known to the locals as Lake Toho, also referred to as Tohopeka, West Lake or just Toho.
Florida 22,700 acres
This world-famous lake is renowned for producing more big bass than any other lake in the country. One of the most consistent lakes in Florida, Lake Toho continues to produce not only trophy fish, but impressive limits of Florida largemouth.
Located in central Florida, Lake Tohopekaliga is the largest lake in Osceola County, a 32-minute drive from Orlando International Airport, 1.5 hours from Tampa International.
Lake Tohopekaliga (Lake Toho) is the primary inflow of the Shingle Creek and spans 42 miles in circumference and is 4 miles long. It is bordered on the northern shore by Kissimmee, on the eastern shore by Kissimmee Park and South Port on the southern shore.
Like most Florida lakes, Lake Tohopekaliga consists of shallow grass flats, natural bullrush, maidencane and hydrilla. The St. Cloud Canal, which comes from East Lake Tohopekaliga, is the main water source feed.
Anglers targeting trophy largemouth bass may want to concentrate their time around the mouth of Shingle Creek, enhanced shorelines east and west of South Port Park, Lanier Point, Goblets Cove and Brown’s Point. Both live and artificial baits are effective. Golden shiners are the live bait of choice for most anglers, although spinnerbaits (white, white/chartreuse or yellow-skirted), lip-less crank baits and plastic worms will account for fair share of catches. The lake’s north shore has a lot of tall grasses that often conceal large bass populations ready to bite.
Other targeted fish species found here include black crappie, bluegill, redear sunfish and chain pickerel.
Live bait (crickets and red wigglers) will be the bait of choice for many bluegill anglers, but small artificial rigs will also be successful.
While winter is widely known as the best time to catch trophy bass, it is the summer when nearly all the record-sized bass are caught. Most of the bass population in Lake Tohopekaliga like to spawn in February and March before moving away from shallow areas and into the Kissimmee grass or hydrilla through the lake. Excellent summer fishing spots include Big Grassy, Brown’s Point and Lanier Point.
If the target is black crappie, February is the best time on Canoe Creek in Lake Cypree or Southport Canal.
Typically, from May to June, bluegill, redear sunfish and chair pickerel are active. Anglers targeting these fish should try to schedule time on the water around the new and complete moon phases and concentrate their efforts in areas with sandy bottoms associated with vegetation, including Brown’s Point and North Steer Beach.
LAKE TOHO BOAT RAMPS
WHERE TO STAY
Quality Inn and Suites Heritage Park
Stayable Suites, Travelodge by Wyndham Kissimmee East
Kapp and Kappy B&B
Star Island Resort and Club