Tampa Bay Fishing Report - Dec

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Tampa Bay Fishing Report - Dec

Post by wgbassgirl »

FISHING: Cold Front Brings Start To Bass Spawning
Informational Source - Highlands Today

Dave Douglass

Published: December 19, 2007

With the first-quarter moon occuring last Monday at 10:18 a.m., the daytime bite today and Thursday should prove to be better than it has been the last few weeks.

Barometric pressure forecasts predict a steady gradual drop over the next four days, and this means fish feeding migration increases in duration and intensity during the weather pattern.

On Monday, the barometric pressure reached 30.32 inches of mercury (inHg), causing fish to migrate to deeper areas for longer periods. Atmospheric pressure increased, multiplied the hydraulic pressure, which resulted in suspended dormant fish.

Add to this factor the water temperature drop of about 10 degrees, and fishermen and anglers experience poor results for a few days. The fish however, do feed during these types of weather patterns very briefly and select a different vegetative area, where heat is retained within the water column. Now, this is not because the fish are cold — fact is fish don't get cold, instead their metabolisms slow down considerably, and thus the "lock jaw" affects the anglers most often refer to during clear skies and low winds.

Today's conditions should prove to be a six or seven on a scale from one to 10.
Peak period lies between 10:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. and maybe, depending on late afternoon weather pattern changes, a brief feeding migration will occur two hours before sundown.

This pattern trend starts later each day as usual, but don't forget to factor in the weather changes that occurred during the previous 12 hours — bad weather at 1 a.m. pushes the daytime feeding migration later into the lunar cycle. Instead of a 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. bite, expect it to change to noon to 2 p.m.
Notice the start time changes, but the end time remains the same, demanding that the angler be at the right place at the right time.

Fishing Facts

With the recent cold front — the first major one of this winter season — and the full moon approaching us on Monday the 24th at 1:16 a.m., the bass-spawning season should officially be off to the races.

The first major cold front combined with the approaching full moon acts like a starting pistol at the angler's race track. This angler plans to race from one known spawning area to the next as part of his daily agenda.

Fishing Report

Lake June anglers have been reporting very good stringers using Carolina rigs and plastic worms in 12 feet of water where vegetation thrives. Before the last front, everyone was boating limits in record time.

Crooked Lake anglers located bass and crappie along northeastern structural routes leading from 25 feet to five feet of water depth. Bass held along the thicker Kissimmee grass mats and crappie moved along protected upcurrent slopes in the lake bottom.

Lake Istokpoga anglers continue to catch crappie along the west wall area mostly, while bass are mostly in sparse open hydrilla areas in five to six feet of water where the thick weed is one or two feet off the bottom and protected behind a topped out area which acts as a filter barrier producing clear water — perfect spawning areas.

The Spring Lake area of Istokpoga also has been yielding decent stringers, as bass move up out of the largest deeper area of the lake into the usual spawning areas to pre-stage.

Cattail areas where deeper water and current occur, also hold bass now.

Other News

Lake Istokpoga weed management plans are scheduled by Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FFWC) to start sometime this week. The areas to be treated: The northern section of the west wall, Henderson's Point, north section of Big Island, Lykes Cove, Spring Lake to No Name Creek, and Arbuckle Creek to U.S. 98 Istokpoga Park ramp area.

SOS Florida Lakes Inc provides all the FWC's Lake Istokpoga management updates and information on their Web site, http://www.sos-floridalakes.org/ihmap. Each management area has been mapped out in printable sizes for the lake user's convenience.

Hydrilla treatment schedules will be provided once the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) completes hydrilla mapping and provides this information to the Lake Istokpoga Management Hydrilla Sub-Committee. SOS has a seat on this committee and offers their Hydrilla management plan on their Web site on the "Information" web page.

SOS also presented to Highlands County Lakes and Recreation Director, Vicki Pontius, their plan to add Kiosks on all lake access ramps in order to provide all the lake management news ahead of time to enable lake users to have access to areas of the lake which were already treated or soon to be treated. This is welcomed news for the lake user's budget and fishing experience — fishing where treatments have occurred without knowing it doesn't produce any results. The Kiosks will be installed in January unless SOS members can get this achieved before then. All the materials which will be offered in the kiosks is also already available online at their Web site.

The Wednesday Morning Black Bass Fishing Tournament is open to the public. Next Event is today on Lake June from 7:30 a.m. to noon.

Pay at ramp — entry fee is $30 per boat. One person may fish alone if you do not have a partner. For information, contact Paul Tardiff at 863-385-8007 (home), 863-446-1310 (cell) or e-mail bassbutchie60@aol.com. You can also contact Dwight Ameling at 863-471-3305.

Dave Douglass is a bass fishing guide and teacher, bass tournament fisherman and also an officer of SOS-Florida Lakes, Inc. You can reach him at 863-381-8474, e-mail davedouglass@sos-floridalakes.org or visit reds-bass-fishing-guides.com and sos-floridalakes.org.
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