Excellent fishing next 10 days

The Florida freshwater fishing forecast for the first week of February promises to give anglers an excellent winter weather forecast that will be 'ideal for anglers' to catch their favorite fish.

The lunar phase is waxing toward the first-quarter which means great afternoon-to-evening fishing and since temperatures are finally going to be in the range where fish feed aggressively, the next 10 days will provide very good fishing.

The first half of this week we'll have temperatures in the middle 80s and lows in the middle 60s. This means water temperatures will finally reach the middle-to-upper 60s which will certainly cause all fish to feed every two days as opposed to the two-meal per week pattern of the past three weeks. Add to this fact that the moon will influence fish to feed primarily during the high water-temperature period in the afternoons, there's no reason not to be on the water from noon to sundown this week.

The major feeding migration occurs from 12-5 p.m. today and will move later daily by 50 minutes. The peak period I believe will occur when the water hits the highest temperature reading of the day. The feed duration will still be short, at about an hour but the intensity rate should increase to the 6-7-range as more fish need to feed more often during this new weather pattern.

The minor feeding migration occurs during the early morning hours starting at the sunrise and ending at the moonrise-Safelight 6:40 - 9:40 a.m. today but moving later each day by 50 minutes. The peak period feeding duration will be short, at about 40 minutes and have a feeding intensity rating of 4-5 due to water temps in the 64-65 degree-range.

The second half of this week the first-quarter moon will trigger fish to feed after the sunset and sunrise with ratings in the 5 range. The weather forecast will be five degrees cooler than today with moderate winds from Wednesday through Saturday. There is rain predicted for Wednesday and for next weekend right now, but I'm sure that will change in the duration.

HighlandsBassAngler.com has been steadily improving with the 'Istokpoga.info' page providing more information and the 'More Info' page offering, you guessed it, even more info. The 'Main' page's bass guide packages have had some options' prices lowered and the 'Lake Maps' page has more maps and lake information added. You can access information to assist you on catching fish while out on many of your favorite lakes.

Fishing Facts: During the Bass Spawn Season, the baits that best mimic the predators of bass eggs will trigger defensive reaction strikes, and the occasional feeding strike. The primary attacker of the bass beds are, shiners first and secondly bluegills, and thirdly crawdads.

It's a "fish eat fish' world down there on the lake bottom, and especially now in the annual bass spawn period. These three predator types wait outside the spawning area, waiting to dart quickly into the bed to snatch and grab one of their favorite delicacies. The better you perfect this type of bait 'depth and speed' signature, the better your strike rate will be.

Fishing Fiction: "Selecting the right artificial bait that produces the correct "Bait-Action" is the difference between fishing success and failure". I used to agree with this statement, but over time, I've come to believe it is fiction; a bait manufactures' ploy, to hook anglers into buying more bait for a 'reason' that doesn't exist.

The definition of 'bait-action' in the artificial fishing bait market place is, 'the natural motion and vibrations of a manufacturer's designed bait as it is retrieved through the water column".

Bait designers and manufacturers create baits with a wide variety of 'action' which they all claim will produce more strikes than other baits on the market. Have you ever thought, 'is there a particular bait on the market that doesn't produce 'correct of better action' when it is retrieved or is there a bait that produces the wrong action?'

The obvious answer to those questions is a resounding "no". Just ask any of the bait creators, all their baits are the 'right ones' for you. All bait produces a vibration and thus creates action when pulled through the water. The broad argument and reasoning is, all manufactured bait is equal in this regard and all move in accordance with the natural habitat norm, so the fish investigate.

Bass and all fish can't think in three dimensions. If something moves into their vision, fish consider attacking out of hunger or for the opportunity to kill. A fish strike is primitive at best, nothing more. In fact, in some weather situations, no movement at all works best.

Any manufactured bait's action is just as effective as any other bait. "Better Bait Action" is a ruse. Just put it in front of their nose and let nature take its natural course.

Now if you want to talk about "Matching the Hatch", mimicking the natural prey's characteristics, that is accomplished by perfecting the prey's speed and depth--how much the bait vibrates, shakes, and wiggles doesn't matter. A Senko worm does none of that.

The angler, who puts any bait in front of the fish the most, gets more strikes, period.

Dave Douglass is a bass fishing guide and conservationist in Central Florida. This column can be accessed in full at BassFishingForecast.com and FloridaBassFishingForecast.com. Main website: HighlandsBassAngler.com Phone: 863-381-8474. Email: davidpdouglass@hotmail.com.