Fishing has never been better

The fishing forecast for central Florida's freshwater anglers during the last four days of August will give the early morning fishermen a top-rated experience. The last-quarter lunar phase starts today and the lunar orbit apogee occurs on Friday, meaning a fairly weak influence when compared to the orbit perigee. However with the majority of fish feeding in their summertime pattern, any assistance from this particular phase really makes a positive difference during the morning hours. Speaking of the 'summertime feeding pattern' if you've been fishing during the early morning hours lately, you already know exactly what I'm talking about. Every angler, and I do mean "every", has been reporting their best catches during the hours directly after the sunrise. No matter what the atmospheric pressure is doing, no matter what day the lunar phase cycle is in, fish are doing the bulk of their daily feeding during this time of day. Reports of more than a dozen fish have been the norm per angler. Without a doubt, fish feed more comfortably during the coolest daytime water temperature period. And since here in Central Florida this year we've had above average rainfall, every lake in Highlands County is back to, or above the lakes' average historic levels.
And since grasses and weeds have grown thickly along the previously receded shorelines for the past five years, now with two feet of water on those vegetative areas, oxygen levels within those water columns are at the ideal range for feeding fish of all sizes and species to feed vigorously. In other words, the shoreline areas nearest the deeper holes of the lake are teaming with feeding fish every day. Fishing from the shorelines right now is more productive than during the previous five years by far. This is an excellent year for new anglers to start learning to fish. If you've ever wanted to try fishing in the 'Fishing Capital of the World" now is the time to start. No matter where I go on a daily basis I have people talk to me about freshwater fishing. And they have been saying, "I bet all this rain is really putting a damper on fishing isn't it?" My first initial response is, only when it rains where and when I'm fishing, which hasn't happened so far this summer - this produces a puzzled look on most faces--colloquially speaking, they've taken the bait and it's time to set the hook. I continue with the hook-set, "Since bass and most other game fish species don't prefer to feed during bad weather and the hottest parts of the summer days, I've been out on the lake from 5:30 a.m. to 12 p.m. at the latest, which is why the rain doesn't matter". And I add before they can respond, "All this rain has me in the best fishing mood since 2005-2006, before the one-in-one-hundred-year drought started." After their coinciding nod I continue with, "The shorelines of our lakes have thick growth all along the shorelines and now that those areas are covered with two feet of water or more, causing fish to migrate in large numbers to those areas for the entire morning." At this point in the conversation I can see the light go "on" as thoughts of them 'successfully fishing' enters their minds. I ask, "When was the last time you went fishing this summer?" and the answer is almost always the same, "I haven't yet". At this point I hand them my business card and wink, "You're missing out on the best fishing the Bass Capital of the World has ever produced--you better give me a call". Chances are, you're one of those anglers who has not realized that all this rain has made freshwater fishing here in Central Florida, better than ever. A drought that we haven't seen in 100 years is officially over, the fish know it and are responding accordingly, and you should too. I would hate to see you miss out on a "One in One Hundred Year Fishing Extravaganza" If you're unsure where to fish from the shorelines of a lake, don't hesitate to email me with your questions and I'll be sure to supply maps and info free of charge. My dear angling friends, it doesn't get any better than this here in Highlands Counties' freshwater lakes. It's time to 'go fishing'. The major feeding migration of the day occurs from 5:30 - 11:30 a.m. over the next five days. This time of day the feed rating will be at nine or ten during the peak period of 7-9 a.m. A high pressure system is hovering around the panhandle of our great state and this will trigger fish to migrate into shoreline areas in larger numbers today and perhaps tomorrow. Seriously, if you need any assistance at all, call or email me without hesitation. I look forward to working with all anglers of all levels of experience. Dave Douglass is a bass fishing guide and conservationist since 2006 in Highlands County. Website: Phone: 863-381-8474. Email: