fishing jump photo

Highlands Bass Angler Dave Douglass knows the lakes and where the fish are biting.

The Freshwater Fishing Forecast for the second week of June gives anglers the first full week of rainy season weather, and a strong first quarter moon phase because the lunar perigee occurred last Friday.

However, water temperatures have climbed into an unhealthy temperature above eighty-eight degrees and this changes how freshwater fish feed.

In Florida, freshwater fish species, and especially the largemouth bass, change their normal feeding migration patterns as water temperatures climb to a degree range which does not hold dissolved oxygen (D.O.) at adequate levels to enable normal digestion rates.

The Florida Largemouth Bass species actually loses weight during the summer months. High water temperature causes an accelerated metabolism which requires more food than during the other nine months of the year. But hot water holds less D.O. than ideal temperature water in the seventy to eight-five degree range. The result, a stressed fish needing to feed…but must wait for conditions to change where it can breathe and experience normal digestion. Weight loss occurs therefore.

During June through September the major fishing factor is ‘bright sunlight days and healthy vegetation’—high photosynthesis activity. The lunar phases still do play a part in the formation of feeding activity, however this is mostly true in deeper lakes and definitely not true in shallow lakes.

During the rainy season the early morning anglers experience the worst fishing results of the year. Again in shallow lakes more so than deeper lakes. D.O levels are just too low in many lakes. And during major rain events with an entire week of overcast conditions, fishing slows down in every lake without at least twelve feet of depth.

Best Fishing Days: This evening and during the mid-morning to noontime hours of Monday. There will be above-average atmospheric pressure rise during these two periods which will also rising dissolved oxygen rates enough to enable normal feeding and digestion.

Major Fishing Period: Today the moon overhead period occurs at 7:27 p.m. and the sunset at 8:20 p.m. and will cause a feed intensity rating of 5 from 6:30-9:30 p.m. For the next three days this period will be productive, especially in the shallow lakes.

This is due to dissolved oxygen levels being at the highest rate of the day and thus fish digestion rates will also be at the highest level of the day. D.O. levels become too low for many freshwater species to maintain normal digestion rates when water temperatures climb into the upper eighty degree range.

Shallow lakes don’t provide enough depth for fish to escape to depths where temperatures are ideal for holding D.O. levels fish can normally operate in. The result is, fish enter a stressed non-feeding mode until oxygen rates climb above 5 parts per million. Bright sunshine and healthy vegetation produces D.O. So from 3 p.m. to 8 p.m. during the summer months is when fish are ‘able to physically feed’.

So the lunar phase essentially becomes much less a critical factor in when fish feed from June through the beginning of September. Fish will feed best during these months when bright sunlight produces high photosynthesis levels for several hours from 9 a.m. to 3-4 p.m.

Minor Fishing Period: Normally, in every month but June through the beginning of September, the early morning period would be very good at this particular lunar phase. Today the moon is underfoot at 7 a.m. and the sunrise at 6:29 a.m. ‘But….this will not be the case due to D.O. levels being the lowest levels of the day---the same plants which produce oxygen in the bright sun, use oxygen to recover from the process of making oxygen during the night. And 3-6 a.m. is when D.O. rates are lowest.

Therefore the minor fishing period will start after about 3-4 hours of sunshine, and when atmospheric pressure is rising during the morning hours. Pressure will top-out at about 11 a.m. and D.O. production will be at full speed (if there is bright sunlight)…and additionally over the next two to three days, the moonrise (12:49 p.m.) will play a part as it harmonizes with solar noon (1:25 p.m.)

Therefore the minor feeding activity will occur at a 3-4 rate from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. It will remain during this period and will not follow the lunar factor of the moonrise. Again, in the summer extreme heat with water temps over 88 degrees for a daily high, fish take their feeding cue from the high D.O. period of the day.

Prime Monthly Periods: June 14-19 full moon, June 28-July 4 new moon, July 13-18 full moon.

Highlands Bass Angler Bass Guide Specials: A 6-hour summer charter for $250.00 for one or two 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 37.80 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 gates.

S68 Spillway Status: (Saturday 4 a.m.) Four gates are closed..

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 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 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, admire them from a safe and legal distance.

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.

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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