Monday, Sep 22, 2014

Fish early for best results


Published:

The fishing forecast for the next seven days will give anglers a typical summer weather forecast and a last-quarter moon phase that is half way toward its orbit apogee. In other words, a moderately strong early morning feeding migration will result along with a fairly decent sunset feeding migration.

The weather forecast predicts a weak wind speed that will come out of the west today, and from the northeast tomorrow, then out of an easterly direction for Tuesday and southeasterly direction during the midweek, all with wind speeds under 5 mph - let's hope they got that last part wrong, I'd rather see an 8 to 10 mph speed.

Barometric pressure will remain stable over the next four days hovering at 30 In Hg which is about where it has been for the past week or so. With atmospheric pressure and air and water temperatures remaining basically unchanged, all species of fish will stay where you've found them for the past two weeks or so.

The only change factor to pay attention to is the lunar factor. Each day the moon loses a little more 'effect' power per se, since it is seven days away from the orbit apogee - furthest point of its 28-day orbit around the earth. Tomorrow the last-quarter moon phase arrives which will put the moon overhead during the safelight hours of the morning just before the sunrise. The combined celestial activities will benefit the early morning anglers.

Due to the dissolved oxygen rates being at the lowest point of the day during the 3 to 6 a.m. hours of the day the lunar and solar triggered feeding migration will start a little later than predicted by the popular published solunar charts and graphs.

According to my records with similar fishing factors plugged in, the early morning feeding migrations starts very slowly but speeds up considerably a half hour after full sunlight strikes the water's surface along thick heavy vegetative areas. Once the fish start to feed, it lasts for several hours and always achieves a much higher feed rating on the ten-scale system that forecasted by Rick Taylor, Field and Stream, and other sources.

The major feeding migration of the day occurs therefore from 5 to 10 a.m. and will have a peak period from 7 to 9 a.m. that will achieve a seven rating on the one-in-ten scale system, with ten being best.

This will be mainly true along deeper shoreline vegetations. Tree-piles and other deeper water structures will be more active toward the end of this feeding migration, peaking from 8:30 to 10 a.m., this occurs due to the smaller members of the species migrating out to their deep water summer homes after they've successfully fed along shorelines. The larger fish know this migration trend and wait in ambush along routes to and from twelve foot deep tree-piles and grass fields.

The minor feeding migration of the day occurs from 6 to 10 p.m. and will have a peak period from 7:30 to 9:30 p.m. that should reach a five on the ratings scale. The feeding migration sequence reverse from the morning migration; the tree-piles will have the feeding action early in the period and the shorelines will have the action toward the end since dissolved oxygen levels will be at the highest levels of the day right after the sunset.

Bass for instance will be sitting along the deeper shoreline vegetations as all members of the food-chain arrive to feed as cooler water starts to take the higher oxygenated water down into the deeper parts of the lake.

Due to the wind forecast predicting weak speeds all week from the west for a day, north for the next day, and east on the next day, it will put the smallest members of the lake's food-chains out in deeper water-unless of course you fish on a very small lake in which case the windy, wavy side is where the food will be. On Istokpoga however, the plankton will be out in the open water.

The second half of this week, or the start of the month of August, there will be a tropical storm or depression to consider which could interfere with the 'new moon week' which starts next Saturday and Sunday - the new moon arrives next Tuesday. For this reason, Friday morning could be 'one excellent fishing day' as a drop in barometric pressure occurs as the storm leaves the Cuba area.

So if you're were planning to fish during the new moon week starting this weekend, you might want to reconsider and make plans to fish the mornings and evenings over the next five to six days. The chance of rain this week is forecasted to remain under 30 percent and if that holds true, the sunrise and sunset periods of the day will provide excellent fishing conditions.

When is the last time you had a monster trophy bass smash a top-water lure? This week will be ideal to make that happen, give it a try.

Lake Istokpoga's level is at 38.23 feet above sea level with four gates opened 2.5 feet and flowing 2,500 cubic feet per second - Saturday 9 a.m. status.

Lake Okeechobee's level is at 15.65 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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