Local Sports

Best fishing week on tap

The Florida freshwater fishing forecast for fourth week of June includes the new moon and the usual rainy season thunderstorms during the afternoons.

Of all the weeks this month, this week offers anglers the best fishing days due to the moon being overhead during the morning hours for the first half of the week and during the noon hours for the second half of the week.

The early morning angler will see the best fishing action for the next three days as fish begin to move throughout feeding grounds as the sun rises while the moon arrives overhead a few hours later. The combined solar and lunar affects will produce the best catches of the month during the coolest time of day to go fishing.

So if you’ve been waiting for the fish to bite better and want to fish when it’s comfortable, this is the week to clear your schedule and get out on the water before the sun comes up.

The summer heat so far has not caused water temperatures to reach the yearly high mark of the high 80s with surface temperatures rising to the lower-to-middle 80s by the middle of the afternoon. And during the early morning hours the ideal feeding temperature occurs or starts at depths of about four feet and only becomes better for feeding fish the deeper you work your bait—12 foot depths have the best feeding temperature of 78 degrees.

The atmospheric pressure plot for the first half of this week is forecasted to remain just above 30 In Hg with little fluctuation until the midday hours. This will produce a very noticeable fish feeding pattern daily, giving anglers consistent fishing factors in order to accurately predict where the better fish will be feeding.

Winds are forecasted to be “ideal’ with westerly and southerly mild winds just strong enough to keep bugs out of your face and body heat at a bearable and even comfortable level.

The major feeding migration of the day occurs as the moon is overhead today at 10:27 a.m. The peak period should start at 9 a.m. and peak at a rating of 7-8 at 10 a.m. and end just before noon. And depending on the weather during the early morning, the feeding bite could starts during the sunrise and last until 11 a.m. today and tomorrow. Daily this feeding migration moves later into the day by 50 minutes.

The minor fishing migration of the day occurs during the moonrise and set periods from the 4-6 a.m. for the moonrise and 5-7 p.m. for the moonset. The moonrise moves later daily by 44 minutes and the moonset moves later daily by 55 minutes.

I expect to experience the best fishing the month of June has to offer this week. .

For the summer months, June, July, and August, I am offering a half-day bass fishing trip for one to three people that include bait and tackle, for $225. Launch time is at 6 a.m. and the trip ends at noon. Book your trip today.

Lake Istokpoga’s level is at 38.50 feet above sea level which is three inches above the hurricane season maximum pool mark of 38.25’. Four S68 spillway gates are open, three at 1.6 feet and one at .80 feet and flowing a total of1,500 cubic feet per second to comply with the seasonal water management schedule.

You can access all Lake Istokpoga information such as lake management plans and events, current spillway status, real-time data and many other facts concerning Highlands County’s top fishery by visiting Istokpoga.info.

And, if you would like to view and or print a lake contour map of the lake you are fishing, anywhere in the state providing one has been created and offered on the internet, visit online, FloridaLakesMaps.com where all maps are free.

Fish and Wildlife Commission News (FWC): Proposed Rule Change to Daily Bass Bag Limit. The FWC believes that Florida bass will thrive and monster bass will increase by replacing the current daily bass bag limit to five bass with only one over 16 inches.

Currently, the FWC biologist have not made a determination about whether or not to use this new proposed rule change on Lake Istokpoga and Lake Walk-in-Water because both lakes have a bass management plan that promotes trophy bass that is similar to the new proposed rule change. The more Highlands County anglers voice their thinking on the rule change the better.

To access the online survey regarding the ‘daily bass bag limit rule change’ go to http://myfwc.com/fishing/freshwater/black-bass/bass-regulations/

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.