Local Sports

April produces great fishing action

The Florida freshwater fishing forecast for the first six days of April will give anglers ideal fishing weather and a lunar phase that influences fish to feed in the midmorning and mid-afternoon hours.

So if you like to fish the sunrise and sunset periods of the day the remainder of this week the moon will be helping you to catch more quality fish.

The weather forecast really couldn't be any better, with moderate to mild winds mostly from a southerly direction, and an even mix of sun and clouds daily with a high and low temperature of 87 and 65 respectively. In fact, the next five days will give us our first heat wave of the year with temperatures reaching 90 degrees or higher by this Monday. Tuesday through Thursday will see a cold front move through, dropping temps back to a 73/53 high, low degree-range as a strong westerly wind prevails.

The current lunar phase puts the moonrise at 9:12 a.m. today, and about 46-50 minutes later over the next five days. The moon arrives overhead at 4 p.m. today, and moves later by 50 minute daily. The moonset period occurs at 10:48 p.m. today, and moves 45 minutes later tomorrow.

The atmospheric pressure plot of the past three days has produced a moderate spike in pressure an hour after the moonrise period, and as a result, bass feeding action picked up considerably. Last Sunday through Tuesday, like clockwork, the best bass action was from 8:45-10:45 a.m. when the highest barometric pressure reading of the day occurred.

I believe the major feeding migration of the day will occur from 3-7 p.m. and have a peak period from 4-5:30 p.m. that achieves a feed intensity rating of 6-7 today. I predict that as this feeding period moves later into the afternoon and evening the rating will pick-up one number. Friday through Sunday the sunset period will be excellent.

The minor fishing migration of the day probably won't be minor at all. As stated, atmospheric pressure increases have helped this feeding period and I expect this to continue as a southerly wind daily brings higher pressure readings from 9 a.m. to noon. The peak period will occur on the moonrise and last for 90 minutes, reaching a feed intensity of 6-7.

Lake Istokpoga's latest management news: The Fish and Wildlife Commission is conducting a controlled burn of cattails along the east sides of Big Island and Bumblebee Island as weather permits. For the latest updated burn map, visit www.Istokpoga.info. I have added indicators and comment boxes that identify the treatment areas and areas that have been omitted due to the presence of the federally protected Snail Kite birds.

Free fishing days this weekend: The FWC has waived the need for a license for both residents and non-residents on April 5-6. All people are exempt for two days from needing a license to go fishing statewide.

To close-out the snowbird season, I am offering a half-day bass fishing trip on Lake Istokpoga, for one or two people (resident and non-resident alike) for $135, which includes equipment and artificial baits. In some cases if extensive boat travel is needed to succeed, a gas fee of $25 will be added.

The month of April is when water temperatures stabilize in the 70 degree range, which causes all fish to feed at the highest rates of the year. The bass are all done spawning and feeding heavily as panfish species are spawning. Anglers have a six-week window of ideal temperatures and bass are as active as they can be.

Dave Douglass is a bass fishing guide and conservationist in Central Florida. The full article is published at BassFishingForecast.com and FloridaBassFishingForecast.com. Main website: HighlandsBassAngler.com Phone: 863-381-8474. Email: davidpdouglass@hotmail.com