The Freshwater Fishing Forecast for the third week of September gives anglers the best fishing days of the month. The moon arrived at its most influential orbit position for producing greater positive weather changes, yesterday. And the new moon occurs Thursday, a day prior to arriving at its closest orbit point from earth—lunar perigee.

Anglers can therefore expect a very high level of ‘fish adjustment activity’ with a five-rating today and an eight-rating Wednesday through Friday. The greater lunar interference with solar energy, the greater fish need to adjust, and thus feeding activity occurs as a result—fish are opportunistic feeders and greater activity means better success in the hunt for prey.

However, the weather forecast predicts significant cloud-cover for the first half of this week. The more clouds dominate sunshine, the less feeding activity will occur during the heat of September. Less sun means less oxygen. Fish digestion rates slow way down when this occurs. Hopefully our county experiences enough sunshine in the late morning and afternoon hours. If so, we’ll see the normal feed ratings a strong new moon produces.

Wind speeds today will be ideal out of the east southeast. Monday through the remainder of the week however, will not be so ideal. East southeastern winds in the five to six mph range are predicted with little to no wind forecasted Friday and Saturday.

So weather threatens to dampen fishing efforts this week. This is one week where I hope the weather man is 100% incorrect. We need bright sunshine to enhance a strong new moon phase. If he is correct, fish will remain deeper and when they feed it won’t be as close to cover as when bright sunlight forces them into the safety of dark cover.

Best Fishing Days: Tuesday through Thursday a strong new moon will produce very good feeding activity. However weather conditions could slow feeding activity.

The Major Fishing Period: Today the moon is overhead at 10:02 a.m. and solar noon at 1:20 p.m. producing a feed rating of 5-6 from 9:30 a.m. – 12:30 p.m. Daily this period moves later by an hour and will have rating increase of a half point. By the midweek a rating of 8 will occur from 10:30 a.m. – 2 p.m. It should be noted that significant cloud-cover will cause fish to move deeper to more oxygenated depths and away from cover.

The Minor Fishing Period: Today the moonset occurs at 5:07 p.m. and the sunset at 7:32 p.m. producing a feed rating of 4-5 from 4:30-7:30 p.m. Daily this period moves later by 50 minutes and will have a rating increase of a half point. By the midweek a rating of 6-7 occurs from 6-8:30 p.m. This period could outperform the major period. Depends on rate of cloud-cover. The more sunlight prior to the feeding period, the better the feeding activity will be.

Prime Monthly Periods: September 14-20 strong new moon, September 28-October 3 weak full moon, 13-19 super new moon, October 28- November 3, weak full moon.

Seasonal Safety Alerts: Lightning is a real threat during the 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.

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 38.70 feet above sea level today. Currently, the South Florida Water Mgmt. District’s (SFWMD) lake-level schedule is 38.65’ for the high-level mark, and 38.25’ for the low-level mark. The low lake level parameter will be gradually raised to 39’ and the high level to 39.5’, by October 15.

The S68 Spillway Status: (Yesterday morning 4 a.m.) Three gates are open 2.5 feet, flowing a combined 2200 cubic feet per second. Currently the lake is above the maximum level of 38.65’.

Lake Istokpoga information can be accessed at Check SFWMD real-time S68 and S68X spillway gates status and the Army Corps of Engineers’ annual graphical plot schedule.

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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. 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 resources, plus fishing philosophy, bass photos from 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 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 for complete details. Phone: 863-381-8474. Email: