The Freshwater Fishing Forecast for the second half of the fourth week of June gives anglers a strong lunar influence since the moon arrived at its most powerful orbit position for creating above-average ‘adjustment activity’ for fish and wildlife two days ago.

The seven-day new moon phase ends today which means above-average fishing will continue today but due to a shift in weather systems, I believe fish will feed better Thursday since Tuesday’s feeding activity was very good — fish are feeding every two days at above average rates currently.

During Florida’s rainy season, weather factors don’t change much as a standard norm. So when there is any type of significant weather change, such as a wind shift from west to east within a few hours, anglers can expect fish to adjust and feed opportunistically as they do so. Such is the case for Thursday and Friday.

The weather forecast for this week offers the already mentioned wind shift and above-average atmospheric pressure rise for Thursday and extending into Friday morning. And a continuation of an ideal fishing wind speed from the east for through the weekend. Other than that we can expect the usual sporadic thunderstorm development throughout the heartland in the afternoon and evenings.

Due to the mid-90 degree temperatures forecast to be consistent this week, anglers can expect to see in some lakes, diminished activity during the early morning feeding period. Some lakes will experience a drop in dissolved oxygen levels which occur during the 4-7 a.m. hours. Fish will move deeper to the cooler water which holds more oxygen.

The lower the oxygen level, the slower the digestion speed of the fish. Fish enter a stressed state due to high temperatures triggering a fast metabolism but low oxygen levels nearly halts digestion. In Florida, it is normal for the largemouth bass to lose weight during the summer months, especially in lakes with less than 12 foot of depth.

Best Fishing Days: Thursday is forecast to produce the most fishing-factor changes. Atmospheric pressure rise will be well above average in the morning which means fish will be in the shallow shoreline feeding areas and the winds will have switched out of the east at 5 to 7 mph.

Friday morning also will have above average atmospheric pressure rise and the east wind picks up speed to a perfect fishing wind of 8 to 10 mph. Also the sun-to-cloud ratio will be perfect to cause fish-adjustment to occur at above average rates.

The Major Fishing Period: Today the moon is overhead at 4:41 p.m. and the solar noon at 1:29 p.m. which will create a feed rating of 5-6 from 1-5 p.m. Daily this period moves later by 50 minutes and decreases to a 4-5 rating by the weekend. Starting Friday the overhead period occurs at 6:25 p.m. and will help out the sunset at 8:25 p.m. creating a feed rating of 5-6 from 5:30-9 p.m.

The Minor Fishing Period: Today the moonrise occurs at 9:41 a.m. and the sunrise at 6:31 a.m. which will create a feed rating of 4-5 from 6-10 a.m. Daily this period moves later by an hour and remains at a 5-rating. By this weekend the moonrise will occur just ahead of solar noon at 1:29 p.m. creating a 5-rating from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

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.

Istokpoga.info 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: (Tuesday 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 Istokpoga.info. 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 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 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 HighlandsBassAngler.com for complete details. Phone: 863-381-8474. Email: DavidPDouglass@hotmail.com.