While we all know there are no guarantees in fishing, the potential to catch a 10-pound largemouth bass exists every day of the week at central Florida's Lake Tohopekaliga, called Toho for short. This shallow lake's 22, 700 acres are endowed with extensive beds of hydrilla, along with lily pads, bulrushes, and other types of emergent vegetation that bass favor. It's famed for producing the heaviest 5-bass limit in the history of Bassmaster tournaments, 45 pounds 2 ounces, caught in January by Dean Rojas.
With Florida's mild climate, bass spawn over the entire winter period, meaning that a prespawn bite is on most of the time. While a variety of artificials can work, including topwater lures, rattlebaits, and Texas-rigged softbaits, the odds for a giant go up when you rig live shiners, a native baitfish lunkers feed on every day. Rig the big baitfish under floats to fish among lily pads and reeds, or freeline them to cruise above hydrilla beds where big bass feed. Long, heavy-power rods and braided line tip the battle in your favor when you hook a monster in the salad.
Disney World is just down the road from the lake, so there's potential for a fine family trip that will please everyone—Florida's fine winter weather, family amusements, and the bass of a lifetime.
Contact: Capt. James Jackson, 800/738-8144, orlandobass.com; experiencekissimmee.com.
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