Friday, Apr 18, 2014

Super moon to produce ideal fishing conditions


The central Florida freshwater fishing forecast for the first week of the new year starts today with a "super moon," which is the first of two super moons that will occur this month. The second one occurs on Jan. 30 and also has the lunar orbit perigee which is the reason for the designation of the term "super."

On both days this month, the moons' fishing influence will be at the highest possible level so anglers can expect larger concentration of fish participating within the feeding migrations during the three days prior and two days after each new moon. And since the new moon feeding migrations occur during the midday hours, this means the week before the lunar event will produce a great "morning fishing bite" which is exactly when most anglers prefer to go fishing.

Now the full moon needs some recognition as well because this month it will occur on Jan. 16 and with it, the lunar orbit apogee occurs, which makes it the weakest full moon of the year. However like the new moon event, the full moon event also produces a midday feeding migration and this means the week prior will also cause a very good morning fishing bite.

So if you're counting the number of days this month that will be well above average producing fishing days that would be 16 days of great morning and midday fishing. And one additional positive point you need to remember about these fishing periods this month, the moonrise and moonset both will produce excellent minor feeding migrations during the sunrise and sunset. So even the anglers who prefer to fish evenings can look forward to very productive fishing during the last hours of sunlight during the lunar event's arrivals.

The weather for the next four days is forecasted to provide significant cloud-cover and a slight chance of rain for some areas of the Heartland. Atmospheric pressure will continue to stay above 30.20 In Hg which means all fish will be very comfortable in as shallow water as they desire to migrate to. I expect the larger bass to be in a range of four to seven feet where vegetative cover has a combination of thick and semi-thick growth.

Water temperatures are still ideal for bass to spawn in if they have adequate protection in depths of six to eight feet - where the temperatures are in the mid-60s (contrary to what some anglers say, the bass ideal spawning temperature is middle to low 60s and not in the 50s) Remember the surface temperature is not the same six to eight feet down, but is on average about five to six degrees colder - perfect for a bass spawn bed.

Wind will be a challenge tomorrow and Friday with speeds in the middle teens gusting up to 20 mph. However, on Friday, cloud cover is forecasted to diminish somewhat causing fish to hold tighter to protective cover. Conversely, with cloud cover like we have today, which is near 100-percent, bass will be roaming the entire feeding migration area and could even suspend their digestive state out in open water depths with just a blade of grass or a small bump as a holding marker.

The major feeding migration of the day for the remainder of this week begins today from 10:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. and will have a peak period for 90 minutes starting at 11 a.m. The feed rating on the 10-scale, with 10 being best, should reach nine today. Each day expect this migration to start about 45 minutes later and diminish slightly over the next three days both in intensity and duration.

The minor feeding migration of the will be during the sunrise and sunset which will be accompanied by both the moonrise and moonset. For this reason they will produce above average fishing results. Expect the next four days to produce a feed rating of seven to eight that starts about an hour before each solar event and last for about an hour, maybe longer as the right after the sunset.

The weekend fishing forecast should improve weather-wise as the winds shift from an easterly direction on Saturday to a southerly direction for Sunday. Cloud cover will be about 50-percent Saturday and mostly sunny for Sunday. There is a front arriving late Sunday night which will cool things down about ten degrees.

Next week's fishing forecast right now looks to be more of the same of what we have for the remainder of this week - More clouds than sun for most days and winds from a northerly direction and under 10 mph and temperatures in the mid-70s for a high and the mid-50s for a nighttime low.

Fishing Facts: Bass don't spawn when water temperatures on the lake's bottom drop into the 50s as an average. Since bass prefer to spawn as deep as possible, for the simple reason there is more safety in increased depths, than the other way around - more shallow, this means that when your sonar unit reads 70 on the surface it is telling you that bass are spawning at depths of three feet or deeper.

And like all God's creatures, when the mating process is in action, they are not easily discovered, are well protected, and sense anyone trying to interrupt them. So don't expect to find them for they are a modest creature at this time and prefer to protect you, the angler, from thinking and acting like they want to be caught, in the act.

Note: Access to the full article and additional fishing information can be access by going online to or use

Dave Douglass is a bass fishing guide and conservationist since 2006 in Highlands County. Website: Phone: 863-381-8474. Email:


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