This is Captain Jackson owner and operator of AJ’s Freelancer Bass Guide service with a short update post hurricane Irma. If you haven’t seen our first update the Orlando fishing has become very active since the hurricane. It was actually a benefit to the lake and the Corp of engineers in the state of Florida have opened the locks up dumping water out of all the lakes which has created fast moving water down by the locks at the South end of the lake. The Orlando bass fishing has become extremely active in these areas of moving water with great numbers of fish being caught there.
A few other things have happened because of the hurricane that I am sure without a doubt is going to make for one of the most productive winters that we’ve had in quite some time. Hurricane Irma came right across the lake with winds of 100-120 mph for close to 12 hours. Because of this the grass fields that have been matted out and difficult to fish have been cleaned out. Now what we’re left with is clean un-matted untangled grass fields like the lake used to be back in the late 70’s and early 80’s. This is going to open up new options for Orlando fishing and should make for some very exciting bass fishing charters on Lake Toho. (more…)
Bass fishing on Lake Toho post hurricane Irma has been unbelievably productive. The hurricane did nothing but help the bass fishing become as active as I’ve seen it in over a decade. The key to this fast action is the high water levels. The state of Florida and the department of engineers are dumping water from one lake to the next. So even though they have the locks wide-open on Lake Toho the water level is staying up higher than we’ve seen in years. East Lake Toho is being dumped into West Lake Toho and West Lake Toho is being dumped into Lake Cypress. Because of this fast moving water at the south end of the lake bass are congregating by the thousands in front of the locks in the moving water.
Numbers of catches range between 20 to 50 bass per day for our shiner and artificial trips. Plastic worms have been producing well and free lining Lake Toho’s large golden wild shiners through the current are catching the bigger bass. The canal that leads out of the south end of Lake Toho and flows into the north end of Lake Cypress has the same type of action happening. (more…)
Thankfully the Central Florida/ Orlando area didn’t get hit as bad as some other parts of Florida. But it did still affect Lake Toho’s fishing. Lake Toho initially only rose about a foot after the storm. But with all the nearby creeks continuously draining into West Lake Toho over the following week, the water quickly rose another 3 feet. While many docks were flooded no houses lucky were affected by the high water. But this sudden rise quickly scattered the fish, and the extreme amounts of new, oxygen low water, made the fish sluggish.
Luckily though the states locking system that connects the Kissimmee chain of lakes is steadily sending the extra water down to Okeechobee where it will then flow into the Everglades and back into the ocean. Lake Toho is steadily dropping each day and it will be back to normal in no time.
Flukes, flipping, and drifting shiners are catching most of our fish. As a general rule when the water rises the fish tend to rise with it. So starting shallow and on top of what once was matted vegetation with a fluke or drifting shiners is your best bet for finding biting fish. Keep moving and keep an eye out for any signs of fish in the area.
The many creeks that are still flowing into the lake are producing fish but not consistently. Fishing the flowing water around the locks on the south end of the lake and in “Goblits Cove” with worms and flukes is a better bet.
While the fishing has had a lull in the last few weeks this ultimately will help the lake in the long run. The high water has cleaned out the grass fields and the heavy waves from the storm have cleaned up a lot of the bottom which will make Lake Toho’s fishing better than ever.
AJ Jackson from Freelancer Bass Guide Service.
With hurricane Irma on the way I’m sure many people are wondering how it will affect the bass fishing and if you’re a fishing freak like me you’re not going to let the storm stop you from fishing the week after. The two main problems that every hurricane brings are it’s extreme winds combined with extreme amounts of rain. Numerous amounts of debris will be blown into the lakes. Along with the debris, the water will be stirred heavily from the winds and will become extremely muddy. This will be at its worse on the wind blown sides (areas where the wind is blowing directly into the bank) of the lakes, and less on the sides where the wind is coming from. With all the rain the water levels will rise an unpredictable amount but this will also cool down the lakes a moderate amount.
Lets talk about how this all affects the bass and then go into how to fish it. The bass fishing will slow down significantly for the first few days after the hurricane comes through, with it steadily picking back up each day after. What will hurt the fishing the most will be the muddy water all around the lake. The fish will have a tougher time locating food but they will still need to feed. How fish adapt to these changed conditions will depend on the usual water clarity of the lake before the storm. The clearer the water was, the tougher time fish will have adjusting to the dirtier conditions. But if the water clarity was already murky before the storm the fish will not be affected much because they are already used to those conditions. With the water temperature dropping from the rain the fish will become more active after things calm down and may ever start schooling even in muddy water.
While Disney, Universal, and Orlando’s many other attractions are the main focus for most people who make the trip to Central Florida. Orlando’s natural attractions, specifically Orlando’s fishing is often overlooked. But for those who step onto a boat with an Orlando fishing guide the event quickly becomes the highlight of there trip. While Disney and Universal are fun some have realized that Orlando’s fishing is its true main attraction.
While Orlando houses many lakes, Lake Tohopekaliga, or Lake Toho for short is the creme of the crop. Lake Toho is home to some of the best bass fishing in the world and many bass fishing records have been set on the lake with Dean Roja’s Bassmaster record for the 5 biggest bass ever to be weighed in at a tournament being at the top of the list.
Orlando’s Lake Toho has produced a lot of big bass over the years but it has also produced a lot of big smiles. Many people who have fished there whole lives and others who have never fished a day in there life quickly become hooked on Orlando’s fishing. People from every spot on the globe make yearly trips to Toho just to experience it one more time with our Orlando fishing guides. (more…)
The fluke, it simply gets the job done. From Florida all the way to the northern smallmouth impoundments a fluke will catch you fish day in and day out. It’s versatility makes it one of the greatest lures ever invented. From using it as a fast action top water bait for schoolies or working it slowly when the bite gets tough the fluke covers it all. Here in Florida our Lake Toho fishing guides always have one rigged up. Through the years our guides have refined fluke fishing down to an art. Here are some of the tricks that we’ve learned.
Searching for Fish
When searching for fish nothing beats a Texas rigged watermelon or white fluke quickly jerked below the surface. Jerking it as fast as you can without making it break the surface seems to always get more bites. Putting a small rattle behind the head of the fluke will weigh it down and keep it from jumping as much. I have found countless groups of fish around grass and on flats doing this and I’ve probably caught more fish using this technique on Toho than I have any other. (more…)
That’s right! The fishing is on right now on Lake Toho, it’s the best bass fishing in Floirda and if you’re not fishing hydrilla or moving water than you’re just missing out! At this time of year the fishing become’s extremely consistent and the fish are even more predictable. With the heat of the summer the bass just kick out lunch and gorge themselves during breakfast and dinner which makes the fishing fast at those times! Our Lake Toho guides have been catching between 10-20 bass a day. With most bass weighing in at 3 pounds or more. With the vegetation steadily growing throughout the lake the water tends to become clearer which makes this also prime time to catch that fish of a lifetime you’re looking for with our Lake Toho guides. I know I am personally excited to see what I can pull out of Toho’s thick vegetation because last year I caught my two biggest fish during the months of August and September. Those both respectively came off of top-water baits too! So if you’re planning a trip to Orlando come get in on the action!
While winter is widely known as the best time to catch trophy bass because of the spawn. It is the summer where nearly all of the record sized bass are caught. There’s just something about the summer with its heat and thick vegetation that just makes those behemoths, those truly monster bass want to bite.
The 3 biggest bass ever caught out of Lake Toho were caught during the summer months. John Faircloth’s 17 pound 12 ounce uncertified Lake Toho record was caught in July. Ed Chancey’s official Lake Toho record of 16 pounds 10 ounces was caught in May, and Captain Jamie Jackson’s 15 pound 8 ounce Lake Toho monster was also caught in May. But Lake Toho’s record bass are not the only records that have been pulled out during the summer. The Florida certified state record of 17.27 pounds was caught in July, and the uncertified state record of 20.13 pounds was caught in May. But it also doesn’t stop at just Florida either. George Perry’s world record bass of 22 pounds 4 ounces was caught in June, and the bass caught by Manabu Kurita that tied the world record at 22 pounds 4 ounces was caught in July.
Nearly all of the top 25 biggest bass ever caught were reeled in during the summer months. This is the time that personal bests are broken. The summer is without a doubt the best time to go not just trophy hunting but record hunting. Whether you’re fishing in Florida or all the way in Japan, the time that records are caught is soon arriving. So re-spool your rods with new line and sharpen your hooks because you never know the next one you hook into could be a life changer.
So far this year has been one for the record books here on Toho. Since the start of the year our clients have caught 77 bass weighing 8 pounds or bigger! The mild winter has produced more consistent trophy bass fishing than ever before here on Toho, and the trophy fish haven’t stopped! Usually the biggest bass in the lake(and I mean the big big ones, the 12+ monsters/record fish) are caught during the summer months. This could mean record numbers of trophy’s being pulled in by the end of the year. To commemorate this amazing start to the year we’ve made a collage of all the giants caught so far, and if you’d like to come on down and help us add to the trophy count don’t hesitate to call!
AJ Jackson from Freelancer Bass Guide Service
That’s right! As of 3/15/2017 64 bass weighing 8 pounds or more have been caught by clients of AJ’s Freelancer Bass Guide Service on Lake Toho since the start of 2017! And we haven’t even reached the end of our peak season for catching these lunkers. Is Lake Toho the best lake in the country for catching trophy bass? We’ll let the numbers speak for themselves. We would like to thank all of our clients for making this possible. After all they are the ones catching them! And if you have yet to go on a trip with us, give us a call and be part of the fun! We are also going to be creating a collage of ALL of these fish and the upcoming ones that we have yet to catch at the end of the month. For now we will leave you with pictures of the best nine. With the number at 64 so far, I wonder what it will be at the end of the year?!
AJ Jackson from Freelancer Bass Guide Service