Local Sports

Super full moon equals great fishing

The Florida freshwater fishing forecast for the second half of the first week of August couldn’t be better in regards to lunar influences but the weather forecast could and probably will, literally put a damper on fishing results.

I’ll start with the weather forecast first. If the forecast predictions are accurate, an 80 percent chance of rain is likely today and tomorrow, with thunderstorms forming throughout the state in the later morning hours. The last three days many anglers have been pushed off the lake by 11 a.m. due to quick-moving thunderstorms and hard rains—I expect this trend to continue and intensify until Saturday.

Now for the ‘good news,’ the lunar phase for the next four days is the ‘full moon’ which occurs this Sunday. It will be a ‘super full moon’ in that the lunar orbit perigee occurs on the same day. (The difference in mileage from earth, of a full moon in perigee as opposed to in apogee, is approximately 30,800 miles closer). This will cause fishing feeding migrations to be at the maximum duration and intensity over the next four days.

The major feeding migration of the day occurs from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and will have a peak period from 10 to 11 a.m. that will achieve an overall rating of 8 to 9 today and Friday and will increase to a perfect 10-rating for Saturday and Sunday. Daily this migration move later into the day by about 50 minutes or so.

The minor fishing migrations of the day occurs during the very early morning hours and the very early evening hours today and tomorrow; 5 to 7 a.m. and 4 to 6 p.m. Since these migrations move later in the day by about an hour, Saturday and Sunday’s times will work perfectly for sunrise and sunset fishing trips.

If anglers need additional incentive, the atmospheric pressure plot forecast for the next four days predicts barometric pressure to rise and remain into the 30.05 In Hg and higher. The previous four days’ barometric pressure history shows that the high pressure point of the day did occur exactly when the moon ‘underfoot’ position occurred. I expect this lunar/weather relationship to continue through the weekend.

The next ‘best fishing week’ of the month occurs between Aug. 20 and 27 when the new moon occurs. The moon however will be in the apogee orbit position which will produce a slightly weaker feeding migration duration than if the opposite orbit position was in play.

Lately, the bass fishing action has been spectacular. Once we figured out exactly how fish adjusted to the middle to upper 80-degree water temperatures and low dissolved oxygen rates in many areas of the lakes, the strikes came often and regularly.

Bass in the four to six pound range have been plentiful and the occasional seven or eight pounders have been located in the thicker thriving vegetation areas with one exception of a nine-pound. bass engulfing my bait along the outside edge of some six- or seven-foot deep vegetation.

Bulrush, cattails and lily pads have all been holding plenty of bass and other game fish as well. A ‘quiet entry’ of the bait into the water made a huge difference in the amount of strikes. Also ‘swimming the bait’ slowly through moderately thick to sparse growth vegetation, keeping the bait close to the bottom and pausing with ‘every’ contact of the bait with the plant, did produce better than any other method of retrieve.

Fishing Fact: “Once the angler learns how bass adjust to changing seasonal factors and perfects the ability of ‘following the fish home’, he’ll never experience a fishless day again.”

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 38.42 feet above sea level with three S68 spillway gates open at 1.20 feet and one gate open at 1.50 feet totaling a flow of 1350 cubic feet per second. You can access this information and much more at istokpoga.info.

Need a lake contour map of the lake you are fishing? Visit FloridaLakesMaps.com where I’ve published every Florida lake map and lake-map website link I could find.

Fish and Wildlife Commission News: 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.