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Daniel Newton with a 10-pound Istokpoga Bass caught on April 5.

The Freshwater Fishing Forecast for the third week of April gives anglers the full moon phase week, which starts Tuesday since the full moon occurs Friday. The moon also arrives at its closest orbit point from earth on Tuesday which will cause the ‘lunar effect’ to be strong during the underfoot period in the late morning hours.

This week the weather forecast is a typical Florida spring season pattern. Daily the wind shifts almost ninety degrees, completing a full 360 degree rotation every five days. This pattern produces ‘greater-than-average’ atmospheric pressure changes up and down twice daily and the cloud-to-sun ratio averages in the forty to sixty percent range.

Anytime the weather produces barometric pressure changes of 0.08-0.12 In Hg or greater and there’s close to an even mix of sun and clouds, “Fish Adjustment” rates increase. And this causes fish to expend greater energy, which in turn causes a greater need-to-feed and opportunistic-feeding increases above average rates as well.

All freshwater fish are feeding at their highest annual rates currently. This will continue until water temperatures climb into the mid-eighty degree range. Therefore it is imperative that anglers present their baits exactly like the natural prey of your preferred fish species.

Bass for instance, are using their lateral lines to judge the girth-vibration levels of their food-source. The more vibration they sense-feel, the greater the benefit. Also when a bait fish is full of food they swim slower and move to tight cover for a peaceful digestion state.

Giant Florida largemouth bass wait in ambush for successful bait-fish feeders within the best protective cover areas. Let me put it this in a human-way, if all people suddenly became cannibals, extreme violence would be….necessary for existence. Now…you’re starting to think like a fish. Think…Barracuda! Florida’s largemouth bass are the Barracuda of the freshwater world.

Currently bass are targeting fat bait fish species. Therefore large spinnerbaits, baits with spoons, Johnson Spoons, fat plastics, fat jerkbaits and swimbaits, and fat heavy vibration stick baits are all producing very well. And dark green, blue and black are contrasting very well in all lakes.

The natural bait fish species have seasonal color changes which help to protect them from being eaten. Therefore choosing a contrasting bait-color which stands out from nature and produces the same vibrations as the species being primarily eaten, will produce more strikes.

In case you have not determined that I have always been a strictly artificial-bait bass angler, let me say, “When both my arms wear-out from pitching and casting artificial baits, I’ll start using a bobber and a shiner to catch bass.” My arms feel stronger than ever by the way.

Best Fishing Days: Since ‘above-average fishing’ occurred Friday evening and Saturday morning, the next mass feeding activity will occur Monday and Wednesday — if the extended weather forecast occurs as predicted. The water temperature is currently in the mid-seventy degree range which always means fish feed at above-average rates every two to three days.

Major Fishing Period: Today the moon is underfoot at 9:19 a.m. and with the sunrise occurring at 7:02 a.m. there will be a feed intensity rating of 4-5 from 6:30-9:30 a.m. Daily this period moves later by one hour and the rating will increase a half number every other day.

Minor Fishing Period: Today the moonrise occurs at 2:55 p.m. and solar noon at 1:25 p.m. which will cause a feed rating of 4 from 1-3:30 p.m. Daily this period moves later by an hour and the rating should hold steady in the 4-range.

Prime Monthly Periods: April 16-21 full moon, May 1-6 new moon, and 15-20 full moon, June 1-5 new moon, and 14-19 full moon.

Highlands Bass Angler Bass Guide Specials: A 6-hour spring charter for $250.00 for one or two anglers, all gear, artificial bait and tackle included. Or, want to learn a particular lake and how fish use it? 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 39.15 feet above sea level, and is the current high-level, which will be gradually dropping another 9-10” to 38.25’ by end of May. The minimum low-level currently is 38.00’ and will be dropping another 6” by the end of April to 37.50’.

S68 Spillway Status: (Saturday 4 a.m.) Three gates are open an average of three inches, flowing a combined 385 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 has started. Expect to see bigger males forcing smaller males from lakes and rivers and into smaller water bodies and even your swimming pools, for the next four months.

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 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.

If a gator takes residency on your property call authorities. They will have licensed professionals relocate this dangerous predator. Don’t be the cause or the victim of an unpredictable attack of a male Florida gator during mating season, admire them from a safe distance. 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 teacher on twenty-five lakes, from the towns Kissimmee to Clewiston. Visit for complete details. Phone: 863-381-8474. Email:


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