The Freshwater Fishing Forecast for the second half of the second week of July gives anglers the first quarter moon phase which started yesterday, and the usual rainy season weather forecast; not much atmospheric pressure change, fifty percent cloud cover average and scattered thunderstorm activity development as temperatures rise.

An ideal south fishing-wind with speeds in the six to ten mile per hour (mph) range will occur today through Friday. Late Friday night a high pressure system will produce a very weak variable southerly wind with wind direction shifting southeast to east during the weekend. Wind speeds might top-out at five mph Saturday and Sunday by midday.

During the summer months, the majority of fish populations will be in the deepest healthy vegetation in the lake primarily. Only when a high pressure system enters the state will fish move into shallow traditional feeding areas, but just for a short period. Better digestion rates occur where there is greater dissolved oxygen rates and the cooler the water temperature the greater the oxygen rating.

Best Fishing Days: Of the next five days, Friday evening and Sunday mid-morning will produce the best. A high pressure system will be entering the state which will cause fish to move shallow to feed. The brighter the sunlight, the greater the feed intensity rating.

Major Fishing Period: Today the moon is overhead at 8:43 p.m. and the sunset occurs at 8:24 p.m. and the dissolved oxygen rate will be near its daily high mark. Also there has been a moderate atmospheric pressure increase in the two to three hours prior to the sunset. Therefore a feed intensity rating of 3-4 will occur today from 7-9:30 p.m. Daily this period moves later by fifty minutes and remains at a 3-rating.

Minor Fishing Period: Today the moon is underfoot at 8:19 a.m. and the sunrise at 6:37 a.m. Dissolved oxygen rates will be at the daily lowest rate from 3-7 a.m. however there will be the normal daily atmospheric pressure increase during the early to mid-morning hours. Therefore a 3-rating will occur from 8-10 a.m. Daily this period moves later by fifty minutes and improves slightly in feed rating by a half point every two days.

By the weekend the moon underfoot period will begin to harmonize with solar noon creating a daily major fishing period from 9-11:30 a.m. producing a 4-5 rating. If the previous night produced a bright moon, the rating will decrease to a 3-rating.

It should be noted that during the summer rainy season weather pattern, if there happens to be a bright morning and midday sun, fishing will be fairly good due to dissolved oxygen production within healthy vegetation areas from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m. A 3-rating is likely.

Prime Monthly Periods: July 13-18 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 38.12 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: (Tuesday 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.

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 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.

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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