Local Sports

Best fishing in morning

The Florida freshwater fishing forecast for the third week of August will be an ‘early morning fisherman’s delight’ with lunar and solar factors working together during the sunrise and early morning periods and before stormy weather systems build throughout the state.

With the first-quarter moon phase this week--it arrives today--fish will be forming feeding migrations as the moon reaches the overhead and moonset positions. This morning, the sunrise occurs at 6:57 a.m. and the moon reaches the overhead position 15 minutes later. And about six hours later, the noon hour ends and the moonset occurs one hour later. Both periods will be the best times of the day to go fishing over the next three or four days.

The major feeding migration of the day occurs from 6 to 9 a.m. today with a peak period from 7 to 8:30 a.m. that will have a 1-in-10 feed rating of 8. Daily this migration moves later by 50 minutes. On Wednesday the migration time will be 9 a.m. to noon and will increase in feed intensity during the second half of this week as the new moon arrives a week from tomorrow.

The minor fishing migration of the day occurs from 12:30 to 3 p.m. as the moonset happens. The peak period occurs for 45 minutes, centered on the time of the moonset—today at 2 p.m. A rating of 6 is likely, especially with ‘atmospheric pressure change’ added to the mix—hopefully. Daily this migration moves later by fifty minutes.

The second half of this week the mid-morning to late morning hours will really become active with feeding fish as the moon’s overhead position starts to work with the sun’s overhead position.

So daytime anglers, the next 10 days will be the best fishing days of August, due to the factors that cause fish to adjust and feed occurring when anglers prefer to go fishing—during the ‘cool of the morning’.

Fishing Fact: For anglers to catch fish regularly and or more often, the following needs to happen; first, learn what time of day the fish are biting. The angler must keep track of when he catches his fish. If he does achieve this it won’t be long before he realizes that the moon is the one fishing influence that has been causing him to catch fish or not to catch fish, all along. You can get everything right about fishing but miss this factor and it’s all for nothing.

So if you didn’t realize it, you should have been giving the moon credit for its effect on the earth’s atmosphere as to ‘why’ you caught fish when you did. Therefore consulting a lunar fishing chart that allows you to plug-in a zip code, is essential. (My website provides website links for this on the ‘More Info’ page).

Second, learn what areas of the lake have fish feeding daily. The angler must fish in areas of the lake that naturally hold fish populations. You can get every fishing factor correct, as in fishing when fish feed, and if you don’t get this factor right, you won’t catch fish---working your bait where no fish are. Consulting a lake contour map and learning how to read the lake bottom depth-characteristics will put you close enough to natural feeding areas and thus discover feeding fish.

Third, learn how to select and present your bait in harmony with the feeding areas, particular natural habitat characteristics. After selecting a bait that resembles the natural feeding food-chain members for a particular feeding area (worm, crawdad, bait fish, snake, frog, etc.) the angler needs to learn to present the bait as natural as possible—minimal, if not, no splash at all on bait-entry, a natural slow fall in the water column, and a retrieve that mimics the food-chain member’s natural movements.

Once the angler has started to master these three foundation fishing factors, ‘angling success’ will increase.

Need some assistance in perfecting your angling ability or in learning how to read a lake contour map to locate fish, or to retrieve a bait through the thickest, toughest vegetation in the lake in a manner as to attract fish to your bait? Perhaps you should consider a half-day, six hour bass fishing trip on your boat or mine.

For August I am offering a half-day bass fishing trip for one to three people that include bait, tackle, and gas for $225. Launch time is at 6 a.m. and the trip ends at noon. Or I can fish from your boat and guide you to my fishing holes for $125 per day. Book your trip on my boat or yours today.

Lake Istokpoga News: On August 28, the Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) will be holding an Istokpoga Weed and Hydrilla Management Meeting at 10 Lake June Clubhouse Road in Lake Placid at 10 a.m. There will be FWC biologists presenting general weed management and hydrilla management status updates and future plans.

The Highlands County Lake Istokpoga Management Committee (LIMC) will also hold a general meeting on Sept. 4 at 9 a.m. in Room 3 of the Agriculture Civic Center located at 4344 George Blvd.

Need a lake contour map of the lake you are fishing? Visit FloridaLakesMaps.com where I’ve published every Florida lake map and lake-map website link I could find.

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