Local Sports

Better fishing days are ahead

The Florida freshwater fishing forecast for remainder of the first week of May will be excellent as the first-quarter moon phase progresses toward the full moon phase that arrives next Wednesday, and ideal fishing weather dominates the state for the next five or six days.

With the waxing first-quarter moon comes an excellent early morning and late evening fishing feeding migration. Today the moon is at the ‘overhead’ position in the early morning hours and in the ‘underfoot’ position about twelve hours later, after the sunset. It will be at these times that atmospheric pressure changes and thus fish will adjust, which will cause a greater percentage of fish to feed opportunistically.

So for the next seven to ten days, fishing will be very good, due to the waxing of the full moon on Wednesday and the arrival of the lunar orbit perigee three days after. This is the period of this month’s 28-day lunar cycle which will cause atmospheric pressure changes to become more active which in turn causes greater barometric variations, and thus greater fish adjustments daily.

The new moon period also causes the same type of weather variations. It’s not magic, it’s just physical science and it’s magnified greatly in water bodies on earth. ‘Fish and wildlife Adjustment’ increases the chances greatly of fishermen and hunters to be successful and it’s the moon’s activity in relation to the earth that causes it. It’s that simple.

The major feeding migration of the day occurs from 7-11 a.m. and p.m. over the next five days. There will be a peak period during the hour before and after the time of the ‘overhead’ and ‘underfoot’ moon periods—today 8:57 a.m. and 8:35 p.m. respectively. A rating of 6 today is likely but will increase slightly each day--one point in three days. Daily these times move later by forty-five minutes.

The minor fishing migration of the day occurs during the moonrise period which today is at 2:34 p.m. The peak period should be about forty-five minutes before and after this time and have a rating of 4-5. Daily this time move later by about fifty-two minutes.

Lake Istokpoga’s level has risen to 38.88 feet above sea level with four gates open five inches at the S68 spillway and flowing at 600 cubic feet per second — Wednesday 7 a.m. status.

The Controlled Burn Project by the Fish and Wildlife Commission (FWC) for Istokpoga has been completed as much as possible. Snail Kite bird nesting has caused some areas slated for burning to be taken off the plan since these birds are federally protected.

For the month of May I am offering a two-person full day bass fishing trip for $250.00 that includes everything — fuels, bait and equipment. A map of the lake plus fishing-hole locations will be provided along with other lake information essential for fishing the lake.

Friends of Istokpoga Inc. will hold its Annual Spring Membership Meeting at the Lorida Community Center on Thursday, May 15 at 7 p.m. Guest speaker, Betsey Boughton, Director of MacArthur Agro-ecology Research Center in Lake Placid, will present research on creating an ecosystem that provides better water to the Lake Istokpoga watershed. Other government agency representatives will also be there to answer questions. Refreshments start at 6:45 p.m.

Best Fishing Days this Month: May 8-18 during the full moon phase and lunar perigee and again from May 23-31 during the new moon phase.

During the hot weather months in Florida, myself along with the majority of anglers start to primarily fish during the most comfortable times of the day — in the mornings from safelight to noon or the first few hours after the sunset. The periods of the month when the moon helps cause fish to adjust to weather changes during the coolest parts of the day therefore are the better fishing days to plan fishing trips that are successful.

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.