The fishing forecast for central Florida's freshwater anglers for the fourth week of September includes a waning full moon phase orbiting toward and apogee on the day of the last-quarter moon. In other words, the moon's influence will be minimal as it arrives at it's furthest orbit point from earth.
The weather forecast for the week starts out today with a low pressure system front that arrived last night and will be passing through the state today. And as is the case when atmospheric pressure declines, likewise the fish also decline or drop in the water column. So, what ever depths you've been having your success over the past few days or weeks, expect to work your baits even lower until barometric pressure starts to rise again into the 30 Hg In plus range.
Shallow-lake anglers which don't have deep enough water to today's low pressure which is forecasted to drop to approximately the 29.88 Hg In range will have a hard time of locating active fish. The deepest water available is where the majority of quality fish will be so unless you can find vegetation in seven feet of depth, you better be locating the deepest open-water grass beds areas in the lake to find success. Or perhaps try fishing one of the many deeper type lakes where fish can access their 'comfort zone' for this particular low pressure period - which I predict will be depths of 12 to 16 foot depths.
When depths of 12 to 16 feet are not available in a lake during low pressure weather systems, the bass for instance get as low as possible to the point where they even use a 'bedding action' to clear-out or hollow-out a place out deep in attempts to try to get deeper to be comfortable. Since that won't work they go into a 'suspension mode' where they essentially 'wait out for an atmospheric pressure increase' which they'll know is happening as their bladders relax - from a lack of pressure to a state of enough pressure.
So to state all this 'stuff' in simple words, the short of it is, finding feeding fish will require more work, deeper presentations of lures and baits, and an retrieve action that is slow with little to no aggressiveness or bait-action. I'll be using extra noise in large plastics with a very slow retrieve coupled with longer pauses than I've used in the previous two months. With barometric pressure reading this low, it will take some time for larger bass to become enticed to strike. And that 'strike' won't be a feeding reaction but rather a defensive reaction where she sucks in the intruder to crush it and then blow it back out dead - a short-strike type bite.
So for the next two days expect to be challenged more than you have in the past month as fish adjust to a different weather system than we've experienced this summer. The tree-piles and deep water structures should really produce in the deeper type lakes during the first half of this week. I'll be going to Crooked Lake and lakes Jackson, June and Placid (Lake Childs).
The major feeding migration of the day occurs from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. as the majority of fish maintain their established feeding pattern of the summer season, even with the weather pattern change which will be too short to have a permeate lasting effect. By Tuesday morning I expect the barometer to be on the rise which will put fish back into the deeper shoreline areas again, which is where most of you anglers prefer to find them. A rating of six to seven will occurs during the peak period from 8-9 a.m.
The minor feeding migration of the day occurs just before the sunset hours from 2-7 p.m. and will have a peak period from 4-6 p.m. that should tip the ratings scale at six, maybe. It will depend on the amount of sunlight and storm activity.
Looking ahead to the second half of this week there will be a cooling trend in the weather pattern which will really cause fish to want to feed-at-will. The ideal comfort feeding zone for bass is from 68-80 degrees at the comfort depths that barometric pressure creates in the water column. So be prepared to really experience excellent fishing results as pressure goes up and water temperatures do down. It will occur in the second half of this week.
I've updated my web page, 'Istokpoga.info' and added several information links that provide all the status information on the lake from the lake management agencies. The latest weed treatment maps are available for download and a 3-D bathymetric map is also available. Real-time weather station data and graphical plots along with spillway gate info flow rates are a click away.
Lake Istokpoga's level is at 39.15 feet above sea level with four S-68 spillway gates open 2.2 feet and flowing at 2400 cubic feet per second (As of Saturday at 4 a.m.) Both influents, Josephine and Arbuckle creeks have a higher volume of water entering the lake than the spillway is releasing so the lake is "not" going down, but is being managed to rise at the September/October management-rate of increase. Currently the lake is just four inches below the maximum allowed level of 39.5 feet above sea level.