Bring on the night fishing
Published: January 23, 2013
Published: January 23, 2013
The fishing forecast for the remainder of the week will give anglers the start of the full moon week; fairly consistent weather, with cloud cover being the negative fishing factor; and a few days that the forecasters say will be mostly sunny.
The lunar factors are weak, with the moon's orbit apogee occurring yesterday while the moon is waxing the final 15 percent to the "full" phase for Sunday.
All in all, Highlands County winter anglers can't complain and have plenty incentive to get out on the lakes and see what they can catch.
Nighttime anglers will have the best of it, with the moon heading into seven days of bright nighttime lights, if the clouds cooperate. Nothing slows down a full moon bite week more than prevailing cloudy nighttime skies. But on the positive side, the cloud cover does cause warmer temperatures and this translates into more active fish.
As with the daytime counterpart, the same goes for the nighttime feeding activity. The more light, the more movement to protective cover, which means anglers will not have to looks as far or as much to find concentrations of fish.
The major feeding migration of the day will occur from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. over the next four to five days. Today, the peak period starts near the beginning of the migration and should reach a 5 to 6 on the rating scale of 10, with 10 being best.
This feeding period will move later into the morning by about 45 to 60 minutes each day and build feeding intensity slightly to move the rating needle up the scale by a half number.
Due to the weather forecast, the nighttime feeding migration will probably not outperform the daytime migration's feeding action. Water temperatures are ideal right now, with temperatures in the mid to upper 60s first thing in the morning, so the night will have above-average feeding action from 9:30 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. The feed rate should be in the 5-range, but with a significant moonlight, an improvement of one number will occur.
The best days of the next five will be Friday and Sunday, due to the full sunlight and minimal cloud cover predicted for those days. Thursday night should therefore be the best night of the week and possibly Friday night a close second. Depending on how fast the weather moves through our state, Saturday night could also get an honorable mention.
Looking ahead to next week, anglers must brace for more gray skies as overcast conditions continue to dominate all anglers. The higher wind days start this Saturday and reach the middle teens for speeds by midday Sunday. Monday, the wind direction switches from east to south at some point late in the day, which will drive Tuesday's temps as much as eight degrees.
Lake Istokpoga's level is at 39.65 feet above sea level and Okeechobee is at 14.85 feet above sea level.
Dave Douglass is a bass fishing guide and conservationist since 2006 in Highlands County. Website: HighlandsBassAngler.com.