Toho Time for PAA
Jan 12th, 2009 by OutdoorsFIRST
Modified Jan 12th, 2009 at 12:00 AM
It finally happened; pro anglers have their own legitimate circuit. The Professional Anglers Association (PAA) is going to kick off their inaugural season on Lake Toho in Kissimmee, Florida on January 15. For many years this group has been pushing for their own tournament series and now they have it, sponsored by Carrot Stix Rods.
So now that this day has arrived what can a PAA pro expect to catch Toho?
“I think you’ll see some classic Toho weights,” said PAA Board member Sean Hoernke. “There will be some 20-pound bags along with some possibly in the mid- 20s. I think that kind of weight will give you a good chance to win.
“Right now the fishing is tough. It’s probably going to take 8 pounds per day to make the money cut.”
The money cut in a PAA regular season event is the top 1/3 of the field based on a full field of 150 pros.
Shallow vegetation is the rule for bass angling on Toho in January.
“This is a shallow-water fishery,” said Hoernke. “Lots of vegetation in less than 5-feet of water. Good bags should come flipping heavy cover such as cattail reeds, hyacinth, Kissimmee grass; pretty much any heavy weed mats.
“Locals are spraying the hyacinth on Toho right now, so a lot of that cover is dying off. This may move a lot more anglers to the other lakes on the chain like Kissimmee.”
Hoernke thinks lures like chatterbaits, weightless flukes or whacky worms, or flipping soft plastics like Sweet Beavers will be the dominant lure choices.
Braid or heavy mono or fluorocarbon will be the line choice, though a lot of anglers prefer mono or fluorocarbon on Toho.
“Braid makes a sawing noise sometimes,” said Hoernke. “Quite a few anglers prefer heavy mono or fluorocarbon here. It doesn’t make the noise the braid does and some feel you’ll get more strikes because of it.”
PAA picked Toho because of size and fishery.
“When we were deciding where to hold events this year we listened to our members,” said Hoernke. “The anglers wanted to fish bodies of water where we could spread out and fish a variety of areas. We didn’t want to be clumped up in a couple of locations. Toho has traditionally been one of those really good tournament lakes.”
The PAA regular season events are open to anyone who wants to join the PAA.
There are random polygraphs given to anglers who win money to insure the legitimacy of the events.
“The PAA members really want their own league,” said Hoernke. “This is evident by the turnout of all-star anglers here. The payout isn’t huge yet, but the support for the events and organization is incredible. We will truly see the ‘best of the best’ compete. FLW pros and BASS pros will all competing together at last.
We aren’t trying to compete with other circuits; we just want a place of our own in this industry.”