The Freshwater Fishing Forecast for the last five days of May will give anglers the first quarter moon on Friday and the typical rain season forecast of midday to afternoon thunderstorms and a mild to medium easterly wind until tropical systems approach from the south.

Today a south wind at ideal fishing speeds of 8 to 10 mph will occur and atmospheric pressure will rise throughout the day and continuing into Thursday morning. So be expecting fish to adjust upward over the next 24 hours. For the rest of the week a mild easterly wind will prevail.

Friday the first quarter moon occurs, which will produce major feeding periods during the sunrise and sunset periods. June is the month for excellent early morning fishing. Ideal water temperatures occur at this time and daily high-temperature periods are at the top of the ideal feeding range for Florida’s freshwater species — 70-82 degrees at depths fish hold.

Best Fishing Days: Atmospheric pressure is currently climbing and will top-out Thursday during the late morning hours at 30.05 In Hg — that’s a total of 0.17 In Hg of barometric rise which starts during the sunrise today. Therefore fish will move into the shallow throughout today and Thursday morning to adjust and opportunistic feeding will result.

The Major Fishing Periods: Today the moon is overhead at 4:55 p.m. and the sunset at 8:14 p.m. which creates a feed rating of 5 from 4-8 p.m. Daily this period moves later by one hour and remains at a 5-rating until three days before the full moon which occurs June 5—feed-rate daily increase of one point will occur.

Today the moon is underfoot at 5:23 a.m. and the sunrise at 6:31 a.m. which will create a feed rating of 5-6 from 5-8 a.m. Daily this period moves later by an hour and remains at the same rating through the weekend.

It should be noted for Florida’s freshwater lakes, and especially the shallow type lakes, that high water temperatures will cause fish to feed during the early morning lunar periods for the next five weeks. This will last until the daily low-water temperature climbs into the low to middle 80-degree range during mid-July, in which case low dissolved oxygen levels during the morning hours will slow feeding activity.

The Minor Fishing Period: Today the moonrise occurs at 10:45 a.m. and solar noon at 1:23 p.m. which will create a feed rating of 4 from 10 a.m. — 2 p.m. Daily this period moves later by an hour with an unchanging feed rating.

Prime Monthly Periods: June 2-8, full moon; June 18-24, new moon; July 2-8, full moon; July 17-23, new moon; August 1-5, full moon; August 16-21, new moon.

New at On the Fishing Forecast blog page, 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. Access advice and facts relative to the current fishing conditions on days I believe will be better than average. Occasionally I’ll 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.

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 $250.00 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 38.50 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.) Three gates are open one foot, flowing a combined 960 cubic feet per second. Currently the lake is three inches above 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. 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: