Trips start at $100.00
Trips start at $200.00
Max guests: 6
Trips start at $250.00
Max guests: 5
Upper Keys, FL
Trips start at $1100.00
Max guests: 6
Upper Keys, FL
Trips start at $450.00
Max guests: 3
Trips start at $400.00
Max guests: 4
Sometimes when you’ve got a name that is just too hard to pronounce, you end up going by your nickname. That holds for people, places and for lakes. A prime example is Lake Tohopekaliga in central Florida.
So to make it easy, all you need to know when you discuss the fantastic fishing there is to say “Lake Toho”.
Lake Toho is a 22,700 acre lake located just south of Orlando in Osceola County. It is actually the first lake in a long chain of lakes through central Florida that are connected by canals and often referred to as the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes. Toho is fed by Shingle Creek in Orlando and the northern shore of the lake is the city of Kissimmee. But there’s more. There’s also an East Lake Toho, which is across the Florida Turnpike and connected to the main lake by a canal named Canal 31. East Lake Toho adds another 12,000 acres to the fishing complex. Sometimes the western lake is simply called West Lake.
While that is a bit complicated, one thing is simple. Lake Toho as a whole is famous around the world for it’s bass fishing and opportunities to observe nature. Lakefront Park on the north end of the lake has a scenic walking path with benches where visitors may view the area’s wide array of waterfowl, alligators, turtles and others. Lakefront Park also has a miniature lighthouse, a children’s playground area, and is bordered on its west end by Big Toho Marina, where it becomes obvious that fishing is king on this lake. This is one of the busiest bass lakes in the country.
Lake Toho’s prowess as a trophy bass lake is well documented. Even with heavy pressure brought on by it’s fame, the lake still consistently produces numbers and size for bass anglers. The lake still holds the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society record for the heaviest five bass limit in a tournament, five bass weighing 45 pounds, two ounces — a nine pound per bass average. The total weight for winning that event was 108 pounds, 12 ounces, which still stands as a record as well. During that one event, 21 bass weighing over 10 pounds were brought to the scales.
The official lake record is 16 pounds, 10 ounces and the largest registered bass ever caught by a lady angler came from Toho, an impressive 14 pound, five ounce.
And nobody may have even caught the biggest bass out of the lake yet. During an electro-shocking survey of the lake years ago, a 39 inch long largemouth weighing 24 pounds, 12 ounces was shocked up and released back into the lake. That bass would be a world record.
So how do you take advantage of all this great bass fishing?
The lake is a shallow lake and the bass fishing is best around the acres of hydrilla grass that hold bass and baitfish. You can usually tell where the bass are by watching for minnows and shad flicking on the water’s surface or schools of birds which have already found the baitfish. The bass are surely lurking below that. Edges of the grass produce the best fishing with live minnows, lipless crankbaits, Texas-rigged worms with light weights, jerk baits or swimbaits. The early morning bite also includes topwater lures or frogs.
Some popular areas to start include Granada area, inside North Steer Beach, Whaley’s Landing, Goblets Cove or Brown’s Point. As the summer wears on, the fish often move out further into deeper water, but still stay in or around the grass. Summer hotspots can include Lanier Point and Big Grassy Island.
When the fish are really aggressive and shad abundant, you can often find bass schooling all around the lake. Those will be the smaller fish, but often the big ones will lay low below the schooling fish and take advantage of baitfish that get wounded and sink down to them for an easy meal.
East Lake Toho looks and fishes quite differently from its more popular counterpart. It contains much less vegetation which consists of mainly perimeter reeds and Kissimmee grass. The water is exceptionally clear and anglers have to fish smaller baits and line sizes to lure out the bass. East Lake is nearly circular in shape and has no continuously flowing tributaries.
Both lakes have healthy populations of crappie, bluegill, redear sunfish, pickerel and catfish. Both lakes also have numerous areas to launch, both private and public.
If you tire of fishing or want to make your trip into a family vacation, there’s no other place on the planet with as much to do as the Orlando area. You are not only in a magical place for fishing, but right down the road from the Magic Kingdom itself and other Disney theme parks. There are countless options for overnight stays and restaurants.
Whether you’re in town visiting or a Central Florida resident, take advantage of this prestigious fishery. The local guides have been fishing Lake Toho most of their lives and are certain to get you on the fish. Book today and let’s fish!