Who, where and how for Lake Toho

We asked the participants of the first Southern Open of the year these three questions:

- Who will win the event?

- Where will it be won?

- How will bed fishing impact the event?

Here is what they had to say:

David Williams, 2014 Southern Open AOY:

  • Who: "It’s anyone’s game because the cold front put these fish in a funk. A lot of factors have changed who could take the title."

  • Where: "I haven’t seen a ton of anglers fishing Toho this week, which was interesting. Toho seemed clearer than Kissimmee, but it's all preference."

  • How: "If you can get a big female to commit to a bed and stay there then it could change the whole game. One big bite will go a long way."

John Cox:

  • Who: "I could see a Florida angler winning because they know how cold fronts affect these fish."

  • Where: "Kissimmee seems to have the better quality overall, but Toho definitely has the biggest fish the event has to offer."

  • How: "You will need to be consistent with 17-20 pounds a day, but someone will stumble upon a fresh stretch of bank and catch a big bag. Duplicating that with moving baits or flippling will be key."

Byron Kenney:

  • Who: "It’s anyone’s game this week."

  • Where: "I’ve been in Kissimmee and Toho and I think a little bit of both lakes will be important this week."

  • How: "I haven’t seen many bedding females this week so I’m going to keep my head down and just keep flipping all day."

Hunter Shryock:

  • Who: "It’s a crapshoot because the weather has positioned these fish all over the place."

  • Where: "I’m going everywhere because after that cold front, a consistent bite has been hard to find."

  • How: "I haven’t found many on beds, now that doesn’t mean they aren’t there, they could position and be ready at any time."

James Watson:

  • Who: "It’s a toss up."

  • Where: "I’ve only fished Kissimmee this week and the grass is real green in there, so at least we know everything is healthy and booming down there."

  • How: "I don’t think bed fishing will be a huge factor mostly because the water clarity isn’t like it normally is. But one big bedding female can change the whole event. Your areas that didn’t have fish on the beds, can be filled in just a few hours because they get ready to spawn so fast."

Marty Robinson:

  • Who: "I don’t think a Florida angler will win it. I think someone unfamiliar with the lake will fish the conditions and not rely on history, which can often mess up your event."

  • Where: "A few minor fronts have moved through this area since the major cold front last week. Fish have scattered in both of the lakes and with the high water it has them farther apart than normal."

  • How: "In my opinion, bed fishing will not have a factor this week."

Dave Sampson, Florida native:

  • Who: "It’s a crapshoot on who will win, but I hope it’s a Florida angler (smiles)."

  • Where: "Home lake advantage will not pay off this week because of the cold front, they also cleaned out a lot of grass in the lakes and the water is up four feet."

  • How: "Beds will play a factor, but it’s like playing the lottery. If you get bedding fish to cooperate every day of the event, you better go buy a ticket, because you’re lucky."

Brandon Lester:

  • Who: "The Florida guys know what to look for when its high and they know what grass is the most productive. The cold front and other factors have changed it."

  • Where: "It will be won in Kissimmee because that’s where the last two years have been won. Someone will find three days worth of fish down there."

  • How: "I don’t think bed fishing will play a roll."

Joey Nania:

  • Who: "Odds are a Florida angler will win it."

  • Where: "It is different then past years, but Kissimmee should be good for flipping and Toho should definitely be the most consistent lake of the two."

  • How: "I’ve looked for bedding fish, but it hasn’t set up for bed fishing yet. Heavy mats of mixed vegetation should play a key part."

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