Local Sports

Great fishing week on tap

The Florida freshwater fishing forecast for the last week of May will be an excellent one with the new moon occurring on Wednesday and a weather forecast that looks to be the start of the rainy season pattern of daily afternoon thunderstorms.

Today and Monday will have the most sunshine of the next seven days, but mornings should be an even mix of clouds and sunshine before thunderstorms develop during the heat of the midday hours.

The moon will be overhead today at 10:50 a.m. and move later daily by about 50 minutes this week. The moonrise is at 4:17 a.m. today and will move later daily by about 43 minutes this week.

The major feeding migration of the day occurs from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. today and will have a peak period from 9-11 a.m. and a rating of 7-8. As the week advances the rating will increase by a half number daily until Friday, and move later daily by 50 minutes.

The minor fishing migration of the day occurs during the moonrise period. From 5-6 a.m. today fish will be active as the sunrise occurs. All this week, this period will increase in feeding action and by the midweek, produce a rating of 7-8 and become the major feeding period of the day.

Lake Istokpoga’s level is at 38.25 feet above sea level. One gate at the S68 spillway is open at seven inches and flowing at 125 cubic feet per second.

The hurricane season high pool maximum is 38.25’ and the low pool minimum is 37.5’. In the case of a significant rain event South Florida Water Management District will drop the lake level to the 37.5’ mark to make room for the forecasted and anticipated additional water. The lake is able to fill up 5-6 times faster than it can be lowered, so thus the reasons for the ‘lowering buffer’ planning.

For all the latest Istokpoga news such as Fish and Wildlife Commission lake management work and planning, Highlands County lake management work and planning, and lake level real-time data such as real-time S68 spillway release status, visit Istokpoga.info website, everything you need to know is there.

This is the last week to take advantage of the May full day bass fishing trip for $250 which includes two or three people, all bait and tackle (artificial only).

For the remainder of 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.

For the past week I’ve been on Lake Istokpoga fishing the deepest shorelines on the lake. Daily we have boated several bass in the 5-7 lb range and half a dozen in the 2-4 lb range, plus a few under two pounds. There have been a few bass well over ten pounds on the line but during the battle in thick vegetation, they managed to pull free before I could get the trolling motor to power through pads and bulrush. It’s only a matter of ‘numbers’ before one is hooked well enough to not rip free.

So far this year, I’ve boated seven bass over ten pounds and lost 11, estimated to be over ten pounds. By comparison, all of last year I lost eight bass over ten pounds and caught twenty. But at least, I ‘do know’ where the big girls play, so the dance is on. Getting slapped in the face at the ‘Istokpoga Dance Hall’, only bolsters my resolve.

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.