Local Sports

Great morning fishing on tap

The Florida freshwater fishing forecast for the third week of May has the lunar perigee and the last-quarter lunar phase combined with a very good weather forecast that should make fishing very enjoyable this week.

There will be a strong northerly wind today, but other than that sunny skies and an mild easterly wind will prevail with daily high temperatures in the middle-to-upper 80 degree range for the first half of this week.

The second half of the week’s forecast predicts mild westerly winds and temperatures in the lower 90s with lots of sunshine.

Today the lunar orbit perigee occurs, which will increase the effect of the ‘moonset period’ which occurs at 10:18 a.m. today, and fifty-six minutes later each day this week. This lunar factor will create a fair to good fishing migration during the midmorning hours for the next two days.

On Wednesday the last-quarter moon phase arrives which will put the moon overhead at 7:30 a.m., one hour after the sunrise — Tuesday morning the moon overhead occurs during the sunrise. The two solar and lunar fishing factors will create an excellent fish feeding migration in the coolest part of the day.

The major feeding migration of the day occurs from 5-11 a.m. today and moves later daily by one hour. A rating of 5-6 is likely during the peak period from 6-9 a.m.—sunrise to one hour before the moonset time.

The minor fishing migration of the day occurs from 4-8 p.m. today and moves later daily by one hour — when the moon is underfoot. A rating of 5 is probable as the sunset occurs.

Lake Istokpoga’s level is at 38.65 feet above sea level with four S68 spillway gates open at 10 inches and flowing at 1040 cubic feet per second.

Pan fish and specifically the bluegills are in full spawning mode. This will definitely cause bass to feed aggressively in the bulrush and bonnets (spatter dock lily pads).

If you enjoy fishing in the mornings, this week is your week as bass attack bluegills as the sunrise occurs in harmony with the moon overhead period.

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.

Best fishing days left this are Wednesday through Friday, during the last-quarter and new moon phases.

Fish and Wildlife Commission News: The FWC wants public participation to gain feedback on a proposed rule-change in the daily bag limit for bass. Right now there is no statewide bag limit, but instead there are three areas of the state with each area having a different bag limit.

In the northwest section of the state a daily bag limit of five bass is allowed with all bass ‘under 12 inches must be immediately released’. In the central and northeast sections five bass are allowed with all bass ‘under 14 inches immediately released’. In the southern section five bass are allowed with only ‘one bass over 14 inches allowed’—all bass but one, must be under 14 inches.

Ok, the ‘new proposal’ would be statewide for all sections and would allow bass anglers to take five bass daily under 16 inches, but if one bass of those five is over 16 inches, it can replace one of the bass under 16 inches.

The FWC is asking bass anglers to visit their website ‘MyFWC.com/fishing’ and scroll down to a checkmark box with red font link, “Speak out on bass rules”, which is below a pic graphic of a bass being held against a green background. Click that link and take the survey and let the FWC what you think on the new proposal.

It should be noted that various bass management lakes such as Walk-in-Water and Istokpoga are not included in the new rule change, and Bass Tournament Exemption Permits would not be affected by the new rule change.

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.