Local Sports

Sunrise, sunset best times to fish

The Florida freshwater fishing forecast for the second week of July includes the first-quarter lunar phase, a rainy season weather forecast, and ideal fishing conditions in the morning hours. In other words, typical summertime Florida lake-fishing at its best.

With the current moon phase, the sunrise and sunset occur as the moon is ‘underfoot’ and ‘overhead’ respectively. The combination of the sun and moon activity will cause more fish to adjust along migration routes and feeding grounds more often, and also when anglers prefer to go fishing this time of year — early mornings and late evenings.

For this bass angler, as with the majority of anglers, fishing as the sun rises on the lake is an experience that never grows old.

In fact it is the ‘newness of the event’ that enhances life by partaking ‘in harmony’ with it. Likewise fishing as the sun sets and darkness descends brings a sense of closure to that day’s life, one that affords the angler a ‘positive reflection’ on the day as he finds a place on the lake to work his art.

Indeed, many times I have heard anglers say, “I hope to catch fish, but just being out here is reward enough for me, catching fish is a bonus.”

When I first heard an angler voice this thought, I was about 7 years old and was only thinking of catching the biggest fish of the trip. I didn’t have time in my mind to even think about the physical universe and the meaning it had on my existence as an angler—I had to excel to the top of the fishing community (my family) and I was late already.

After well over 1,500 fishing trips in my lifetime I find myself saying during the predawn hours as I idle my boat out from the dock, “I made here again, and if I catch some bass great, just being here is a privilege and an honor afforded me by Jesus, Creator of my world, thank you my God.”

I have concluded down through the years that I was designed to align my being with creation. And when I have done so, I indeed have lived up to my aspiration many times to catch the biggest bass of the day.

The reward is gained by a simple daily realization of facts of the physical world. And in my specific case, how big bass operate or act within my world. Down through the years by going fishing at these two times of day, I found that the two ideas of, being out in the physical universe as a ‘reward’ and catching the biggest bass as a reward, merged automatically simply by attempting to appreciate the lake and its bass at dawn and dusk.

Slowing one’s self down to the reality of the bass fish species as the day begins and ends provides a picture in the mind; one of balance and harmony, one of aspiration. To further absorb all that is occurring around me and to operate in unison with Creator and His fish.

The excitement of fishing as the sun rises and sets is automatic, even natural. Have you experienced it? If not you still have today to get started on a life changing natural event that I guarantee will enhance your state of mind.

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 around 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 38.30 feet above sea level with one gate at the S68 spillway open at one foot, flowing 180 cubic feet per second. You can access all Lake Istokpoga information by visiting Istokpoga.info.

Do you need a lake contour map of the lake you are fishing? Visit online, FloridaLakesMaps.com where every lake map available is located, free to download.

Fish and Wildlife Commission News (FWC): Proposed Rule Change to Daily Bass Bag Limit. The FWC believes that Florida bass will thrive and monster bass will increase by replacing the current daily bass bag limit to a ‘five bass with only one over 16 inches limit’.

Currently, the FWC biologist have not made a determination about whether or not to use this new proposed rule change on Lake Istokpoga and Lake Walk-in-Water. The more Highlands County anglers voice their thinking on the rule change the better.

To access the online survey regarding the ‘daily bass bag limit rule change’ go to 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.