The Freshwater Fishing Forecast for the beginning of July gives anglers a weak full moon phase due to the moon arriving at its lowest effect orbit-point on the day it becomes full which is Sunday. However above-average fishing can be expected during the midday, sunset and midnight hours.

Note that I did not include the sunrise period as a major nor minor period, which is due to the low dissolved oxygen rate which will occur from 3-8 a.m. during the summer months. Eight-six plus degree water does not hold much oxygen during this period within the shallows. However depths of 12 feet or more which have vegetation will provide enough oxygen for fish to feed normally.

It should be noted that dissolved oxygen rates are highest on sunny days during the mid-afternoon to sunset hours. The brighter the sun, the higher the oxygen rate, which means the more active fish will feed. The deepest shoreline vegetation will have the greatest numbers of feeding fish after 6 to 8 hours of bright sunlight during the summer months.

Good news for anglers this week comes from the weather forecast. A perfect wind speed will occur out of the west for the next six days. A west wind reaching 10 mph speeds during the peak fishing period will create ideal fishing factors for the midday anglers.

The weather forecast predicts very little rain and thunderstorm activity until the weekend, which promises a normal rainy season forecast. And, atmospheric pressure change is a non-factor over the next 10 days. So expect fish to mainly be at 8 feet or deeper most of the day with some fish moving into the shallows during the sunny afternoon and sunset hours.

Best Fishing Days: Friday through Monday the full moon, albeit a weak one, will produce above-average feeding activity during the midday and sunset hours. The weather forecast predicts a 50 percent cloud-cover starting Saturday night which will diminish feeding activity at night but improve midday feeding action. For daytime anglers, the more nighttime cloud-cover the better.

The Major Fishing Period: Today the moon is underfoot at 10:13 a.m. and solar noon at 1:30 p.m. and will produce a feed rating of 5 from 10 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Daily this period moves later by an hour and increases in feed rating by a half number daily, topping-out at a 7-rating for the full moon on Sunday during 10:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m.

The Minor Fishing Periods: Today the moonrise occurs at 5:05 p.m. and the sunset at 8:25 p.m. and will produce a feed rating of 3-4 from 5-9 p.m. Daily this period moves later by an hour and increases in feed rating to a 5-6 rating by the weekend.

The second minor period will be when the moon is overhead which occurs today at 10:41 p.m. It should be noted that the sunset occurring at 8:25 p.m. could trigger fish to start feeding during the development of the overhead moon. However cloud-cover might produce a negative factor starting Friday night through the weekend. So you can expect feeding action to occur during the overhead period but the timing is hard to predict. By the weekend I’m expecting a 4-5 rating during the midnight hours in 6- to 12-foot depths.

Prime Monthly Periods: July 2-8, full moon; July 17-23, new moon; August 1-5, full moon; August 16-21, new moon; August 30–September 4, weak full moon; September 14-20, strong 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 are in the season of “Lightning Strikes.” Lightning is a real threat. 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.

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 38.13 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: (Tuesday 4 a.m.) All gates closed. Currently the lake is one to two inches 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.

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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 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. 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. Visit for complete details. Phone: 863-381-8474. Email:

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: