Great fishing weather to continue

The Florida freshwater fishing forecast for this week starts out today with a very minor low pressure cold front that will not change fishing at all because warm temperatures will prevail until next Monday. And the first-quarter moon phase is the dominant fishing factor for the next four days, as it causes fish to feed early and late in the day.

All fishing factors considered, catching your favorite fish for the next four days will be very enjoyable. The only fishing factor that might need some consideration is a medium wind speed during this weekend and a slight chance of rain in some areas of the Heartland today. Other than that, what is not to like?

As already mentioned, the first-quarter lunar phase takes place this week, on Thursday while the moon's orbit is half way between the perigee and apogee. The moonrise and set occurs at 11:02 a.m. and p.m. today. Therefore the moon underfoot will be the center of the major feeding period in the morning and the moon overhead the center of the major feeding period in the evening.

So for the remainder of this week, the two most favorite times in which anglers love to go fishing (early mornings, and late evenings) will be the most productive times to go fishing as well. And since water temperatures have finally climbed into the 'ideal fish feeding range' with highs and lows in the middle to upper sixties to lower seventies, fish will be very aggressive along shorelines as the sun rises and sets.

The major feeding migrations occur today from 4-7 a.m. and p.m. and will have a peak period from 5-6 a.m. and p.m. I believe the evening period will have a slightly better feed intensity rating of 7 while the morning period building to a 6 rating.

Thursday's major migrations I believe will be better than today but not in the feeding intensity rating - which will remain the same as today's rating-but in the feeding duration time of the peak period, which I predict will be an hour longer; 5-7 a.m. and p.m.

The minor feeding migrations occur during the midday and midnight hours from 11-2 a.m. and p.m. I doubt there will be a peak period but the feed intensity rating probably will climb to 4-5 on the one-in-ten scale.

The weekend fishing forecast will have a wind factor to consider with a medium southerly wind in the middle teens for mph. The major feeding migrations move to 6-9:30 a.m. and p.m. and should have a rating averaging near a 5-rating. is still being updated as I have time to add fishing tools and information that will put you on more fish more often. As I have always said, "If an angler knows the better times of the day to go fishing, and knows the areas of the lake that are better for holding feeding fish, he'll get hooked on fishing and pass this great character building tool on to others"

I will be adding weekly information on the County's lake manager's work schedules so that 'ideal fishing plans' can be developed in lakes where weed management is essential for maintaining a great fishery. Knowing where not to fish due to recent herbicide treatments of invasive weeds, can mean the difference between a 'moment in time' to be remembered, and a moment that time should forget.

Thanks to Vicki Pontius, Highlands County Parks and Natural Resources Director, for providing assistance and information which enables me to provide this for you on my website.

Fishing Facts: When bright sunlight prevails, all fish move in closer to protective cover, whether it is thicker vegetation, a drop-off break, a tree-pile or fish attractor, or more turbid water areas, or deeper water areas. The more they can't see predators, the more natural they will be moving about freely.

Fishing Fiction: "Bass don't like high turbidity water and leave those areas for cleaner water". I too, used to believe this until I began spending a lot of time on lakes like Istokpoga, Okeechobee, and Toho. I soon realized as I entered my days' fishing results into my Excel Spreadsheet, that after fishing shallow muck-type lakes, that my better days were in areas of moderate wave action and the subsequent turbidity that comes with that wind into the fishing area.

Both larger bass and larger numbers of middle-sized bass increased by forty percent when I could only see my black and blue worms and jigs for about the first 1.5 to 2 feet of the lake's surface, as they dropped. I could fish closer to the structures and not see my catch numbers decline. It is also the only time too, when I have caught a double digit pound bass within a rod-length distance from the boat. Love that Istokpoga turbid water cover.

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: