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Lake Toho – short for Lake Tohopekaliga – is located in the heart of Central Florida, and is renowned for its world-class Bass fishing opportunities. In fact, some of the largest Bass ever caught have come from this lake, and it consistently ranks among the top trophy fish destinations in the country.
Anglers from all over flock to this pristine lake to chase trophy-sized Largemouth Bass in its fertile waters. If you’re planning to go Bass fishing in Lake Toho, this comprehensive guide will provide you with valuable information to make your trip a success.
Why Lake Toho?
Lake Toho spans over 18,800 acres and is part of the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes, which includes several interconnected lakes known for their excellent Bass fishing.
The lake is characterized by its diverse habitats, including Kissimmee grass, lilypads, bulrush, hydrilla, and offshore grass beds, which provide ideal conditions for Bass to thrive. The lake is also home to numerous islands, coves, and canals, all of which hold and produce fish.
Both regional and national Bass fishing tournaments have been held on Lake Toho. Most notably, the 2004 Bassmaster Elite series event was held here, in which Dean Rojas weighed in a 5-fish bag of 45 pounds and 2 ounces!
Lake Toho Bass Fishing Seasons
Lake Toho offers year-round Bass fishing opportunities, but the best times to target trophy Bass are typically during the cooler months of fall, winter, and early spring (October–March).
During the pre-spawn, spawning, and post-spawn seasons, Bass are more active and tend to feed more aggressively, increasing the chances of landing a big catch. However, Bass fishing can still be productive in other seasons, just with different techniques and tactics.
The summer can yield large quantities of Bass, particularly in the early morning and late evening. This is when schooling Bass like to feed on the surface in open water.
Spawning Bass Fishing Techniques
Pitching and Flipping
During the pre-spawn and spawning phases, Bass tend to seek cover in shallow areas with vegetation or structure. Pitching and flipping are effective techniques for targeting these areas.
Use a baitcasting rod and reel combo with A heavy line and a flipping or pitching bait, such as a jig or soft plastic creature bait, These will help you accurately cast your lure into cover and entice the Bass to strike.
Bass fishing in Lake Toho – and Florida as a whole – can mean heavy and thick cover. Anglers use as much as 1.5 ounces of weight to “punch” through the thick matted vegetation to reach the fish lurking below.
Topwater lures, such as poppers, buzzbaits, and frogs, can be highly effective during the Bass spawning season. As the Bass become more aggressive, they’re likely to strike at surface lures, especially early in the morning or late in the evening.
Experiment with different types of topwater lures and your retrieve cadence to find what works best for the conditions and the Bass’s feeding behavior.
Soft Plastic Lures
Soft plastic lures, such as speed worms, craws, and creature baits, can also be productive during the Bass spawning season. Texas rigging or wacky rigging soft plastics can be effective in enticing the Bass to strike, as they mimic natural prey in the Bass’s preferred spawning areas.
Black, blue, and green are the most popular colors on this lake, and most anglers fish with a Texas rig.
Spinnerbaits and Chatterbaits
Spinnerbaits and chatterbaits are versatile lures that can imitate bait fish and trigger reaction strikes. These are particularly effective when retrieving spawning Bass through sparse vegetation.
Retrieve them at different speeds and depths to find the most effective presentation. Experiment with different blade types, sizes, and colors to determine what the Bass are most responsive to. You’re sure to end up with a combo that suits you.
Sight fishing is a popular technique during the Bass spawning season as the fish are visible in shallow water while on their beds and defending their eggs.
Polarized sunglasses can be helpful in spotting the Bass. Once you locate them, delicately cast your bait on the edge of the bed and wait for a bite. It usually doesn’t take long!
Live Bait Fishing on Lake Toho
Fishing with live bait is a sure-fire way to get a bite on Lake Toho. This is wild shiner country, so you can try netting your own or buy a few dozen from the local bait and tackle shops nearby.
Note, they aren’t cheap! Wild shiners typically cost $18–30 per dozen depending on the size. And during the busy season you should call ahead to be sure bait shops aren’t sold out. But that being said, they’re fantastic bait and the majority of charter captains and guides prefer them, too!.
Alternatively, you can use sunfish such as juvenile bluegill, as long as they’re caught on a hook and line first (no cast netting!). These sometimes overlooked baits can produce real trophies when freelined under a cork in thick vegetation.
Bass Fishing Tackle and Gear
Both spinning reels and baitcasting reels are popular for Bass fishing on Lake Toho. Many anglers prefer to use a 30–60 lb braided line and a heavy power rod. This combo is ideal when fishing the heavy, thick cover the lake is known for.
This may seem like overkill, but once you hook into a 10 lb Bass under a mass of hydrilla, you’ll wish you had some heavy duty tackle to get him in the boat.
If you’re fishing in open water or sparse cover, 10–15 lb test line on your favorite 2500 series spinning reel will do the trick. Just be sure to keep a landing net on board, as well as a digital scale.
Lake Toho Bass Fishing Spots
Everywhere looks fishy on Lake Toho, which can make it difficult to know where to begin. Popular areas include Big Grassy Island, Cypress Cove, and the mouth of Shingle Creek. Keep an eye out for flowing water, either by wind or rain runoff, as Bass will often stay downstream to feed on passing bait fish.
Using your depth finder to locate submerged grass beds in 5–10 feet of water is a great way to locate fish, especially during the warmer summer months when they’re likely to be deep.
Lastly, keep an eye out for the bait. Diving birds, topwater disturbances and underwater pods are all signs of bait nearby. Wild shiners, shad, and juvenile sunfish are top food sources for hungry Lake Toho Bass. If you can locate a school of bait, the Bass will be nearby.
And if all else fails, ask around! Stop by the local tackle shop and get the latest intel. Most anglers are willing to point visitors in the right direction.
Getting Around on Lake Toho
Boating is a popular way to access the prime fishing spots on Lake Toho. You can bring your own boat or rent one from the various marinas and boat rental services around the lake. However, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the local boating regulations and safety measures to ensure an enjoyable experience.
Lake Toho is a shallow lake, with an average depth of 6 feet. During the warmer months, certain portions of the lake become engulfed with hydrilla and other aquatic vegetation. These areas can be great for fishing, but difficult to navigate.
Stick to the main boat trails and navigation channels. When in doubt, maintain an idle speed to avoid hitting any obstacles. Sometimes it’s best to follow a more experienced boater until you learn the lake.
Lake Toho Fishing Guides
If you’re new to Lake Toho or want to increase your chances of success, consider hiring a professional fishing guide.
Local Toho fishing guides have all the expertise and knowledge of the lake, including info on the best fishing spots, techniques, and equipment to use. They can also provide valuable insights on Bass behavior and increase your chances of landing a trophy specimen.
People come from all over the world to try their luck at a 10+ lb trophy Bass on Lake Toho. Hiring a seasoned guide can put you on the bite and into the action!
Lake Toho Bass Fishing Regulations
A valid freshwater fishing license is required for any resident or non-resident anglers aged 16–64. Here’s how much they cost:
- Non-resident 3-day freshwater license: $17
- Non-resident 7-day freshwater license: $30
- Non-resident annual freshwater license: $47
- Resident freshwater license: $17
Lake Toho follows the Florida statewide Black Bass bag and size limit, which limits the take to a total of five Bass per person. Please note that only one Bas may be 16 inches or more in length. There is no minimum length limit, but catch and release is generally encouraged.
Lake Toho: Kissimmee’s Premier Bass Fishing Locale
Lake Toho is a premier Bass fishing destination – not only for Florida, but the entire country. It’s been said that more trophy Bass have come from this lake than any other! With its diverse habitats, rich fishery, and long track record, Lake Toho is a must-visit destination for any avid Bass angler. So pack your fishing gear, head to Lake Toho, and get ready for an unforgettable Bass fishing adventure… Good luck!
Have you ever been Bass fishing in Lake Toho before? Maybe you’re planning a trip and want to know some more. Feel free to get in touch with us via the comments section below!
By: Adam Young
Title: Lake Toho Bass Fishing: An Angler’s Guide
Sourced From: fishingbooker.com/blog/lake-toho-bass-fishing/
Published Date: Wed, 19 Apr 2023 09:44:42 +0000