Local Sports

Morning fishing brings challenging winds

The Florida freshwater fishing forecast for the second half of the second week of April will give anglers the beginning of the full moon week and a weather forecast with challenging wind but ideal factors otherwise. All fishing factors considered, the next seven days will be productive fishing days if you don't mind moderate winds that occasionally gust above 15 mph.

Earlier this week, a low pressure weather front passed through the state as the moon arrived at it furthest orbit point from earth - the lunar apogee. The typical post-front weather of high northwesterly winds will prevail today and move clockwise to the northeast by Thursday. Winds will remain out of an easterly direction, in the 10-15 mph range all week until the next weather front arrives early next week.

The atmospheric pressure plot for the next six days will be on the slow rise and this factor along with the partly cloudy weather prediction, will cause fish to be actively adjusting more often in shallow shoreline feeding areas. Remember, when fish actively adjust due to changing weather factors, they expend energy and thus need to feed more often.

With the current water temperature daily average in the middle-to-low 70 degree range, all fish species feed daily. This is the time of year when Florida largemouth bass put on a majority of their annual weight gain. With the weather factors changing almost daily as the seasonal norm, bass and panfish adjust daily and some days more than once, making the chances for successful fishing higher than the annual average catch rate. This aggressive feeding season will last until water temps reach the lower 80s.

The major feeding migrations of the day for the next four days will be during the 8-12 hours of the day. Peak periods will be an hour before and after the moon overhead and underfoot periods - 9:15 a.m. today and 44 minutes later each day. The feed intensity rating will be in the five and six range today through Friday and then increase by a half number each day until next Wednesday when it starts to reverse.

The minor fishing migrations of the day occur during the hours before and after the moonset and moonrise periods - approximately three hours today and moving later daily by 52 minutes.

Lake Istokpoga's latest management news: The lake level is at 39.20 feet above sea level with three S68 spillway gates open at three inches and flowing 350 cubic feet per second. The lake will be gradually dropped over the next six weeks in preparation for hurricane season to a high-pool maximum of 38.25 feet above sea level.

The Highlands County weed managers will be spraying floating vegetations on the west and east sides of the lake this week.

The Highlands Bass Angler website update: I am offering a special half day bass guide trip for one or two people for $135 with everything included. However, the difference between a personalized trip and this special offer, is that I will be experimenting with different areas to do research on bass populations in a particular habitat pattern - instead of fishing the areas that I know already hold huge bass daily (regular half-day bass trips are $200 plus a possible gas fee if extensive boat travel is required).

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