The Kissimmee Chain of Lakes Area (KCOLA) spans 21,000 acres in Polk and Osceola counties, about 11 miles south of St. Cloud and nine miles east of Lake Wales. KCOLA includes numerous lakes, from Cypress Lake in the north to Lake Kissimmee in the south. The lakes are a part of the greater Kissimmee Chain of Lakes watershed, which originates in Orange County and forms the headwaters of the Kissimmee-Okeechobee-Everglades system. The watershed encompasses more than two dozen lakes, their tributary streams and the Kissimmee River.
The Kissimmee Chain of Lakes is one of the top bass fishing destinations in the country. There are a number of lakes on the chain that provide some excellent bass fishing for numbers and size. Expect to catch lots of bass in the 3 to 5 pound range with some pushing 10 pounds or more.
Lake Tohopekaliga, known to the locals as Lake Toho, is an 18,810-acre lake located southeast of the city of Kissimmee. Lake Toho is known as one of the top bass lakes in Florida. Catch rates are usually very high on this lake, especially if you are using big, live shiners as bait. Big fish are also very common on this lake. Bass in the 7 to 8 pound range are fairly common and fish up to and above 10 pounds are definitely a possibility on this lake.
Lake Kissimmee is a 34,948-acre lake located 40 miles south of Orlando and 18 miles east of Lake Wales. This lake is home to quite a few fish camps and some excellent fishing for bass. Anglers catch good numbers of bass on this lake and big fish are definitely possible. Bass in the 7 to 8 pound bass are fairly common and bass up to and above 10 pounds are possible here. Most of the bigger bass will be caught with big, live shiners as bait.
At 14,500 acres, Lake Hatchineha has plenty of water and plenty of fish to keep you busy. This lake has a lot of vegetation in it, which has caused some access problems in the past for anglers. We recommend checking on the current access with a local bait shop before planning a trip specifically for this lake. If you do fish the lake, the bass fishing is solid with good numbers of bass and plenty of big bass too.
Lake Cypress is around 5,500 acres and it is a popular lake to fish on the chain. Anglers target bass for the most part and fishing the vegetation is where they usually have the most success. Good numbers of bass are here with lots of big bass too.
East Lake Toho is a good-sized lake at 13,550 acres. It doesn’t quite compare to Lake Toho (West Lake Toho) as far as consistently putting up such big numbers of fish and the consistent big fish, however, East Lake Toho can definitely have its day. Anglers do report having some very good catches on this lake and some anglers choose to fish it when the winds pick up as big Lake Toho can be a lot tougher for boat control on windy days.