Local Sports

Best fishing week on tap

The Florida freshwater fishing forecast for the last eight days of April could not be any better if the weather forecast for the next 10 days is correct.

With the lunar orbit perigee occurring today and the new moon occurring in six days, the morning fishing for the next week will produce the highest fish-feed activity ratings of this month.

The moon ‘overhead’ period is at 8:40 a.m. today and moves later each day by 53 minutes and the ‘underfoot’ period is at 9:06 p.m. and moves later daily by 52 minutes. Also the moonset occurs at 2:30 p.m. today and moves later daily by 62 minutes and the moonrise occurs at 2:50 a.m. today and moves later daily by 46 minutes.

And due to the moon’s orbit activity, the daily atmospheric pressure spike has coincided with the moonset period over the past week and this lunar-produced weather-factor should remain unchanged.

The major feeding migration of the next four days occurs therefore from 7 to 10 a.m. and p.m. with a peak period from 8 to 9 a.m. which will have a feed rating of 6-7.

The minor fishing migration of the next four days occurs from 1 to 4 p.m. and a.m. The peak period will occur then the barometer starts to rise and continue until the pressure stabilizes and or drops. This period could have a better fish feed activity rating than the major migration — depends on the amount of pressure increase.

Fishing Fiction: “All the bass caught and released after weigh-in events at the end of fishing tournaments, swim back to the areas in which they were caught.”

This statement is absolutely false, with not one shred of proof to prove otherwise. In fact all studies of bass behavior prove the exact opposite. Once released near the weigh-in boat ramp, they migrate toward the deepest nearby section of the lake and make that area their new home.

It has been proved that bass have no idea where they were caught, no ability to sense direction home, but instead, just the lake’s contours to follow along, one structure to another toward deeper water. And by the way, bass also don’t migrate to the spawning area in which they were born when they spawn. This is another ‘unwise bass saying’.

Lake Istokpoga’s level is at 39 feet above sea level which is the maximum high pool (maximum low pool is 37.5 feet above sea level) for May 1. During May the max high pool is lowered to 38.25 feet above sea level in preparation for hurricane season on June 1.

The months of April and May all central Florida’s lakes are lowered to their hurricane season ‘safe management levels’ because most lakes fill up anywhere from 3-6 times faster than they can be lowered, depending on how large the rain event is.

Along with the lake’s lowering, there is as a results current flowing southward caused by the releases of water through all the spillway structures. This means fish move through the lakes southward as well. If you learn how the water flows through a particular lake’s bottom contours, you’ll be able to catch more fish.

To access contour maps go online to HighlandsBassAngler.com/lake-maps.html. I offer free contour maps that I have found available on the internet, which I have added boat access ramp locations, and other enhancements. You can view them on your phones or download and print. A great fishing tool to understand some of the reasons why your ‘fishing holes’ are productive. Remember it’s not what you see above the water that attracts fish to your ‘hot spots’ but rather what you don’t see, under the water.

I am offering for the remainder of this month, a two person half-day bass fishing trip for $135 plus a gas fee of $25 to 50 depending on boat travel required. The lake can be any lake in Highlands County. The best fishing days of April are the last eight days.

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. Email: davidpdouglass@hotmail.com.