Local Sports

Right fishing technique is crucial

The Florida freshwater fishing forecast for the second half of the third week of July will be good for anglers in the very early morning hours just before the sunrise and as the early evening hours just before the sunset.

The moon is approaching the last-quarter phase which arrives this Friday and the weather forecast predicts consistent afternoon and evening storm activity daily; right when one of two prime fishing periods occur in the early evening hours. So it could be challenging conditions, hopefully your favorite fishing lake won’t take a direct hit from a thunder storm because the fish will be active in the high dissolved oxygen time of day.

The major feeding migration of the day occurs during the sunrise and sunset periods. The moon is in the ‘underfoot’ position at 5 p.m. today which moves later daily by 51 minutes. The moon’s ‘overhead’ position occurs at 5:30 a.m. today and moves later daily by 53 minutes.

The moon positions represent the peak periods of fish feeding activity. However due to the low dissolved oxygen time of 4 to 7 a.m. and the peak storm activity time of day of 3 to 8 p.m., both of these period will be challenging to fish.

During the early morning hours anglers should look for healthy dense thriving vegetation along shorelines which are closest to the deepest water the lake offers. This is where the best dissolved oxygen areas will be, especially on the windy side of the lake, if this is possible. Be prepared to put your bait into the ‘thick of it’ and remember to present the bait as natural as possible and be prepared to ‘dig out’ your catch by hand and net instead of horsing it out by force with the rod.

The minor fishing migration of the day occurs during the moonset period which occurs at 11:14 a.m. today.

Daily this period moves later by one hour and could be as good as the major periods of the day since it occurs during the sun being overhead. If the atmospheric pressure increases at this time, which it should, the fish feeding activity could surpass all other times of day.

The overall fishing feeding daily rating will be approximately at five during all three periods but if you find ideal vegetation on the windy side of the lake in the morning, or the barometer rises during the midday hours, or the storm activity doesn’t force you off the lake during the sunset, the rating will significantly rise in those cases.

As I have been saying since the water temperature average climbed above 82 degrees; the baits that work best are the dark colored plastics retrieved slowly but steadily within thick vegetation, and the spinner baits and crank baits, gold, green and red colors, retrieved along breaks and structural changes in open water and dark colored jigs with trailers along sparse vegetation on slopes next to grass flats and in shorelines with moderately dense vegetation. A slow steady retrieve is essential with an occasional one second pause when the bait strikes vegetation or bumps a structure. Fish will strike on the fall more often than at any other time of the retrieve.

Fishing Fact: Bass feed heaviest during the summer months. Which means they are full of natural food sources, which means the angler will have to perfect his technique if he wants to trick the bass into attacking his artificial bait. During the daily feeding periods, since food sources are so rich and plentiful, it’s imperative that the angler present his bait naturally as to cause the bass to make a mistake in judgment.

Keep your rod low to the water’s surface to better hide the line and keep the bait moving. This will give the bass less time to judge correctly that your bait is not a food source. You must blend into the environment and not stand out in contrast to nature.

For the summer months July and August I am offering a half-day bass fishing trip for one to three people that include bait, tackle, and gas for $225. Launch time is at 6 a.m. and the trip ends at noon. Or I can fish from your boat and guide you to my fishing holes for $125 per day. Book your trip on my boat or yours today.

Lake Istokpoga’s level is at 38.09 feet above sea level with four S68 spillway gates open at a half foot and flowing 670 cubic feet per second. You can access this information and much more at Istokpoga.info.

And, if you would like to view and or print a lake contour map of the lake you are fishing, anywhere in the state providing one has been created and offered on the internet, visit online, FloridaLakesMaps.com where I’ve published every map I could find.

Fish and Wildlife Commission News (FWC): Proposed Rule Change to Daily Bass Bag Limit; five bass with only one over 16 inches. Currently, the FWC biologist have not made a determination about whether or not to use this new proposed rule change on Lake Istokpoga. Help influence the decision by taking the survey online at http://myfwc.com/fishing/freshwater/black-bass/bass-regulations/

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.