The Freshwater Fishing Forecast for the first week of August gives anglers a weak full moon phase and a weak hurricane Isaias which will interrupt the first half of the full moon week, which started Friday.

Since there will be significant cloud-cover during the night, full moon nighttime fishing will be poor, which is good news for daytime anglers — less fish feeding at night means more fish feeding during solar noon and the lunar underfoot periods.

This month’s full moon occurs during the least influential period of the moon’s 28-day orbit cycle. A 6-rating will be the best feed rating this full moon will produce. And with the storm interrupting it, the second half of the full moon week will be the better period of the seven-day phase.

The storm will produce a 15- to 20-mph north wind today as barometric pressure drops, causing fish to adjust downward and out into open water cover areas. However Monday morning and afternoon the pressure trend reverses; barometric pressure will rise quickly and significantly which will force fish to adjust upward into shoreline feeding areas.

Significant cloud-cover will dominate the first half of this week. Fish-kill events for shallow lakes is a real threat until bright sunlight prevails. If the extended weather forecast is correct, this won’t occur until next weekend. It should be noted that fish enter a ‘stressed state’ when oxygen levels drop too low. They’ll go deeper to the cooler water which holds more oxygen.

Best Fishing Days: Monday atmospheric pressure will rise significantly, rebounding from the storm. Therefore fish will need to adjust upward into shoreline shallows which will make midday and sunset fishing very good. Tuesday will also produce at above average rates during the midday hours.

The Major Fishing Period: Today the moon is overhead at 12:20 p.m. and solar noon at 1:32 p.m. producing a feed rating of 5-6 from 10:30 a.m.– 2:30 p.m. Daily this period moves later by an hour and remains at the same rating until Wednesday when it diminishes to a 4 rating.

The Minor Fishing Periods: The moonrise occurs today at 7:52 p.m. and the sunset at 8:13 p.m. producing a feed rating of 4-5 from 7-9 p.m. Daily this rating moves later by 45 minutes. A second minor period occurs when the moonset occurs at 5:38 a.m. and the sunrise at 6:50 a.m. producing a feed rating of 4 from 5-8 a.m. Daily this period moves later by one hour and remains at a 4 rating.

Prime Monthly Periods: August 2-5, weak full moon; August 16-21 strong 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.

Lightning is a real threat during rainy season. Anglers need a timed escape plan when fishing 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. Make sure your bilge pump works.

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.

Istokpoga.info News: The lake level is at 38 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 was 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 three feet, flowing a combined total of 2,600 cubic feet per second. Currently the lake is three inch below the maximum level of 38.25 feet. Due to the lake being able to increase volume six times faster than water can be release, SFWMD is releasing water before hurricane Isaias arrives.

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.^p