The Freshwater Fishing Forecast for the third week of October gives anglers the most challenging fishing days of the month. The moon will be at its least influential position and obit point this week, which means fish will not feed in large numbers but instead sporadically during the high oxygen period of the day which occurs in the hours leading up to the sunset period.

The moon reaches its lowest influence position on Wednesday and will be half way to the apogee orbit point on the same day — the apogee occurs one day before the full moon, which occurs on the last day of this month. Therefore anglers will receive no help from the moon for the next 10 days.

The weather forecast for this week predicts a rainy season pattern. Water temperatures will not be dropping yet and will remain above the ideal feeding range of 70 to 82 degrees on the water surface. Therefore fish will be feeding when a high level of photosynthesis occurs; sunny days during the four hours leading up to the sunset period.

The wind forecast predicts wind speeds of 15 mph for the next five days, which is better than speeds under 7 mph. So a medium to strong east wind will prevail but will drop to the top of the ‘ideal fishing speed range’ of 8 to 12 mph Friday through the weekend.

Currently the forecast predicts two predominately sunny days, Monday, and Wednesday, so if that does indeed occur, the highest levels of photosynthesis will occur on both those days. And since the overhead moon will occur in the late afternoon hours on those days, it could be the best fishing days of the week.

Fish are in the deepest vegetation they can find and will feed when that vegetation areas produces dissolved oxygen. Therefore photosynthesis is the main driver for producing fish feeding activity. And remember, the moon will not be causing any influence in causing fish to adjust. However it’s worth nothing that a consistent east wind will drive fish in some lakes westward.

Best Fishing Days: We enter the worst fishing days of the month for the next 10 days starting tomorrow. So today will be better than average, and when the first-quarter moon occurs on Friday a better-than-average feed rating will occur — average being a 2-3 rating. And if the weather forecast is correct Monday and Wednesday will have mostly sunny conditions. Truth be told, it’s a crap shoot, so roll the dice.

The Major Fishing Period: Today the moon is overhead at 3:04 p.m. and solar noon at 1:10 p.m. producing a 3-4 rating from 12-3:30 p.m. Daily this period moves later by an hour and drops in feed rating to a 2-3 rating by Tuesday.

The Minor Fishing Period: Today the moonrise occurs at 9:24 a.m. which will produce a feed rating of 2-3 from 9-10:30 a.m. Daily this period moves later by 50 minutes and drops in feed rating to a 2-rating by Monday.

Prime Monthly Periods: Oct. 28- Nov. 3, weak full moon; Nov. 12-18, super new moon; Nov. 27- Dec. 2, full moon; Dec. 11-16, new moon; Dec. 27-News Years Day, full moon.

Highlands Bass Angler Bass Guide Specials: I have added a “Sign-in/Register” option on the website. I invite you to register and sign-in, which will allow me to email extra bass fishing content directly to you every month to show my appreciation for your readership.

A 4-6 hour bass charter trip for $250 for two anglers, all gear, artificial bait and tackle included. Or, if you need to learn a particular lake and discover where fish are, call for a ‘Custom Bass Fishing Classroom on the Lake’ quote. Call 863-381-8474 to plan and book your bass fishing experience today.

Istokpoga.info News: The lake level is at 39.40 feet above sea level today. Currently, the South Florida Water Mgmt. District’s (SFWMD) lake-level schedule is, 39.50 feet for the high-level mark, and 39 feet for the low-level mark.

The S68 Spillway Status: (Yesterday morning 4 a.m.) Three gates are open 9 inches, flowing a combined 870 cubic feet per second. Currently the lake is below the maximum level of 39.50 feet.

Lake Istokpoga information can be accessed at Istokpoga.info. Check SFWMD real-time S68 and S68X spillway gates status and the Army Corps of Engineers’ annual graphical plot schedule.

Access this article online at BassFishingForecast.com, or HighlandsBassAngler.com.

Fishing from Shorelines: Learn where fish feed along shorelines by consulting a lake contour map. There are 45 Highlands County lake maps published online at FloridaLakesMaps.com. Each map is edited to include boat ramp locations and have been enlarged for easy reading. You’ll discover that the majority of the lakes’ public boat ramps and docks are located within the better shoreline fishing areas.

HighlandsBassAngler.com offers bass fishing guide-trip options, 72 lake-contour maps and additional map resources, plus fishing philosophy, bass photos from customers and readers of this article. Personalized custom fishing package options for leisure fishermen to professional anglers are available upon request.

Dave Douglass is a bass fishing guide and is an experienced instructor on 25 lakes, from the towns Kissimmee to Clewiston. Offers general bass fishing charters and specializes in tournament type bass fishing strategies on Istokpoga, Kissimmee Chain of lakes, Okeechobee, and several smaller lakes throughout Highlands and Polk counties. Visit HighlandsBassAngler.com for complete details. Phone: 863-381-8474. Email: DavidPDouglass@hotmail.com.