The Major League Fishing (MLF) Bass Pro Tour kicked off its Inaugural Season right in the heart of Kissimmee on historic Lake Tohopekaliga (Toho) On Tuesday, January 29, 2019. The six-day event will take place on the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes with the final day championship round taking place on a nearby lake out of respect for the Fishing League Worldwide (FLW) tour and their anglers practicing for their big event the following week.
The unique tournament will feature 80 of the best anglers from both the FLW and B.A.S.S. Leagues. Due to the large number of participants, all of whom were invited to participate, the field will be broken into 40 the first day and the other 40 the second day, with elimination days to follow which will narrow the field to 10. On the days the anglers are not out fishing, they will be visiting local schools in the community and at an expo-style staging area across from Big Toho Marina at the Kissimmee Lake Front.
How is MLF unique from other tournaments? The traditional Bass Tournament allows for only a limit of 5 fish caught during a 7 1/2 hour time period. The total weight is added up at a live weigh-in that usually takes place at the sight of the boat launch that morning. During the MLF event, there is no limit of fish and anglers will weigh-in upon landing their bass and the catch will be documented on the spot by an official assigned to each boat to keep score. The fish will then be immediately released, therefore no live on-stage weigh-in will take place.
The event will be live-streamed on the MLF website and will be broadcasted at Big Toho Marina when available. Stop by and have a bite to eat and catch some of the live-feed.
Positively Osceola spoke with Big Toho Marina owner, Mark Detweiler about his thoughts about the tournament. Big Toho Marina is located right next to the boat ramps so Mark has seen his share of tournaments take place out of the marina.
“We don’t know what to expect, it is going to be interesting”. “ We can’t wait to see what it is all about,” says Detweiler. “ It will be business as usual, as the majority of these anglers won’t gather first thing in the morning and launch in intervals at safelight like regular tournaments” states Detweiler. “They will just need to be at their first spot and ready to fish at 7:30 a.m.”
Mark’s son, Cody Detweiler, who is a professional angler, chauffeured officials from MLF on his boat all over the Kissimmee Chain of Lakes recently, testing out cell phone coverage and hotspot internet service as each boat during the tournament will have an official keeping track of the anglers catches via a tablet. Word at the marina is MLF had fiber-optic lines installed to the headquarters that will be at the lakefront just for this event. The 2-hour video production of the Kissimmee Bass Pro Tour event will air on the Discovery Channel sometime in the last quarter of 2019. You won’t want to miss it!