UPCOMING EVENT: YETI FLW COLLEGE FISHING - 2019 - Sam Rayburn Reservoir

FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE

Lake Toho Storylines

Chris Jones breaks down the day with JT Kenney and Scott Canterbury shortly before weighing their bass.

The Walmart FLW Tour event presented by Mercury on Lake Toho provided the 20th-anniversary season a proper sendoff. It was emblematic of the seasons that came before and had all of the hallmarks that FLW fishing fans have come to expect. A couple of strong 11th-hour charges for the title, environmental challenges in the form of dramatic weather and water changes, and a nail-biting finish were befitting of two decades of the Tour.

We wanted to break down a few of the more subtle storylines as well, in order to put this season’s opener into perspective. Here goes.

 

Get it James Biggs.

Champions on Top

The semi-final field included some of FLW’s seasoned veterans, promising newcomers and former champions from various circuits. Headlining the list of top 20 contestants was Missouri pro Stacey King (fourth), a recent inductee into the Bass Fishing Hall of Fame. Scott Canterbury (second), 2014 Forrest Wood Cup runner-up, was in the running for the $125,000 winner’s purse, as was former Forrest Wood Cup and Bassmaster Classic champion Luke Clausen (fifth).

Troy Morrow (eighth), the 2010 Walmart Bass Fishing League All-American champion, represented his fishing roots well, and so did Shane LeHew (18th), The Bass Federation’s 2007 Junior National Champion in the 15- to 18-year-old age group. Two TBF national champions, James Biggs (11th) and Mark Daniels Jr. (ninth), took their shots at the title, and even FLW’s co-angler program put one of its former greats in the top 10. Stetson Blaylock, the 2008 Co-Angler of the Year, finished sixth. 

 

Wesley, Hammerbury and JT (far left) debate who's going to win.

A Close-Run Thing

Sunday’s final weigh-in had the hundreds of fans in attendance on the edge of their seats. It seemed as if Tennessee pro Wesley Strader had the winning bag after enjoying a half-hour of non-stop fishing action that morning. Just before Strader went to the stage to be greeted by Weighmaster Chris Jones, Canterbury had weighed in a 21-pound, 10-ounce limit anchored by a fish that bumped 8 pounds. Then Strader weighed his limit, but it came up short by less than a pound. At that, the buzz seemed to favor Canterbury as being the champion only waiting for his crown, because the word was out that JT Kenney didn’t have any kickers that would keep him regain the lead.

Kenney needed more than 8 pounds to regain the lead and the title from Canterbury; he had 9-4. It ended an emotional roller coaster for the Florida pro, who, by mid-afternoon Sunday, realized that victory was apparently slipping from his grasp.

“Very worst case, I need 17 pounds today to make this happen, and right now I have about 8,” he said within earshot of FLW photographer Garrick Dixon. “I know I’m doing the right thing, and I’d be flabbergasted if I didn’t catch a good fish.”

He didn’t catch one, but it didn’t matter.

 

Despite a bum leg, Shirley Crain managed to not only fish but to haul in two daily limits in the opening rounds of the Lake Toho tournament.

No Stopping Her

Everyone likes a trooper, and Arkansas pro Shirley Crain garnered new fans when she showed up for the tournament with a broken ankle. In fact, Crain broke her foot and tore tendons in her lower left leg due to an accident in her garage. She had extensive surgery and was ordered by the surgeon to stay off her foot for several weeks so it could mend. She took a shortcut to recovery and fished at Toho instead.

Crain attended the registration and rules meeting Wednesday evening in a wheelchair being pushed by Kentucky pro Charlie Evans. In fact, a helping hand was never far away from Crain.

“My co-anglers were extremely helpful and did everything for me except fish,” says Crain. “In the two preliminary rounds, however, she proved her toughness by catching limits of 11-11 and 6-15 to claim 101st place.

“The best therapy for me is to fish in tournaments,” says the only female pro on the Walmart FLW Tour. “I’ll be at Lewis Smith Lake in a few weeks, too.”

 

'You've Got a Friend' . . . Pro JT Kenny helps fellow pro Scott Canterbury out with a prop for his motor on day two of the Walmart FLW Tour on Lake Toho.

A Friend in Need …

Though Tour pros compete against each other with genuine determination, that doesn’t mean they can’t be friends. Kenney provided an example of the general friendship that competitors feel toward each other Friday when he loaned Canterbury a spare prop after the latter spun the hub on his.

“I would do it for him, and he would do it for me,” Canterbury says of the loan. “Most guys on the Tour are like that. You help each other out when it’s called for.”

Obviously, Canterbury went on to fish the entire tournament and came within a cat’s whisker of winning.

 

David Dudley was among a group of professional anglers who assisted local kids with a morning of fishing as part of FLW's Get Outdoors. Go Fish! Youth Fishing Derby.

Children Learn About Fishing

Reading, writing and arithmetic weren’t the only subjects taught when seven Walmart FLW Tour pro anglers hosted assemblies at Reedy Creek Elementary and the Osceola County YMCA as part of the Get Outdoors. Go Fish! program.

Reedy Creek Elementary was the first visit of the day. Approximately 300 4th- and 5th-grade students at Reedy Elementary gathered at the school’s outdoor pavilion and listened as the pros talked about the different aspects of school subjects and how they correlate to fishing. Topics ranged from science and biology to engineering and meteorology. During the second half of the visit, the students were divided up and paired with anglers who showed them their boats and tow vehicles while stressing various boating safety points.

Participating anglers included Greg Bohannan, Jimmy Reese, Dustin Grice, Cody Kelley, Pete Ponds and James Biggs.

Saturday, more than 160 youngsters took part in a Get Outdoors. Go Fish! Youth Fishing Derby adjacent to the FLW Expo at Big Toho Marina, according to FLW Community Outreach Coordinator Allie Gibbs. Pros such as David Dudley, Charlie Evans, Scott Martin, Chris Neau, Blake Smith, Jay Yelas, Bryan Thrift, Jimmy Houston and Mark Rose, along with co-angler Nicole Jacobs, shared pointers and helped out at the event, and free fishing tackle was provided.

Tags: flw-tour  lake-toho  colin-moore  post-tournament  2015-03-05-lake-toho 

Toho on YouTube

Toho on YouTube

The second stop of the FLW Tour season on Lake Toho was a big-bass bonanza. Thanks to mandatory POV cameras and marshals, plenty of big bass were caught on camera. Aside from individual catches, pros also documented their practice and tournament days to give the viewer and inside look at how their event unfolded. Below is the full list of videos released by the pros at this point.  READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Toho

Top 10 Patterns from Lake Toho

While the Lake Toho FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats fell basically right on top of a wave of spawning bass piling into the shallows, many of the top finishers targeted bass that were staging out or transitioning to or from their beds. READ MORE »

Top 10 Baits from Toho

Top 10 Baits from Toho

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. READ MORE »

Marshal Program a Big Hit for Hughes

Marshal Program a Big Hit for Hughes

Retired minister Dan Hughes made the most money he’s ever banked in a fishing tournament, and he did it without even picking up a rod. The 70-year-old Fitzgerald, Ga., resident was the winner of FLW’s marshal contest at the Tour’s second stop of the season at Lake Toho, presented by Ranger Boats. Paired with John Cox on day one and Chris Neau on day two, Hughes’ pros combined for 41 pounds, 10 ounces during his two days on the water to take home the $2,500 top prize. READ MORE »

Georgia’s Gross Wins FLW Tour at Lake Toho Presented by Ranger Boats

Georgia’s Gross Wins FLW Tour at Lake Toho Presented by Ranger Boats

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Pro Buddy Gross of Chickamauga, Georgia, brought a five-bass limit weighing 23 pounds, 12 ounces, to the scale Sunday... READ MORE »

Toho Day 4 Coverage

Toho Day 4 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »

Gross Wins Second Tour Title

Gross Wins Second Tour Title

Buddy Gross of Chickamauga, Ga., won the 2019 FLW Tour event presented by Ranger Boats at Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla., with a four-day total of 20 bass that weighed 85 pounds, 12 ounces. READ MORE »

Gross Grabs Toho Lead

Gross Grabs Toho Lead

Day three of the FLW Tour presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho was tough on the leaders, but Buddy Gross stayed steady, rising to first from fifth with 19 pounds, 12 ounces. In total, Gross has amassed 62 pounds even through three days, which is just about a pound ahead of Darrell Davis, who caught 25-12 for a 60-15 total and rocketed up to second from 13th. Going into the final day, everyone in the top six is within 5 pounds of the lead, and the way the Kissimmee Chain is pumping out big ones, that counts as the slimmest of margins. READ MORE »

FLW Live from Lake Toho

FLW Live from Lake Toho

READ MORE »

Chickamauga’s Gross Out Front at FLW Tour at Lake Toho Presented by Ranger Boats

Chickamauga’s Gross Out Front at FLW Tour at Lake Toho Presented by Ranger Boats

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – After an exciting day of movement atop the leaderboard, FLW Tour pro Buddy Gross of Chickamauga, Georgia, took the lead Saturday... READ MORE »

Toho Day 3 Coverage

Toho Day 3 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »

Cox Stays Ahead on Toho

Cox Stays Ahead on Toho

Day two of the FLW Tour presented by Ranger on Lake Toho featured not one, but TWO 10-pounders, one caught by Casey Scanlon and the other by Jamie Horton. READ MORE »

Cox Holds Lead after Day Two of FLW Tour at Lake Toho Presented by Ranger Boats

Cox Holds Lead after Day Two of FLW Tour at Lake Toho Presented by Ranger Boats

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Pro John Cox of DeBary, Florida, brought five bass to the scale weighing 17 pounds, 4 ounces, to hold the lead after day two of the FLW Tour at Lake Toho presented by Ranger Boats. Cox’s two day total of 10 bass weighing 48-13 will give him... READ MORE »

Toho Day 2 Coverage

Toho Day 2 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »

Cox Leads Toho Slugfest

Cox Leads Toho Slugfest

Day one of the FLW Tour presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho was the slugfest many expected. Leading the way is sight-fishing extraordinaire John Cox, who caught 31 pounds, 9 ounces and the day one big bass – a giant that went 10-9.  In second, John Voyles wrangled up 24-15, and Scott Martin is close behind him with 24-12. READ MORE »

Cox Catches 31-Pound Limit, Leads Day One of FLW Tour at Lake Toho Presented by Ranger Boats

Cox Catches 31-Pound Limit, Leads Day One of FLW Tour at Lake Toho Presented by Ranger Boats

KISSIMMEE, Fla. – Pro John Cox of DeBary, Florida, hauled in a massive five-bass limit weighing 31 pounds, 9 ounces – the largest limit ever weighed in FLW... READ MORE »

Toho Day 1 Coverage

Toho Day 1 Coverage

Complete coverage of the 2019 Tour event presented by Ranger Boats on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Fla. READ MORE »

Roaming Kissimmee with Douglas

Roaming Kissimmee with Douglas

Hailing from Minnesota, Josh Douglas is in his third year on the FLW Tour and looking for his first FLW Cup qualification. Were it not for a disqualification in the final event of the year at St. Clair in 2018, Douglas would have sailed into the Cup. After a tough start to the year at Rayburn, he’s planning to get back on track at the FLW Tour event presented by Ranger on Lake Toho. READ MORE »

Burghoff Checks Out Toho on Day 2

Burghoff Checks Out Toho on Day 2

FLW Tour rookie Miles “Sonar” Burghoff kicked off his freshman season with a strong performance on Sam Rayburn, where he just missed fishing the final day with a 12th-place finish. Now, the Tour is on a system he is more than familiar with, having spent countless hours on Lakes Toho and Kissimmee while attending college at the University of Central Florida. READ MORE »

Top 10 Patterns from Okeechobee

Top 10 Patterns from Okeechobee

Whether it was a canal or small sections of the lake, each pro in the top chose to hunker down in an area and milk it for all it was worth in the season opener of the Costa FLW Series Southeastern Division presented by Power-Pole. Here’s a look at how the action unfolded. READ MORE »