The second stop of the 2019 FLW Tour landed right on the spawn on Lake Toho and the other lakes on the Kissimmee Chain. Top finishers caught bass in all phases of the spawn. Collectively, they used just about every bait you’ll ever need if you want to catch a bass this time of year in the Sunshine State.
1. All but one of champion Buddy Gross’ keepers came on two baits: a 5-inch Scottsboro Tackle Co. Swimbait (natural shad) on an 8/0 Owner Beast Flashy Swimmer 3/8-ounce belly-weighted hook with a blade, and a homemade white 1/2-ounce swim jig with a 4-inch Scottsboro (natural shad) trailer. Gross fished with 50-pound-test braid on a Daiwa Tatula SV reel (7.3:1) and a pair of 7-foot, 3-inch Fitzgerald Rods All Purpose Series sticks – extra-heavy for the swimbait and heavy for the swim jig.
2. John Cox sight-fished with a Berkley PowerBait The General but caught most of his fish on a watermelon Berkley PowerBait Wind Up fished either weightless on a 5/0 Berkley Fusion19 EWG hook or on the same hook with a 1/16-ounce bullet sinker. On the final day he caught some deep fish on shell bars using the Wind Up on a Dirty Jigs Pivot Point Football Jig.
3. Fishing in Tiger Lake, Darrell Davis flipped a Reaction Innovations Sweet Beaver (junebug) with a 3/8-ounce tungsten weight and tossed a Reaction Innovations Trixie Shark (shiner color) on a 5/0 Gamakatsu EWG hook with a Reaction Innovations Screwed Up Bullet and 50-pound-test braided line.
4. On days one and two, Tommy Dickerson flipped a Reaction Innovations Kinky Beaver (black and blue) with 80-pound-test braid and a 3/4-ounce weight around small pads up shallow. The rest of the tournament, he fished a Lake Toho shell bed that was surrounded by hydrilla with a SPRO Aruku Shad 75 in gold with black back.
5. Josh Douglas tackled a spawning flat in Kissimmee with a Z-Man/Evergreen ChatterBait Jack Hammer with a Gambler Little EZ swimbait trailer and two Texas-rigged soft-plastic worms. His selection included a BioSpawn ExoStick (black and blue) and a Zoom Speed Worm (junebug). The worms were rigged with a 1/4-ounce WOO! Tungsten sinker, an Owner Jungle Flippin’ Hook and 50-pound-test PowerPro Super8Slick V2 braid with a 25-pound-test fluorocarbon leader.
6. Wade Strelic either burned a 3/8-ounce black-and-blue Z-Man/Evergreen ChatterBait Jack Hammer with a Yamamoto Zako trailer or slowed way down with a junebug Zoom Magnum Ultravibe Speed Worm rigged on a 6/0 swimbait hook with a 3/16-ounce belly weight.
7. In Toho, Joseph Webster started most days by throwing a gold and black XCalibur One Knocker for schooling fish around the mouth of a boat lane. He then ran to Kissimmee and fished hydrilla, eelgrass and pads with a junebug Zoom Ultravibe Speed Worm with a 3/16-ounce weight and a 5/0 superline EWG hook.
8. Scott Martin fished a Googan Baits Slim Shake (watermelon red and junebug) Texas-rigged with a 1/4-ounce tungsten weight, 5/0 Trokar TK130 hook and 17-pound-test P-Line Tactical Fluorocarbon. He also used a Zoom Fluke (watermelon) on a 4/0 Trokar EWG hook and 15-pound-test P-Line Tactical, a lipless crankbait, and a Googan Baits Bandito Bug (black and blue) with a 1/2-ounce tungsten weight and 50-pound-test P-Line XTCB 8 Braid.
9. Aaron Britt fished a 6th Sense QUAKE THUD 70 (gold) on a grass flat in Toho for most of his fish. When he did slow down to fish the grass, he Texas-rigged either a 6-inch X Zone True Center Stick (black and blue) or a Zoom Magnum Trick Worm (junebug) with a 1/4-ounce Wicked Weights tungsten weight.