January 29, 2016
By Dr. Hal Schramm
Get your string stretched while Mom and the kids enjoy Disneyworld. Located just south of Orlando, Florida is a series of lakes connected by man-made canals known as the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes. Lakes Toho (Tohopekaliga) and Kissimmee are the most popular and productive. Each has enough area and habitat to keep a bass angler fishing new water for a week.
The how-to for the Kissimmee Chain is expert angler Darrell Davis from nearby Dover, Florida. "Hands down, these lakes are my top pick for a trophy bass destination," affirmed Davis. His biggest bass is a 14-12 from Kissimmee, and he has caught multiple 12s and 13s in the last couple years. "Big fish can be caught year round, but pre-spawn and spawn is when the fish are in their best health and easiest to find," says Davis.
Bass fishing in Florida's wetland lakes is all about fishing vegetation. The best cover is emergent grass and reeds in the upper part of the Chain (Toho) and pads and spatterdock in the lower lakes (Kissimmee). The bass will be shallow at this time of the year, so restrict your search to water less than 4-feet deep. Then, find areas with clean, hard bottom.
Davis is a master of simplicity and efficiency, thoughts that have guided his young but highly successful professional fishing career. Davis starts by quickly covering water in these cover-rich lakes, relying on fast-fishing topwaters like buzzbaits and Zoom Horny Toads or a swimbait like a Reaction Innovations Skinny Dipper. When he locates a concentration of fish, he thoroughly works the area. This process starts with flipping or pitching a Sweet Beaver. If bites don't happen, Davis puts a little space between him and the fish and casts a sinking worm or a trick worm. The new Reaction Innovation Pocket Rocket has been highly effective for Davis on these lakes. Davis limits his soft plastic color selections to black/blue and junebug.
Contacts: Florida Bass Adventures, Chuck's Guide Service, Champion Pro Guide Services.
[navionics zoom="7" long="-81.2" lat="27.9"]