Late afternoon fishing heats up

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The Florida freshwater fishing forecast for the third week of June includes the end of the full moon phase as it wanes toward the last quarter phase that arrives on Thursday. The moon’s orbit reached the perigee yesterday which will produce heavier fish feeding migrations during the moonset and underfoot positions for daytime anglers.


The stormy season weather forecast continues this week, which will make fishing during the better of the two daytime feeding migrations a little challenging. As with all post full moon phases, the afternoon fishing, when the moon is underfoot, is the better period of the day to go fishing.


However, as the moonset occurs during the midmorning hours, atmospheric pressure changes usually occur as the high-heat period starts which can create a very good fish feeding migration.


The major feeding migration of the day occurs from 4-8 p.m. with no discernable peak period due to the sporadic afternoon weather storms. A rating of 5-6 is likely just as atmospheric pressure changes either up or down.


The minor fishing migration of the day occurs from 8-11 a.m. during the moonset period. This feeding period could equal the afternoon period if high atmospheric pressure occurs within our county as the moonsets and the sun arrives overhead.


The artificial baits that have been producing best in all lakes throughout the county are any plastics or spoons that resemble bluegill, shad, shiners, and needle fish. Spinner baits, swim baits, and buzz baits retrieved very slowly near the lake’s bottom in 3-7 feet of depth along lily pads, bulrush, and cattails have also been very good.


A slow, heavy-action, bait that swims slow and steady through deeper vegetation, occasionally stopping for five seconds, has been working far better than a medium to fast retrieve speed with no pauses. The larger bass have been more interested in the slower moving action that pauses and stays within cover instead of a bait that swims above the cover at a higher speed with no pause.


If any of the afternoons and evenings this week happen to have good fishing weather, there should be an excellent top-water bait action as lakes food chains along windy sides of the lake become active during the high dissolved-oxygen period of the day which happens as the moon is underfoot.


For the summer months, June, July, and August, I am offering a half-day bass fishing trip for one to three people that include bait and tackle, for $225. Launch time is at 6 a.m. and the trip ends at noon. Book your trip today.


Lake Istokpoga


You can access all Lake Istokpoga information such as lake management plans and events, current spillway status, real-time data and many other facts concerning Highlands County’s top fishery by visiting


And, if you would like to view and or print a lake contour map of the lake you are fishing, anywhere in the state providing one has been created and offered on the internet, visit where all maps are free.


Fish and Wildlife Commission News


The FWC has given freshwater anglers a free weekend of fishing — no fishing license required — this month on June 14-15.


The FWC is asking the public to get involved and participate in a survey they are conducting on their website regarding a new rule change in the daily bag limit for bass.


Instead of the three different bag limits currently enforced throughout the state — northwest, northeast to central, and south zones, the new rule change would be just one statewide rule of five bass under 16 inches with one bass allowed over 16 inches of those five bass.


The new bass bag limit rule would not affect tournament bass anglers. They would still be able to obtain regulation exemptions on the FWC website that would allow weighing-in bass within the protected slot size of over 16 inches, etc.


And regarding special bag limit rules on lakes like Istokpoga and Walk-In-Water that currently have a three bass per angler per day of sizes 15 inches or smaller with allowance of one of the three to be over 24 inches, right now the FWC is currently evaluating these two fisheries for later determination.


This is why if you’re an angler who fishes these two lakes, which most of the anglers in Highlands County I know do fish these two lakes, you should participate in the survey to voice your opinion on the proposed rule change. The new rule change is scheduled to take effect on July 1, 2016.



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