Local Sports

Full moon fishing heats up

The Florida freshwater fishing forecast for the latter half of the second week of July features the dominance of the full moon that is one day before the moon’s orbit perigee — in other words one day away from being a super moon. The weather forecast consists of a mild southerly wind each day which will produce afternoon and evening thunderstorms.

And just a note to plan for next month’s super moon, on Aug. 10 when the moon will be at its closest orbit point to earth while it is also in the full phase.

The major feeding migration of the day occurs when the moon is in the underfoot position from 10:30 a.m. to 2:45 p.m. The rating is at its highest point of the month today and tomorrow climbing to 9-10 from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The day’s top atmospheric pressure reading on the barometer each day has been in sync with the moon’s underfoot position and I don’t expect that to change over the next four days. So be ready for some great fish feeding action in the midmorning hours that lasts until lunch time.

The minor fishing migration of the day occurs during the pre-safelight hours of the early mornings from 5-7 a.m. today and Friday, but for the weekend this feeding period moves to 6:30-9 a.m. The moonset and the sunrise combo will cause fish-feeding action to spike to a 7-8 rating over the next four days.

During the summer months here in Florida, I like to give the trophy bass on Lake Istokpoga a break and fish the deeper lakes with 8-10 pound test fluorocarbon line and large, no make that huge, plastics. With the mild southerly winds we’ve experienced for the past month, drifting across break lines, drop-offs, and tree piles in depths of 12-25 feet, dragging the largest worms on the market, puts me in the areas of the largest bass in the lake.

I know trophy bass of over 14 pounds roam the deepest structures of the lake when surface temperatures average in the middle 80s and higher. They take short routes to deeper grass beds and suspend along steep underwater grades around the 20-foot mark. A deep tree pile alongside a plateau of grasses and older deteriorated tree pile parts in the center of the lake always holds huge bass. And these bass never make it to a shoreline because they have shell beds and a thriving food group that are superior to shoreline feeding areas.

It’s only a matter of time before I finally boat a bass over 16 pounds. I lost the largest bass of my life a few years ago fishing this way and I’ve seen enough huge bass to know she was well over 16 pound. So I’m due for another shot at landing a state record bass of over 17 pounds, 4 ounces. And over the next four to five days these types of bass will be feeding well.

For the summer months July and 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’s level is at 38.42 feet above sea level with four S68 spillway gates open one foot and flowing 1400 cubic feet per second. You can access this information and all lake management info by visiting www.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, www.FloridaLakesMaps.com If a contour map has been published on the web, I’ve enhanced it and or linked to it on this website..

Fish and Wildlife Commission news

Proposed Rule Change to Daily Bass Bag Limit. Five bass with only one bass 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. To learn more how this will affect you, take the online survey at 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