migration of the day occurs from 7 to 11 a.m. and will have a peak period today through Friday from 7 to 9:30 a.m. that should have a daily average feed rating of six or seven.
If the sun dominates the early morning hours expect the rating to top-out at ten however--these fish have been waiting for a break in the weather. As this week progresses the fishing will improve noticeably as fish feed in larger numbers for longer periods.
The minor feeding migration of the day occurs during the sunset hours from 6 to 9 p.m. and will have a peak period for one hour immediately after the sun drops over the horizon. Anglers can expect a rating of five with cloud cover and rain present , and six to seven if the skies are clear.
The weekend will be a good one as the weather factors become ideal for triggering fish to feed and the new moon at orbit apogee signals to fish to feed more during daylight hours. Barometric pressure will be moving up and this will increase the numbers of fish within feeding areas. From Saturday through to next Tuesday, excellent fishing weather will prevail and fish will be biting so that anyone can catch fish.
Looking ahead to next week, the first half of the week will be exceptional and the second half is forecasted to bring heavier rain events. I've been praying for more rain for this rainy season, but not during the new moon week, and it looks as if that prayer will be positively answered in accordance.
Central Florida's freshwater lakes are all on the rise as the state's water management districts have been holding water at the upper thresholds of the seasonal management plans.
Lake Istokpoga's level is at its high pool mark of 38.20 feet above sea level with all gates closed at the spillway.
Lake Okeechobee's level is at 14.20 feet above sea level which is eight inches above its historic level for the beginning of July.
The lower Kissimmee Chain of lakes levels are at 52 feet above sea level with all gates closed.
Lake Toho West--upper Kissimmee Chain--is at 53.75 feet above sea level which is above the upper threshold by a few inches. And Lake Toho East is at 56.50 feet above sea level which is the upper threshold.
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.