Local Sports

Great fishing weather this week

The Florida freshwater fishing forecast for the first week of May will have a first-quarter moon phase which is in the lunar orbit apogee. Meaning, it’s a weak influence — and a weather forecast that could not be better for anglers to go fishing.

Temperatures will be cooler for the first half of this week but there will be plenty of sunshine and medium to low winds. The moonrise occurs at 11:00 a.m., the moonset at midnight, and the moon overhead at 6 p.m. and underfoot at 5:30 a.m. today and will move later daily by 45 minutes.

The major feeding migration of the day therefore occurs today from the 4-9 a.m. and p.m. hours. The peak periods will occur from 5-7 a.m. and p.m. and have a rating of 4-5. This fishing period move later daily by 40-50 minutes

The minor fishing migration of the day occurs today from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and will have a peak period for 90 minutes centered on noontime. The rating should be in the 4-range. This period will move later daily by 40-50 minutes.

Lake Istokpoga’s level has risen to 38.90-feet above sea level with all S68 spillway gates closed.

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

Fish and Wildlife Commission News: The FWC will be holding a public meeting to discuss implementation of a “Daily Bass Bag Limit” change statewide. A five bass per day, per angler, of less than 16 inches with the allowance of one bass over 16 inches replacing one of the five bass under 16 inches, will be introduced. The meeting will take place on May 7 at 6-8 p.m. at the Round Administration Building, 315 W. Main St in Tavares (upstairs in the Lake County Board Chambers).

Other FWC News: According to the latest national freshwater fishing survey (2011), Florida had 1.2 million anglers that enjoyed 26 million days of fishing and they spent close to $1 billion and generated an economic impact of $1.7 billion which supported 14,000 related jobs.

Fishing licenses sales are the primary funding for the FWC’s division of freshwater fisheries conservation efforts. In addition to the $17 annual freshwater license fees, there is a federal government program: Federal Aid in Sport Fishing Restoration, which provides matching money based on land area and numbers of license holders. This adds an additional $8 per freshwater fishing license fee paid.

As most freshwater Florida anglers know, anglers over 65 and less than 16 years of age are exempt from paying freshwater fishing license fees. However, seniors and youth can help support conservation programs by buying a license anyway, which will add that additional $8 in federal money. And the youth can buy a new license before they turn 16 years of age that is valid until they reach 17 years old. This also allows the FWC to receive the federal money of $8 per youth license paid.

For access online to more FWC fishing news, go to myfwc.com/news/resources and select “Fish Busters’ Bulletin”.

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