The Freshwater Fishing Forecast for the last three days of April and beginning of May gives Florida’s freshwater anglers the end of the super full moon phase, which ends Friday, and a weather forecast typical of the start of a rainy season pattern.
All fishing factors considered; anglers will see above-average feeding activity today through Friday as the super full moon phase finishes. However feed rates will drastically decline as the moon arrives at its least influential position to solar energy on Sunday.
So starting this weekend, we enter the weak lunar influence days of the twenty-eight day lunar cycle. For this reason fish will cue more from the three daily solar periods---sunrise, solar noon, sunset---than lunar periods, starting Sunday and lasting for one week.
The weather forecast gives us a dropping barometer starting today. Winds will be out of the east at ten mph today, switching to the southeast at ten mph Thursday, and out of the southwest at twelve mph Friday. Starting Saturday a daily eight mph south wind will occur and continue through Wednesday of next week.
With the southerly wind pattern comes an increases chance of afternoon and evening thunderstorms and moderate to mild rainfall. Cloud-cover becomes a factor during the weekend and the beginning of next week. Fish will not be holding tight to cover but instead moving away from protection so be prepared to work harder to locate feeders. I’ll be using spinnerbaits and swimbaits over the top of submerged grasses which lead to thicker cover areas.
Even though ‘feed-rate forecasts’ published by all fishing publications, predict a low rating for the first seven days of May…..here in Florida, it very well, might not apply. Currently in our great state, freshwater fish are busy packing-on the majority of their annual weight gain even during weak lunar periods. Water temperatures are in the ideal feeding range of seventy to eight-four degrees and therefore fish are feeding every two days. So….it is very realistic to believe a ‘five rating’ will be the likely bottom feed-rating for the next six weeks.
In my Major and Minor Fishing Period segments below, I’ve provided the major published ratings. This is because I always start with ‘worst-case scenario’ when planning a fishing strategy. With a lower rating in mind, the accomplished, experienced angler, formulates a plan A, B, and C, believing a diverse approach produces the best outcome in the end. If a five or better rating happens to occur during plan A then plan B and C will be used only to satisfy curiosity after plan A’s success.
“After several big bass have been boated on a black and blue Yum Dinger, will a gold spinnerbait and gold Johnson Weedless Spoon, achieve the same results?” The curiosity drives the additional effort in the determination of defining the ‘failure rate’.
Best Fishing Days: Thursday and Friday a low pressure system takes over the weather forecast. Ideal fishing winds will shift out of the southeast and southwest respectively, and pressure drops moderately (0.08 In Hg) daily and bottoms-out at 29.90 In Hg Friday evening. Therefore fish will be on the move gradually downward and from the shoreline shallows to the deeper sections of shoreline vegetation today through Friday. Tree-pile fish will simply move to the base of the structure.
When fish adjust, they feed. However the adjustment activity level will be minor and thus, a minor increases in feed rating will occur. Some adjustment is better than none.
The Major Fishing Period: Today the moon is underfoot at 2 p.m. and solar noon at 1:22 p.m. producing a feed rating of five to six from 12-3 p.m. Daily this period moves later by an hour and deceases in feed rating to a three-rating on Friday from 4-6 p.m. The weekend’s rating remains at three during the hours of 5:30-8:30 p.m.
The Minor Fishing Period: Today the moonset occurs at 8:01 a.m. and the sunrise at 6:48 a.m. producing a feed rating of four from 6-9 a.m. Daily this period moves later by fifty minutes and decreases to a two to three rating by Friday during the hours of 8:30-11 a.m. The weekend’s rating will remains in the two to three rating from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
Prime Monthly Periods: April 28-30 last two days of super full moon phase, May 8-14 new moon, 23-29 super full moon, June 7-13 strong new moon, 21-27 super full moon (note: feed rating of new moon in May and June will be five and ten points higher respectively, than the super full moons of both months due to the moon being directly in the path of solar energy, producing a much higher rate of lunar interference).
Highlands Bass Angler Bass Guide Specials: I have added a “Sign-in/Register” option on the website. I invite you to register, which will provide you access to extra bass fishing content when you ‘sign-in’. I’ll publish ‘extra’ information when fishing factors changed from what this article predicted Sunday and Wednesday. We all know the weather is not always predictable three days or more in advance.
A 4-6 hour bass charter trip for $300.00 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 & Info: The lake level is at 38.97 feet above sea level today. The S68 spillway status as of yesterday morning: One of four gates is open, flowing 440 cubic feet per second. The current seasonal maximum level is 39.00 and the low level 37.75’ but will be dropped gradually to a maximum of 38.25’ and minimum of 37.50’ by June. Click on the South Florida Water Management and Army Corp of Engineer links for real-time lake level data and information.
Fishing from Shorelines: Learn where fish feed along shorelines by consulting a lake contour map. There are forty-five 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.
HighlandsBassAngler.com offers bass fishing guide-trip options, 72 lake-contour maps and additional map resources, plus fishing philosophy, bass photos and more. Personalized custom fishing-package options for the leisure fishermen and serious and or professional anglers are available upon request.
Dave Douglass is a bass fishing guide and has experienced on twenty-five 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