The Freshwater Fishing Forecast for the first week of May gives anglers the last quarter moon phase and ideal spring weather for great sunrise and sunset fishing. The moon’s influence will be weak, but the weather conditions will be perfect to cause fish to feed heavily during the morning and evening hours when most anglers prefer to fish.

Fish are feeding at their highest annual rates of the year right now. Shorelines are teaming with feeding fish during the sunrise period. Bass and panfish will be putting on the majority of their annual weight gain through the month of May and beginning of June. It is reasonable to claim that, there really isn’t a bad day to go fishing in the month of May, in the heartland of Florida.

Fast retrieve speeds, heavy action baits, fished at the surface, or just above submerged grass beds, or from root base to root base of vegetative cover will attract strikes. But…anglers must match the hatch perfectly, especially in lakes with rich food-chains.

The richer the food-chain, the more well-fed fish are. When food is readily available…everywhere, the odds of a fake bait tricking the fish, diminishes significantly. And in lakes with a poor food-chain the opposite is true. Anything that drops into the water will be greeted with several hungry fish.

One of the key factors in tricking all fish and especially large bass, is wave-action. The greater the wave-action, the greater the masking of the bait will be. Waves disperse light rays in the top two to three feet of the water column. A wind of eight to twelve mph produces just enough wave-action to greatly reduce the ability of the fish to distinguish real food from fake food—more mistakes naturally occur.

Today through Wednesday a perfect fishing from the south will occur—speeds topping out at ten mph during the midday hours. The second half of the week a west followed by a north wind, will be slightly stronger with speeds reaching the ten to twelve mph range. Next weekend a perfect east will is forecasted.

The sun-to-cloud ratio will be fifty-fifty all week. An even mix of sun and clouds always produces a higher level of ‘fish adjustment’ activity. And that means fish will need-to-feed at higher rates as they move to cover and away from cover steadily throughout the day.

Water temperatures could not be better. Fish metabolisms are at high speed and water temperatures are still low enough to produce plenty of dissolved oxygen to enable fast digestion rates to match the high metabolism speeds. Tuesday morning and perhaps Wednesday morning, large bass will be in shoreline feeding areas bulking up.

Right now, ‘if it’s green, it will be seen’. Green baits of all color combination-types are working very well. I prefer green-brown or green-gold color combinations. In dark waters darker green-black produces excellent contrast at depths of two to eight feet in healthy vegetation. And my second choice is black and blue in any of the combination designs offered in the market. Spinnerbaits and swimbaits in any vegetation are on fire right now. Again, I prefer the darker colors with gold blades. And by the way, top-water in the month of May is the best it will be all year. The odds of getting some top-water footage on a GoPro are very good this month.

Best Fishing Days: Monday the last quarter moon occurs, causing the sunrise and sunset periods to improve slightly. And Tuesday and Wednesday will have better-then-average atmospheric pressure rise during the morning hours—0.10-0.12 In Hg rise.

The Major Fishing Period: Today the moon is overhead at 634 a.m. and the sunrise at 6:45 a.m. producing a feed rating of four from 6-8 a.m. Daily this period moves later by an hour and improves to a five rating Monday and Tuesday and returns to a four rating for the remainder of the week.

The Minor Fishing Period: Today the moon is underfoot at 7:03 p.m. and the sunset at 8 p.m. producing a feed rating of three to four from 6:30-9 p.m. Daily this period moves later by an hour and improves to a four rating Monday and Tuesday and deceases to a three rating for the remainder of the week.

The second minor period occurs when the moonset occurs at 11:51 a.m. and solar noon at 1:22 p.m. A three to four rating will occur from 11 a.m. – 2 p.m. Daily this period moves later by an hour and with an unchanged feed rating.

Due to the moon being at its weakest solar energy position—low position, producing very little interruption in solar energy levels entering the earth’s atmosphere—fish and wildlife will be cueing off of the solar periods more than the lunar periods. However since the underfoot and overhead lunar periods are occurring within the sunrise and sunset periods respectively, there will be a minor improvement during those two solar periods.

Prime Monthly Periods: 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. News & Info: The lake level is at 38.85 feet above sea level today. The S68 spillway status as of yesterday morning: One of four gates is open one foot flowing 190 cubic feet per second. The current seasonal maximum level is 38.85 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.

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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 Each map is edited to include boat ramp locations and have been enlarged for easy reading. 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 experience on twenty-five lakes, from the towns Kissimmee to Clewiston. Offers general and custom bass fishing charters and specializes in tournament-level 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:

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