The Freshwater Fishing Forecast for the second half of the third week of March gives anglers the lowest fishing-rate days of the month as the moon heads toward apogee while being at the lowest influence rate. For this reason this month’s new moon which occurs Tuesday will not be top-rated.

However the new moon is always the daytime angler’s best monthly period to go fishing.

The weather forecast for this week predicts almost ideal weather every day, with the exception of Thursday when a moderate to strong southeastern wind creates white-caps and two foot waves. Other than that, anglers will be enjoying excellent fishing conditions.

This weekend the new moon week starts and the feed rating will begin to climb daily and enter the 4-5 feed rating range Saturday and Sunday and climbing to a 6 to 7 rating range Monday through Wednesday next week.

Water temperatures are entering the ideal feeding range for Florida’s freshwater fish. With the extended weather forecast predicting highs in the upper 80s and even 90 degrees through the end of this month, I think it’s safe to say fish will be feeding every other day as they begin eat at their highest annual rates.

The bass spawn has ended since the water temps have climbed out of the 60s which means more feeding bass for bass anglers. Bass will begin to feed in large concentrations now and if the current extended weather forecast indeed does occur, we’ll be seeing some great catches for the next three and a half months.

It’s time to go bass fishing, for the best period of the year has arrived for bass to feed heavy.

Best Fishing Days: Thursday will produce the greatest atmospheric pressure upward change as a southeastern wind reaches speeds in the 13 to 15 mph range by mid-afternoon. The mid to late morning hours should produce fairly well.

Saturday and Sunday will be the first two days of the new moon week. Weather conditions will be ideal for fishing on Saturday which I believe will be the better of the two days.

The Major Fishing Period: Today the moon is overhead at 9:24 a.m. and the sunrise at 7:31 a.m. which will create a feed rating of 3 from 7-10 a.m. Daily this period moves later by 50 minutes and remains at this rating until Saturday when the beginning of the new moon week occurs. Saturday and Sunday’s rating will be in the 4-5 range, topping out on Tuesday in the 6-7 range.

The Minor Fishing Period: Today the moonset occurs at 2:43 p.m. and solar noon at 1:32 p.m. which will create a feed rating of 2-3 from 12:30-3:30 p.m. Daily this period moves later by one hour and remains at this rating until the weekend when it harmonizes with the sunset period, producing a 3-4 rating.

Prime Monthly Periods: March 21-27, new moon; April 4-10, super full moon; April 20-26, new moon; May 4-10, strong full moon; May 19-25, new moon.

New at HighlandsBassAngler.com: On the Fishing Forecast blog where this article is published Sunday and Wednesday mornings, I’ll be providing bonus content throughout the week consisting of updated fishing information to help put more fish on your line. Also, I’ll be providing advice and facts relative to the current fishing conditions on days I believe will be better than average. And occasionally will offer special bass-fishing charter-pricing for one lucky blog reader who happens to time their visit at the right hour of the day. Appreciate clicks on the Facebook “Like” button.

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 Plan’ quote. Call 863-381-8474 to plan and book your bass fishing experience today.

Istokpoga.info News: The lake level is at 39.25 feet above sea level today. Currently, the South Florida Water Mgmt. District’s (SFWMD) annual schedule for the lake is, 39.50 feet for the high-level mark and 38.25 feet for the low-level mark.

S68 Spillway Status: (Tuesday 4 a.m.) One gate is open 1.4 feet and flowing 265 cubic feet per second. Florida’s water management district’s objective is to store as much water as possible throughout central Florida during the winter and spring seasons — April and May the lake is gradually lowered 1.5 feet in preparation for the rainy season which starts June 1.

Visit Istokpoga.info website and click on the links to the South Florida Water Mgmt. (SFWMD) real-time S68 and S68X spillway gates status webpage. You’ll find water level and flow status data of all water-way structures from Kissimmee to Clewiston. Also provided is a link to the Army Corps of Engineers’ graphical plot, annual water-management schedule website link.

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 sources, and fishing philosophy and plenty of bass photos of customers and readers of this article. Personalized custom fishing package options for beginners 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.