The Freshwater Fishing Forecast for the last three days of June and the beginning of July will give anglers the arrival of the first quarter moon phase today and weather forecast which will provide plenty of atmospheric pressure change over the next three days.

As is the norm with first and last quarter moon phases, the sunrise and sunset periods provide the best fishing periods of the day. I favor the sunset period over the sunrise period during the summer months due to low dissolved oxygen levels occurring during the early morning hours.

However since water temperatures are still right at the top of the ideal feeding temperature range for Florida’s freshwater fish, this month’s first quarter moon phase will produce an early morning feeding bite in most lakes which healthy vegetation and depths of 8 to 10 feet.

However with the average daily high temperature in the middle ninety degree range this week, the early morning feeding activity will diminish significantly in shallow type lakes. Lakes with depths of 12 feet or more close to shorelines will produce better than lakes with less depth.

Bright sunny days will greatly help the sunset period as plants produce oxygen all days. Therefore the sunset period will be the high dissolved oxygen time of the day in all lakes. July through September fish-kill events can occur during the hours of 3-7 a.m.

Wind speeds will be lacking today and Monday, however starting Tuesday an ideal fishing wind will occur from the west and southwest for the remainder of the week.

Best Fishing Days: Of the next five days today through Tuesday will give anglers the best ‘fish adjustment activity’ as barometric pressure-decline, which started yesterday, will continue today causing fish to move deeper to adjust to the lack of pressure in the shallows.

Monday pressure will rebound somewhat, again causing fish to adjust upward as a change in weather patterns triggers a ‘roller coaster’ type effect in barometric pressure Monday and Tuesday.

So fish will be moving out and deeper today and will return to the shallows Monday morning and then moving again out and deeper Tuesday as a westerly to southwesterly wind prevails for the rest of the week, creating a low pressure rainy season weather pattern starting Tuesday.

Anglers can expect therefore above average results during the first three days of the first quarter moon phase.

The Major Fishing Periods: Today the moon is overhead at 8:05 p.m. and the sunset occurs at 8:25 p.m. producing a feed rating of 6-7 from 7-9:30 p.m. Daily this period moves later by 50 minutes and diminishes in feed rating to a 4-5 rating by the midweek.

The second major period occurs when the moon is underfoot at 7:40 a.m. and the sunrise at 6:33 a.m. producing a feed rating of 6-7 from 6-8:30 a.m. Daily this period moves later by 50 minutes and diminishes in feed rating to a 4-rating by the midweek.

The Minor Fishing Period: Today the moonrise occurs at 1:53 p.m. and solar noon at 1:29 p.m. producing a feed rating of 4-5 from 11 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. Daily this period moves later by an hour and remains at a 4-rating through the midweek.

Prime Monthly Periods: July 2-8, full moon; July 17-23, new moon; August 1-5, full moon; August 16-21, new moon.

Seasonal Safety Alerts: Alligator mating season occurs from April through August. Males are very aggressive and will attack ‘anything’ which enters their area. Keep pets and children away from waterways. Stay alert.

We now enter the season of “Lightning Strikes”. Lightning is a real threat for Florida anglers during the rainy season. Anglers should have an escape plan when they fish from boat or shoreline. Never take cover under a tree, but instead select a building or vehicle. In fact, you’re better off laying down flat in an open field than to select trees as cover.

If you’re caught in your boat, lay as low as possible, keep the motors in the water to act as grounds. But better yet, use a cell phone app which will alert you to lightning threats as storms develop overhead or nearby. And know your escape time to a safe place of cover from where you’re fishing. Time the escape plan and abandon fishing as early as possible…be smart and plan for ‘worst case scenarios.’

Highlands Bass Angler Bass Guide Specials: 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. News: The lake level is at 38.18 feet above sea level today. Currently, the South Florida Water Mgmt. District’s (SFWMD) schedule for the lake is, 38.25 feet for the high-level mark and 37.50 feet for the low-level mark. The low lake level parameter will be raised gradually starting July 1 and the high level parameter raised starting August 1.

The S68 Spillway Status: (Saturday 4 a.m.) One gate is open six inches and flowing 200 cubic feet per second. Currently the lake is one inch below the maximum level of 38.25 feet.

Access Lake Istokpoga information at SFWMD real-time S68 and S68X spillway gates status and the Army Corps of Engineers’ annual graphical plot schedule links keep you informed.

Access this article online at, or offers bass fishing guide-trip options, 72 lake-contour maps and additional map internet resources, and fishing philosophy and plenty of bass photos of 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 for complete details. Phone: 863-381-8474. Email: