The Freshwater Fishing Forecast for the first week of December gives anglers typical winter weather conditions and the development of the first quarter moon phase which occurs on Wednesday.

All fishing factors considered, anglers will endure a strong southwesterly wind today and a strong west wind on Monday which will bring a significant cold front ‘low pressure system’ with some rain forecasted—usually this time of year a cold front means high pressure.

Therefore you can expect fish to be forced to move downward, which will be into the warmer water since the cold front will be strong enough to greatly drop the surface temperature of the water.

Water temperatures are at the bottom of the ideal feeding range of 70-82 degrees today and the cold front will drop temperatures into the middle sixty degree range. So you can expect bass to be bedding all this week and if the extended weather forecast is correct, the bass spawn will be a strong one as a high percentage of the species participates.

When the bass spawn occurs due to water temperatures in the middle to lower sixty degree range, for an extended period of time, bass anglers experience much less success. However as females come off the bed exhausted, they’ll be dormant for a few days and then feed heavily over several days.

If you happen to catch a spawning bass, please handle with great care. Don’t hold them only by the mouth, and don’t crank open their mouths for a better picture. Instead hold them with two hands supporting their weight horizontally. Then quickly release them exactly where you found them.

Bass Fact: Female do not drop all their eggs during a spawning effort. Usually one third or perhaps a half of the eggs will be deposited on the bed. She will spawn two to three times during the spawning season.

Another fact of the spawning bass is, once a female ages to the point where she’s over ten pounds, her fry will not survive due to genetic deterioration. He offspring will be of the highest genetic quality from four to nine pounds and thus will have the highest survival rate during that period of her life.

The full moon also does not cause the bass spawn. It helps the effort but it is not the single cause of the annual event. It’s the water temperature drop into the middle to lower sixty degree range that triggers the reproduction effort.

So with the significant drop in temperature combined with a low pressure system and the start of the bass spawn, plus the time of month with the lowest lunar affect level, bass anglers will have to work hard to find a hungry fish this week.

Best Fishing Days: Wednesday and Friday will have the best fishing factor changes, which will cause ‘fish adjustment’ activity to occur at above average rates. The morning and early afternoon hours should be the better periods of these two days.

The Major Fishing Period: Today the moon is overhead at 4:51 p.m. and the sunset occurs at 5:31 p.m. which will create a feed intensity rating of 3 from 4-6 p.m. Daily this period moves later by 45 minutes and diminishes in rating by a half number daily until the second half of the week when it normalizes in the 1-2 range.

During the second half of the week starting Wednesday when the first quarter moon occurs, the major period will switch to the sunrise period. The moon will be underfoot at 6:43 a.m. and the sunrise at 7:01 a.m. which will create a feed intensity rating of 3-4 from 6-8:30 a.m. Daily this period will move later by 45 minutes and will remain in the 3-4 range into next weekend.

The Minor Fishing Period: Today the moonrise occurs at 11:25 a.m. and solar noon at 12:15 p.m. which will create a feed intensity rating of 2-3 from 10:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Daily this period moves later by 40 minutes and remains in the 2-3 rating range.

Prime Monthly Periods: December 9-14 full moon, and 23-28 new moon, January 7-13 full moon, 21-27 new moon.

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, need to learn a particular lake and discover where fish are? Call for a ‘Custom Bass Fishing Classroom on the Lake Plan’ quote. Call 863-381-8474 to plan and book your bass fishing experience today. News: The lake level is at 39.30 feet above sea level today. Currently, the South Florida Water Mgmt. District’s (SFWMD) annual schedule for the lake is, 39.50’ for the high-level mark and 39’ for the low-level mark which will be dropped to 38.50’ by January first.

S68 Spillway Status: (Saturday 4 a.m.) All gates are closed in order to store water for the fall, winter and spring seasons. Florida’s water management district’s objective is to store as much water as possible throughout central Florida.

Visit website and click on the links to the South Florida Water Mgmt. (SFWMD) real-time S68 and S68X spillway gates status webpage. You’ll find water level and flow status data of all water-way structures from Kissimmee to Clewiston. Also provided is a link to the Army Corps of Engineers’ graphical plot, annual water-management schedule website link.

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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 sources, and fishing philosophy. Personalized custom fishing package options for beginners 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. 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: