Local Sports

Full moon fishing turns on

The Florida freshwater fishing forecast for the second week of May will have a full moon phase close to the lunar orbit perigee and a stormy season weather pattern. All fishing factors considered, it will be a very good week for above average fish feeding activity during the mornings and early afternoons.

The weather forecasted for this week predicts medium to high easterly winds for today and Tuesday that will switch to a more northerly direction for the midweek and drop the daily high temperature into the mid-80s for the second half of the week.

The full moon arrives on Wednesday and the orbit perigee on Sunday which will produce an excellent midday fish feeding action as the moon is underfoot and very good early morning action as the moon sets and the sun rises.

The cooler, more typical late spring temperatures, that we’ll have all week works very well with the daily feeding migration which will move into the early afternoon hours for the first half of this week. Also, significant cloud cover will make fishing the high temperature point of the day much more bearable as north winds prevail through next weekend.

The major feeding migration of the day occurs from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. today and produces a peak period from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. that should have a rating of 7-8. Daily this feeding bite will move later by 52 minutes and increase in feeding intensity by one number by Wednesday and Thursday.

The minor fishing migration of the day occurs today during the dawn and dusk hours from 5-8 a.m. and p.m. as the moonset (5:02 a.m.) and moonrise (6:11 p.m.) takes place. The moonrise moves later daily by almost an hour and the moonset moves later daily by about 45 minutes. With the lunar orbit perigee arriving this Sunday, I expect these feeding periods to remain strong with a rating of 6-7 all week.

Lake Istokpoga’s level is at 38.78 feet above sea level with four S68 spillway gates open five inches and flowing 620 cubic feet per second. For the next three weeks the water management schedule calls for the lake to be below the maximum high pool mark of 38.25 feet above sea level in preparation for the hurricane season.

For all up-to-date information on this lake, go online to www.Istokpoga.info. Anglers can determine if the S68 spillway gates are open, what level the lake is, all in real time using the links in the “Management Info” section. Also, the Fish and Wildlife Commission and the County’s lake management information is available.

For the month of May I am offering a two-person full day bass fishing trip for $250 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.

On www.HighlandsBassAngler.com I offer a “Florida Lakes Maps” webpage that can be accessed in the menubar or by using the domain names, www.FloridaLakesMaps.com or www.FloridaLakesMaps.info. Everything is free for download to print or to view while fishing the lake.

There are 40 Highlands County lake maps offered along with 12 maps of the most popular fishing lakes in Central Florida. Lake information links for our county are also provided along with a link to the University of Florida Lake Watch website’s maps page.

If there’s a contour map in existence (Bathymetric map) for a lake in Florida, you can find it there. Pulling up a map page of the lake you’re fishing has never been easier on your smart phone. It’s the perfect fishing tool for adjusting your fishing strategy “on the fly.”

Friends of Istokpoga Inc. will be holding its Annual Spring Membership Meeting at the Lorida Community Center on Thursday 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 12-18 during the full moon phase and lunar perigee and again from May 23-31 during the new moon phase.

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