The fishing forecast for central Florida's freshwater lakes and waterways includes a new moon that will be three days past its orbit apogee and a typical stormy season weather forecast. All fishing factors considered, anglers can expect very good fishing results during the mornings, and depending on whether or not your favorite lakes are the target of thunderstorms in the afternoon and evenings, fishing should be just as good from suppertime to an hour after the sunset.
Even though Tuesday's new moon is just three days past its furthest orbit point from earth - which means its weak as compared to when it's closest to earth (perigee)-it will still cause greater numbers of fish to feed daily for longer durations than will occur during the first and last quarter moon phases which will not be close to the lunar perigee.
For instance this month the lunar orbit perigee occurs three days before the full moon, which certainly means this month's full moon will have a strong affect on improving the feeding migrations. Therefore planning fishing trips for the seventeenth through the twenty-second days of this month will give anglers the best fishing-trips days that this month has to offer. The second and fourth weeks of this month will be more challenging generally speaking for the majority of anglers - experienced anglers have a better understanding of how to get a non-feeding fish to react and strike. Both the orbit position from earth and the moon phases will not act as triggers. Instead weather conditions combined with the sunset and sunrise will be the major determining factors that cause fish to feed or not to feed.
During the summer heat, fish need deeper water more often on a daily basis than at any other time of year. For this reason locating the 'drop-offs' with the sharpest declines in depth, will be essential for catching lots of fish.
For instance in Lake Jackson, there are areas of the lake where the shoreline depths of three feet are very close to depths of 12 feet - a distance of less than 200 yards.
There are areas that require a distance of a quarter mile to achieve the same nine foot change in depth. The difference in the quality and amount of fish in the two types of areas is substantial. The shorter deep water distance will always hold more fish, a lot more fish in fact. It is also true that those long distance gradual depth change areas hold no fish at all. Ten percent of the lake holds 90 percent of the lake's fish. All you have to accomplish is to find how that 'ten percent' is divided throughout the lake.
A 'big bass hunter' knows it is essential to find the areas of the lake where 20-plus feet of depth are very close to the 12-foot depths. Understanding these characteristics of the lake greatly increases your chances for excellent fishing results.
It is important to remember that all fish prefer the least amount of work in order to eat and when not eating they prefer a 'sense of cover and protection' and a sharp drop-off with vegetation provides this in both cases. These areas also provide fish the ease of migrating to the depth best for comfortable 'bladder pressure', for both eating and digesting foods, and the cooler temperatures provide the right dissolved oxygen levels.
Also in these areas, you'll find man-placed tree-piles and fish attractors - experienced anglers, before you came along, knew exactly where fish already liked to reside so they assisted the fish's normal behavior by providing 'cover', (now you know, all it takes is a bathymetric map of the lake to find the deeper tree-piles quickly - learning this saves you a lot of time and gas money)
But remember, all tree-piles and attractors are the property of "All Anglers". If you put the tree-pile out there you don't own it, so don't get angry when you see me or other anglers fishing it before you get to it.
This week barometric pressure will not move much above or below 30 In Hg, and water temperatures will remain stable as well, so fish will not be moving from where they have been 'comfortable' over the past five to six weeks - it's the summer fishing pattern of 3-6 feet feeding depths and 12 foot digestion depths.
The major feeding migration of the day occurs from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will have a peak period from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. that will not advance later into the day because the moon is 'weak' being close to orbit apogee.
The fact that there is 'no moonlight' during the new moon phase means more fish won't feed as successfully at night, meaning more daytime feeders.
The minor feeding migration of the day occurs at two times, from safelight to sunrise and from the sunset to full darkness. Needless to say, but the early morning hours are more fun for the angler due to cooler temperatures, however the lakes dissolved oxygen rates are lowest at this time and some lakes this is a major issue - shallow lakes especially.
Therefore if you understand the right depths of the feeding fish during the sunset, you could really 'slay them' so to speak, otherwise it's best to cover a lot of water until you do discover where they are feeding.
Lake Istokpoga's level is at 38.10 feet above sea level with four S-68 spillway gates open
at 1.5 feet and flowing 1500 feet per second-Friday 5 p.m. status.
The "Mystery Bass Weight Contest" has had many participants but no correct guesses yet. Feel free to call me or email me with your guess using my contact info. Please enter the weight in pounds and ounces. Leave your cell phone number and name. The correct or closest guess entry wins a free half-day bass fishing trip. Contest ends Aug. 31.
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.