Trophy Catch locks in Toho Big Fish Blast Win For John Stahl

Last Saturday the Kissimmee Chamber of Commerce held the 6th Annual Toho Big Fish Blast.

The weather cooperated right up until the end of the tournament when we got some much needed rain for our low water levels. It was a fun morning for those kids in the weigh-in staging area thanks to Marty Mann from the FWC (Fish and Wildlife Commission). The FWC provided channel catfish and fishing poles for passers by to try their luck! This gave some kids their first opportunity to try fishing. I saw lots of smiles and excited kids there that morning.

There were close to 100 anglers giving it their all at the big fish every hour style tournament. Anglers had five hourly chances to win one of three places. All fish brought to the scales where straight out of Toho, due to the locks being closed.

During the first hour of weigh-in’s an angler brought a largemouth bass over 9 pounds to the scales, and was believed to be the overall Big Fish winner, until the angler did not pass the mandatory polygraph and was disqualified.

Taking home the $2,500 grand prize was John Stahl. His 8.17-pound Trophy Catch qualifying bass gives him bragging rights for the next year! Stahl, 55, resides in Land O Lakes, fitting for this multi tournament angler.

First hour results: (1) George Blair, 6.44 pounds. (2) Michael Joint, 6.13. (3) Rich Howes, 5.00.

Second hour results: (1) John Stahl, 8.17. (2) Doug Staetter, 6.87. (3) Chris Kitting, 6.67.

Third hour results: (1) David Barker, 7.92. (2) Tim Burton 6.26. (3) Luke Smith 5.67. Fourth hour results: (1) Steve Pennington, 7.85. (2) Ross Mitchell 5.26. (3) Hunter Blair 5.05. and John Stahl, 5.05.

Final hour results: (1) Dave Wolfe, 7.47. ( 2) Owen Wentzel, 7.39. (3) Steve Pennington, 6.61.

I don’t want to forget to mention the winner of the women’s division, Karen Trudeau, with 4.04 pounds. Awesome job to all the anglers.

The Kissimmee Chamber of Commerce puts on a well-organized tournament every year and I would like to recognize a few volunteers that helped make this event a success. Tournament Director Mike Blocher, Chamber employee Kayla Rogers, host and announcer Terry Seagraves and Brian Stahl, who I will call the scale monitor because that was his job.

I think one tournament a year is not enough. Maybe they will consider doing more during the year.

… Toho Marine Wednesday Night Shootout results from May 10. Weighing in a five fish limit with a total weight of 27.15 pounds was the team of Matt and Andrew. Not only did they win by less than a pound, but they had the Big Fish of the night and are the current leader in the Denali Rods Big Fish of the Month Rod giveaway!!

Taking second, Skip Stowers and his co-angler, Mark with, five fish, 26.52 pounds. And rounding out the final payout position in third place was the duo of Terry Seagraves and Paul with 20.16 pounds.

… I haven’t checked in with Brian Pounds of Southern Fishing Charters in a while. He is reporting that the mid sections of the Mosquito Lagoon are holding huge schools of redfish. Most of the schools are in a foot of water around massive finger mullet pods. Huge trout up to 30 inches plus are in the same areas. For the Redfish use live or Gulp Shrimp in a white body with an orange or chartreuse tail. For the big trout, top water plugs with a lot of rattling noises have been working well at first light and late paddle tail jerk baits into the afternoon.

Today May 20, kicks off National Boating Safety week. Request your free publication of the How To Boat Smart Florida Boating Safety Guide from the FWC at
I recently had Mr. Charles Enck kindly send me a copy for my own personal review and to share with you the readers. I will highlight some of the important information with you next week.

… The deadline to enter the Help Our Heroes Tournament is approaching on May 26. Contact Mark or Joe at Toho Marine Outdoors, 407-892-3200, or go to and click on the tournaments tab. New location for this tournament is Joe Overstreet ramp. Tournament is Saturday, June 3. The fee is $175 per boat with a guarantee of $10,000 for first place.

Visit The Reel Deal online at Select Sports, then Fishing. Send me pictures of your recent catch and you just may see yourself on The Reel Deal! Email .

If you are down around the lake front later today, Saturday, there will be a live weigh-in following the ABA Tournament starting around 3p.m. Enjoy your weekend. Tight Lines!