The Freshwater Fishing Forecast for the third week of July gives angler the full moon headed toward the lunar apogee which occurs next Sunday and a typical rainy season weather forecast with no high or low pressure systems to factor-in until next weekend.

The full moon occurs Tuesday night and afternoon thunderstorm activity is forecasted every afternoon and evening from Monday through the end of the week. The nighttime weather forecast is predicting a few clouds but a full moon should be able to shine bright causing some fish to feed when they otherwise would not.

During July and August plants use the oxygen they produce during bright sunny days. And if overcast conditions prevail during the day, much less oxygen is produced which means far less nighttime oxygen as well. Therefore many of our lakes will not produce normal full moon feeding activity even if the moon shines bright.

With low dissolved oxygen rates, fish digestion slows down significantly. The brighter the sunshine during the day, the greater the oxygen rate will be during the midday to sunset hours. The low oxygen period of the day occurs from 2-7 p.m.

When full moons occur close to lunar apogees during the Florida summer months the midday lunar underfoot periods are better than fishing than under a bright shining full moon. Especially if the sun shines bright during the day.

Best Fishing Days: Today through Thursday the full moon will shine bright causing better than average nighttime feeding which will diminish the midday fishing activity. But due to the high water temperatures and low dissolved oxygen levels during the night, I expect the midday fishing over the next four to five days to be above average with Monday and Tuesday producing the best of those five days.

So I do not list the midnight full moon period as the major fishing period because I have experienced over the years that weak full moon periods during summer months produce equal or greater fishing results during the solar noon period than occurs twelve hour later.

And I also have experienced a greater sunset moonrise bites due to dissolved oxygen being at the daily high rate at this time of day. So photosynthesis will be the main trigger for fish to feed during the next two months.

If the weather forecast turns-out to be wrong and overcast conditions prevail over the next four to five days, well, all bets are off. Good Luck. Fishing the windy side of the lake during the midday hours will be my best guess for any success.

Major Fishing Period: Today the moon is underfoot at 11:41 a.m. and solar noon at 1:32 p.m. which will create a feed intensity rating of 5-6 from 10:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Daily this period moves later by an hour and will remain at a 5-6 rating until Thursday when it declines to a 3-4 rating from 2-5 p.m.

Minor Fishing Period: Today the moonrise occurs at 6:44 p.m. and the sunset at 8:23 p.m. which will create a feed intensity rating of 4-5 from 6-9 p.m. Daily this period moves later by fifty minutes and increases in intensity rating by a point every two days until Friday when it declines to a 4-rating from 7-10 p.m.

Prime Monthly Periods: July 14-18 full moon, July 29-Aug 4 one day from super new moon status, Aug. 12-17 weak full moon, Aug. 27-Sept. 2 super new moon.

Highlands Bass Angler Bass Guide Specials: A 4-6 hour summer charter for $250.00 for up to three anglers, all gear, artificial bait and tackle included. Or, want 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 38.16 feet above sea level. 38.25’ is the current high-level for the rainy season through July. The minimum low-level is 37.50’ until July when it will be raised 3 inches. During extreme rain events the lake rises six times faster than water is able to be released at the S68 spillway structure’s four gates.

S68 Spillway Status: (Saturday 4 a.m.) Three gates are open six inches flowing a combined 600 cubic feet per second.

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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Angler Safety Alert: The alligator mating season will continue through July. Do not feed alligators. Do not get close for a better picture. Alligators becoming familiar with human activity usually results in children and occasionally adults and pets being attacked and killed or seriously maimed. It’s illegal to feed the lethal alligator. If you witness anyone doing this contact the local authorities.

Dave Douglass is a bass fishing guide and teacher on twenty-five lakes, from the towns Kissimmee to Clewiston. Visit for complete details. Phone: 863-381-8474. Email:

If a gator takes residency on your property call authorities. They will have a licensed professional relocate this dangerous predator. Don’t be the cause or the victim of an unpredictable attack of a male Florida gator during mating season, instead admire them from a safe and legal distance.

Lightning is a real threat: During the rainy season lightning is a real threat, therefore anglers should formulate an escape plan when fishing during the afternoon and evening hours. Weather apps for smart phones are always very beneficial in providing an alert thirty minutes before a weather system enters your location.

Anglers should be able to get off the lake and into a vehicle within five to ten minutes when fishing during the development of storm activity. Do not take cover under trees or tents. If you get caught on the lake as lightning starts lay lower than your main motor. And it’s essential that you have a working fire extinguisher on board.

Fishing from Shorelines: Learn where the deeper water comes closest to 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.


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