Tuesday, Jul 22, 2014

Weather forces fish deeper


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The fishing forecast for this week will give anglers a developing last-quarter lunar phase that is three days past orbit perigee today, and consistent typical hurricane season weather patterns.

Atmospheric pressure will be on the decline the next four to five days, however it will be a slow moving drop in barometric pressure, starting out with 30.20 In Hg today and dropping to 29.97 In Hg by this Sunday.

Water temperatures start out in the early morning hours just slightly below 80 degrees and finish at 85 degrees by 5 p.m.

Since barometric pressure will be causing fish to migrate slightly deeper each day, fish will be in the three to five foot depths in the early morning hours, but as water temps climb to the 82 degree mark, fish will move deeper to accommodate their need for proper dissolved oxygen levels and ideal feeding temperatures. However, the trophy bass will remain deeper, waiting in ambush at the five foot depths in the early morning, and moving to the five to eight foot depths by 10 a.m.

By midday all fish will be migrating deeper by at least two to three feet from their morning feeding depths and trophy sized bass to depths of eight to 12 feet where digestion and suspension takes place best in the summer months.

During the summer months, heat forces fish to migrate further during the daytime than at another time of year. The larger taller tree-piles at depths of 20 feet would be the only place of exception to this seasonal migration norm. Orange trees of 12 to 15 feet tall anchored along the fishes' normal migration routes will keep large numbers of fish of all sizes in close proximity.

Shallow lakes are more of a challenge because fish must migrate as deep as possible and that might not be deep enough to accommodate digestion speeds needed to keep up with temperature-controlled summertime diet requirements.

Increased heat causes greater appetite, however the hotter temperatures also have less oxygen present so digestion slows down dramatically unless oxygen-producing grass beds are healthy and close to eight to ten foot depths. Find these types of places in the lake and you'll be finding success.

The major feeding migration of the day occurs from 3 to 8 a.m. over the next four days. The peak period will turn on when bright sunlight appears and vegetation starts producing oxygen, 7:30 to 8 a.m. The rating will be in the five to six range with a fast start and a short duration of 30 minutes.

The minor feeding migration of the day occurs from 4 to 8 p.m. and will have a peak period from 6:30 to 8 p.m. that should reach five on the ratings scale of ten, ten being best.

Local big bass angler Chris King landed a 'career best bass' this past Sunday on Lake Placis, boating a 28 inch bass with an 18 inch girth, weighing 13.80 pounds.

He was using eight-pound test fluorocarbon line and 1/0 hook, drop-shot rigging, using small plastics. The battle lasted almost 20 minutes as the trophy bass pulled line several times before giving up.

Congrats Chris, it takes hundreds of bass fishing trips to find one of those big girls and it's another thing all together to trick her into striking artificial baits. Then it's very tricky to get her into the boat on line that light, one misstep and she'll snap the stressed out line with ease. I can tell you all about it.

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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