About Captain Tom Van Horn

captain tom van horn

A Lifelong, central florida native

As a lifelong Central Florida native, Captain Tom Van Horn spent his youthful years tromping through the backwater swamps, lakes, rivers and lagoons with a fishing rod in hand, and things haven’t changed much for him since. Currently working as a professional fishing guide on Central Florida’s St Johns River, east Florida’s Mosquito Lagoon, Indian River Lagoon, Banana River Lagoon and the near-shore fisheries of Port Canaveral, Captain Tom offers a wide range of different angling opportunities for all experience levels and brings a lifetime of local knowledge combined with 20 years of professional fishing guide experience to the table.

Capt. Tom Van Horn w/ Seatrout
Capt. Tom Van Horn in Mosquito Lagoon
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A passion for teaching & the outdoors

Besides guiding anglers to a catch of a lifetime, Captain Tom has a compassion for the resource and a broad understanding of the many challenges facing Florida’s lakes, rivers and coastal estuaries. Captain Tom is a believer in what he calls the abundance mentality. “It is my belief we are all out on the water for the same reasons, to enjoy the experience and catch fish, and if we share our knowledge, information and work together we will all enjoy a better experience and catch more fish”.

To facilitate these beliefs, Captain Tom has freely shared his passion for fishing and the outdoors by providing anglers with free seminars, free kids fishing clinics, and write weekly fishing reports and a monthly fishing forecast on his blog and other outdoor communications.

“I often hear about and witness anglers doing the wrong things on the water. In most cases it is not because they mean any harm, it’s because they do not know better”, Captain Tom went on to explain. “I’ve learned through the years, by sharing my knowledge and helping anglers new to Florida catch more fish, they in return develop a better understand the challenges facing our fisheries and become more responsible anglers. Most Floridians are not from here and most move to or visit to enjoy what Florida has to offer. They are starving for knowledge and the desire to learn, and that is what drives my passion to teach. I honestly feel the more responsible anglers utilizing the resource, the more value our outdoor resources have for all of us. There’s much more to fishing than catching, as our legacy and the future of our fisheries is in the hands of those we share our passions with.”

Currently Captain Tom is a freelance outdoor communicator and is an active member of the Southeast Outdoor Press Association and the Florida Outdoor Writers Association. He is recipient of the 2018 FOWA Best Website Award, the 2017 Realtree Best Outdoor Website Award from SEOPA, the 2012 recipient of the Frank Philpott Conservation Award, the 2014 Bass Pro Shop Pass It on Award and the 2015 FOWA Youth Conservation Award for his work with the Anglers for Conservation and the Hook Kids on Fishing Program in Central Florida.

Captain Tom currently serves as the coordinator of Gumbo War’s Junior Angler Education program (JAE), Regional Adviser for the Florida Guides Association and Indian River Lagoon Aquatic Estuary Program’s Adversary Board member, Captain Tom serves as a leader for the central and east Florida recreational angling communities. Captain Tom also served as a past president and founding member of Anglers for Conservation and past President and Chairman of the Board for the Florida Outdoor Writers Association.

If it’s a true Florida outdoor fishing experience you desire, then fish with a Captain who knows understands and respects the resource, fish with Captain Tom.