The central Florida fishing forecast for this week will give anglers a normal stormy season weather forecast during the best fishing days of the month due to celestial influences.
All fishing factors considered, the fish will be feeding during the most comfortable hours of the day for anglers and for the hottest month of the year, that's as good as it can get for the anglers of Florida's Heartland.
The weather factor for today includes the highest reading of the atmospheric pressure plot of the next four days and this means more fish and larger fish along shoreline areas. And as the barometer just starts to tick downward there will be more fish moving deeper to compensate for the change, starting with the largest members of the species first.
Ten-pound bass for instance will be moving into ambush cover areas to wait for the smaller bait-fish to get done feeding and move out into deeper water to digest meals in a suspension state. From what I can determine from my chair here at 5 a.m. Tuesday morning, that barometric decline should start for Highlands County early this morning within a few hours of sunrise.
And again, as I have stated in previous articles, for anglers in deeper lakes who prefer open water fishing, the fish move lower on the tree-piles by a few feet and for shallow water lake anglers flipping pitching and jigging shorelines, fish will be moving out to the edges of vegetative areas - from three to five foot depths to six to eight foot depths.
Looking back to when the barometric pressure hit its high point for this week, Monday night/Tuesday morning early, fish moved in large numbers into more shallow depths or 'up in the water column'. So if you get the timing right and you're on the lake as this pressure change reverses, you'll have a much greater chance of catching more fish.
The lunar factor includes the first-quarter moon phase which starts today and it is moderately strong in that the lunar orbit perigee occurs this Sunday. The only negative is that each night there will be more moonlight attracting or causing more fish to feed during the night, which means less daytime feeders. All in all, this particular moon phase means comfortable productive fishing during the coolest parts of the day.
The major feeding migrations of the day occur during the 5-10 hours of the day. Today I predict that both the morning and evening periods will be equal in overall feed rating, climbing up the scale to seven. However tomorrow the early morning period will be better by a half number and the evening counterpart declines slightly by the same amount. By Friday the early morning period will reach an eight rating while the evening period drops to six due to cloud cover and storm activity - if no clouds expect the rating to almost equal the morning period.
The minor feeding migration of the day occurs during the 12-2 hours of the day. There really is no real peak period as the smaller members of the species feed briefly and perhaps a larger member of the species didn't quite eat enough during the major feeding period - most likely it's the smartest bass in the lake that feeds during this period, and remember, that would also mean it's the largest bass in the lake too. Find the areas of the lake that have the deepest water combined with the shortest distance to shoreline vegetation and she'll be there. Good luck to you.
The weekend is the start to the full moon week since the full moon arrives this Tuesday. And as stated previously, the moon is closest to earth on Sunday. This lunar factor will greatly improve fishing results for Saturday and Sunday mornings when the midmorning hours of the day become the best fishing times. I'm expecting the feed rating to tip the scale at nine for both mornings as the affects of the moon are at its fullest monthly power. Expect a peak period from eight to eleven during the mornings.
Fishing Facts: When bass fishing with artificial baits, as I do 99.5 percent of the time by myself or with clients, and when the water temperatures are in the middle eighties, 'retrieval speeds' and 'action' need to be adjusted to match the bait-fish's summertime pattern.
Since the metabolisms of fish are at their highest yearly speeds, it is essential for bait-fish to move quickly from one 'point of cover' to another when adjusting to weather changes. I have found that a very fast advancement of my bait from one 'point of vegetative contact' to another, combined with a rather long wait at the cover point - as if I'm attempting to hide my bait from being eaten-signals to the predator fish the right vibrations and look, to attract and heighten the larger species' appetite.
Using a rod tip movement instead of cranking the reel, will help the angler to visualize the distance of the vegetation below and the thickness distance of that cover. The movement through the cover should be smooth, without jerking the rod tip, and steady - bait-fish don't jerk their way through cover, instead they swim smoothly and carefully, you should retrieve in a similar action and speed.
Once in open water with no cover, they move swiftly along the bottom until they get to the next safe zone of vegetative cover. Also installing a 'noise maker' in the plastic bait also mimics the sounds of a feeding bait-fish. And this means to the predator fish a much more tasty meal.
Lake Istokpoga's level is at 38.35 feet above sea level with four S-69 spillway gates opened 1.3 feet flowing 1300 cubic feet per second. It should be noted by boaters that where Arbuckle Creek comes into Istokpoga there is a sandbar less than a foot under the surface in two openings to the creek. Right now it is easy to identify since the flowing influent water has a 'rapids appearance'. The more easterly bar requires at least 100 yards of distance from the shoreline pencil reeds and lily pads to navigate safely.
Dave Douglass is a bass fishing guide and conservationist since 2006 in Highlands County. Website: HighlandsBassAngler.com Phone: 863-381-8474. Email: email@example.com.