Happy Monday Spacefish!

Forgive me for my absence last week, my family went to Georgia to see my brother and his family, for my niece’s birthday – so after being out of town, and taking last weekend off, I am back this week to talk about Lake Toho! I fished Lake Toho on Sunday, Saturday I went on my first ever trip to Mosquito Lagoon, but today I am going to just talk Toho – but there will be Mosquito Lagoon write ups in the future! But as we enter a very exciting time on the Florida Bass Fishing Calendar (Spawning Season) – I thought this would be a good time to check out how Lake Toho is doing.

Understanding the Spawn

I am not saying for certain that the Bass on Lake Toho are not spawning yet, but I searched areas that there would be beds and didn’t find any – however I did catch quite a few small male Bass that were in the type of areas Bass typically make spawning beds – which means at the very least the migration to spawning grounds is on.

As a kayak angler, this is a phenomenal time of year to get out and go Bass fishing, even if you are someone that prefers inshore kayak fishing. Right late winter-early spring is a very windy time of year, not only that, but it is also a time of year when we get a lot of strong north winds. With the lagoon system running north and south, a strong north wind can pretty much wreck a day of kayak fishing the lagoon from central Brevard on up to the the north end of the Space Coast. But while mother nature is huffing and puffing, Bass are moving into wind protected shallow areas to spawn. In most Florida lakes there is a big ring of vegetation going out from the shoreline about 50-75 yards out, once the spawn is over and the weather heats up, the Bass will move into deeper water offshore, but during spawning season they like to enter that ring, and make their beds in clean, clear water in an area that is protected from the wind, as well as human activity.

Bass need their beds to be in 5 foot or less of water, so that the sunlight can provide warmth for their eggs. They also need this water to be clear enough, and protected from wind chop enough for the light to properly penetrate. On lakes within the Kissimme chain, I like to find areas with different types of vegetation – typically those areas will are going to fish well. Kissimme grass, lily pads, lotus pads, and hydrilla are all winners. Lotus pads are like lily pads but are flat on the water, and they needs a sandy bottom to grow, which are good indicators of good spawning ground. Below are some pictures of areas that fished well for me this past weekend.

Where to Launch

Lake Toho is a big ole lake, one of the biggest in Florida – there are 4 public boat ramps, and I think there are a few other kayak/canoe launch areas as well. This past weekend, I launched from Whaley’s Landing located at 3610 Lake Tohopekaliga Rd, St Cloud, FL 34772. This is a two lane boat ramp, limited parking in a grass lot – though it does offer space for trailer parking. Even with a kayak, you have to use the actual boat ramp, because off to the side, there is a very steep slope fortified with concrete that make it virtually impossible to hand launch a kayak or canoe.

Kissimmee Grass Lotus Pads

Kissimmee Grass Lotus Pads

Lotus Pads Lily Pads

Lotus Pads Lily Pads

Fishing Report

It was a pretty tough day to fish as far as conditions go – it was really cold in the morning, the temperature warmed up to the low 70’s by early afternoon – but it was a bluebird sky, high barometric pressure day, which are my least favorite to fish. I ended up doing pretty well, but my hand was forced into fishing certain baits/styles that are not necessarily my preferred method.

I like to power fish. I like speedworms and topwater. This was not a speedworm and topwater day. I ended up catching a little over a dozen total fish, varying from tiny little dinks and 3 fish that were in the 3-4 pound range.

I already went over the type of area that I was fishing, an area of 5ish feet of water, that was heavy in vegetation. This is where these type of days can get tough, finesses fishing in thick vegetation. I lost two very quality fish due to using too light of tackle, expecting these tougher conditions I had two rods that had 15 pound flurocarbon leader and of course my two chances for bigger fish the leader snapped as I tried to horse the fish out from the stems of lily pads – I felt terrible after the second one, so I fished baitcaster to heavier braid the rest of the day, even if it meant less action, the last thing I want to do during the prespawn is leave a hook in a fish’s mouth – an angler of my experience level doing that was irresponsible and bush league.

Anway, I digress – I ended up finding 3 baits that generated bites – the most bites came on a new bait – Tackle Tech Custom Baits “Fluke” in Watermelon Seed, rigged weedless & weightless on a 4/0 EWG Worm Hook. I tried to fish this bait as slow and with as much subtlety as I could – bumping it through underwater vegetation, and letting it nose dive off of lotus pads. I got 3 packs of custom made Speedworms recently from Jayden, the brains behind Tackle Tech – he makes all of the baits by hand, he even made me a custom color Speedworm – but it was his flukes in Watermelon Seed that got the job done this trip. If you are interested in custom soft plastics, and want to support a local guy – a young man working his tail off to make quality baits at a low price then follow his page on instagram – tackletechcustombaits and send a message for custom baits, or visit his website, tackletechcustombaits.myshopify.com – he has some really cool color patterns, and I enjoy watching his videos of the process of making soft plastic baits on instagram.

Bass Caught in the Kissimme Grass

Bass Caught in the Kissimme Grass

The next bait that got bit was the Fish, or Die Musket in Liberty Tree, and Ben’s Bifocals (Watermelon Red, and Green Pumpkin/Gold Flake). I rigged these trick worm style baits on a ⅛ oz Spider Slider jighead – which is a unique jighead that has a pointed nose, but flat backside so it will stand up on a hard bottom, but also cuts through vegetation well, and allows the bait to be worked like a jerk bait through hydrilla and Kissimme grass, but also has a faster when flipping it into holes and pockets.

Lastly, the Salt Strong Mulligan in Alabama Leprechaun, which is basically like a watermelon red, with gold flake – they designed this bait and color for their inshore lineup, but this is one of my favorite Florida Bass colors. The Mulligan gets its name from its dimpled body – like a Golf ball. These dimples, and the dense plastic really make this bait fly, and the reason I chose this over other types of swimbaits or swimming worms were the smaller profile (4 inches), and the ability to still get good long casts, even though I was only using a 3/0, ⅛ oz Owner Twistlock hook. This bait performed very similar to a Yamamoto Swimming Senko or a Yum Swimming Dinger. On these high pressure, bluebird sky days, sometimes it pays dividends to downsize your bait profile, and the Mulligan allowed me to do that without sacrificing my ability to cast a good distance, even on a baitcaster with 30 pound braid. The key to success was slow rolling it through the Kissimme Grass, and letting it drop off of lotus pads and then bringing it back up. This bait has good action when it falls, and on a slow retrieve, and after fishing a 7 inch speedworm and getting nowhere, I caught a fish on my first cast, and ended up catching about 6 or 7 total fish during my last 2 hours of fishing, alternating every few casts between the Fluke, Musket, and Mulligan.

Bass Caught on Mulligan in Kissimme Grass

Bass Caught on Mulligan in Kissimme Grass

Learning from a Great Angler

So this was my 2nd time fishing this area – my first time was last January, with a guy named Adrian, who is a phenomenal angler! He is currently competing on the BFL FLW and Toyota series as a co-angler, he also like to fish from his Old Town Kayak, and paddle board. We met up after he emailed me via Spacefish, and not only did I have a great time fishing with him, but I also learned a lot that day. Adrian, if you’re reading we need to get out and fish again soon! Here is a picture of Adrian with a great fish he caught on our trip out of Whaley’s Landing last winter.

Adrian Davies Fishing Lotus Pads Kissimmee Grass

Adrian Davies Fishing Lotus Pads Kissimmee Grass

He is actually the one who got me on the swimming worm, as a smaller profile alternative to speed worms last year, and watching him/fishing with him, on my first trip to a lake on the Kissimmee chain was a great learning experience for me!

One of things I really enjoy about fishing is that as a early 30’s dad with two young kids – it allows me to talk to, and make friends in an era of life, where that is really not easy. Since I got on instagram last summer I have met other anglers and have been able to share fishing intel, but also experience some camaraderie. I hope that overtime, more and more kayak anglers will be able to connect through Spacefish, and that we continue to grow the kayak fishing community of the Space Coast!


So does anyone know what the deal is with the groundhog and his shadow? When will spring be here? I am tired of cold fronts! It seems like over the last few weeks fish in the lagoon and the lakes seem to be trying to figure out whether they want to be in winter or spring patterns, hopefully soon we will start transitioning into spring patterns, the topwater bite will pick up, and fish will start chasing moving lures again – but in the meantime if you want to get out of the wind, and take your kayak into dense vegetation and tangle with some big mouth Bass, then I highly recommend checking out Lake Toho from Whaley’s Landing!

kayaks by bo Thank you to Kayaks by Bo for being our Paddle Partner on this weeks journey! As we look to turn the calendar page to March, and we start to look forward to warm (but not too hot) spring weather, go check out Kayaks by Bo’s selection of top of the line fishing kayaks, paddle boards, gear, and accessories!

Stay safe, be happy, go fishing, and have a great week everybody! Until next time!

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