Great fishing next few days

The Florida freshwater fishing forecast for the next five days include the new moon on Saturday and the lunar orbit perigee on Thursday.

The best fishing days of the month will occur today through this weekend with the fish biting best during the mid-morning to early afternoon hours.

The weather forecast for the next five days starts out today with absolutely perfect fishing weather with a mild west wind, an even mix of sun and clouds, and temperatures reaching eighty degrees.

Tomorrow a mild cold front enters the state and a 50% chance of rainfall. Temperatures drop about 10 degrees but will rebound quickly Friday and provide ideal weekend fishing weather that will continue into the second half of next week.

The major feeding migration occurs from. 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. with the peak period occurring from 9:30-11:30 a.m. today through the weekend. I expect a feed intensity rating of 8 today due to the approaching front, and then a 7 rating for Thursday and an 8-9 rating for Friday through Sunday.

The minor feeding migration occurs an hour or two before the sunset when the moonset occurs today and closer to the sunset as the weekend arrives. A feed rating of 6 today and a rating of 7-8 tomorrow after the cold front arrives. Friday through the weekend I expect this feed migration to remain in a 6-7 rating due to the moon orbit perigee.

For the month of March I will be promoting "Bait and Tackle Store Appreciation Month" by giving anglers 'artificial bait half day bass fishing trips' for $150, which can be for two anglers, and includes my equipment and baits, and gas. All you need to do is bring any Highlands County bait and tackle store's March 2014 receipt of over $30 with you to the boat ramp on the day of the trip to have the discount. has all the latest lake management information updated as I receive the information from lake management agencies. On the islands the FWC has been burning the vegetative matter from the recent harvester work. The lake level is one inch below the annual high pool mark of 39.50 feet above sea level.

Bass Fishing Report features, yes, more Lake Istokpoga bass fishing trips. It's hard to leave a lake that, day after day, yields on average 6.5-pound bass catches - the February average bass weight.

Pound for pound, a six to seven pound bass gives the best fight of any size bass in the lake. A 14-pound bass might bore through thicker vegetation for 40 feet than any other size bass in the lake, but it won't fight for 45 seconds to a minute with a burst of incredible energy like a 6.5-pound bass will.

This past Monday I motored out of Windy Point boat ramp at safelight to an area of the lake that has been the most consistent of the 12 areas I fish regularly,

Put the same 7-inch Yum Dinger I've used for eight years on the hook, lead by a Gambler rattling bullet weight on 65# yellow braided line, and implemented the same pitch strategy and swim-retrieve method I've used for the past two years.

The first strike came at 8:30 a.m. which I did not feel but instead saw, as my line straightened slightly as my bait fell during the retrieve. I set the hook on that visual-cue and immediately felt the power of a strong bass bending my heavy flipping stick toward the water.

I responded by dropping my rod tip a foot into the water as she forced her way out of the vegetation and under the boat. With my thumb on a freed spool, she was allowed to pull line six times as she went to the lake bottom.

Once the fight subsided, reeling her in with the rod still a foot or two in the water was no problem. She was easy to lead into my vertical waiting net, which I simply turned ninety degrees and up out of the water using the boat as a fulcrum. She measured just less than 24" and had a 16" girth and weighed 7-pounds, 13 ounces.

Once I boat a bass of this size, I know the 'Bite' is on all over the lake, so time to get to work. Fifteen minutes passed as I trolled up the side of the vegetation and this time I feel a slight 'tick' on the reel thumb and snap the rod straight up to set the hook.

The bass responds by charging out of the bulrush and toward deeper water, which I allow for 20 seconds or so before starting to reel her in.

With the rod tip in the water these 'tournament sized bass' stay deep instead of coming to the surface to throw the hook, and become more tired much faster, and go in the waiting vertical net much easier. This time there was a 22 " by 15" bass on the scale weighing in at 6-pounds, 10 ounces.

Those two bass were the biggest of the day as it turned out after boating 10 more bass in the next 90 minutes; 1-22 " by 15", 4- 21-range", 4- 20-range", and 1- 19". We did lost three bass in battle, trying to play them out of the thicker bulrush and lily pads which looked to be in the 20-24" range. Dave Douglass is a bass fishing guide and conservationist in Central Florida. This column can be accessed in full at and Main website: Phone: 863-381-8474. Email: