Mid-September Outdoor Adventures and Fishing Report

September 25, 2018

Mosquito Lagoon Trophy Redfish Orlando

Late-September Florida Outdoor Adventures and Indian River Lagoon Fishing Report, September 25, 2018

Over the last few weeks my adventures carried me to Florida’s Adventure Coast, Weeki Wachee and Brooksville for the 2018 Florida Outdoor Writers Association Conference.  I have also experienced some outstanding fishing on the North and Central Indian River Lagoons.

My FOWA adventure began on Wednesday September 12th and ended when we returned home on Sunday September 16.  This years FOWA Conference was hosted by Florida’s Adventure Coast, Weeki Wachee and Brooksville, Florida.  It has been many, many years since I have ventured this far west from Orlando, and I was pleasantly surprised to find how some of the old Florida attraction have evolved into the modern market.  Less than two hours west of Orlando are some very interest places to see, off the beaten path.

Our conference opened with a reception held at the historical Weeki Wachee Springs, which is now part of the Florida State Parks system.  The Park treated us to a private mermaid show which was exactly as I remember as a kid.  The only exception is now the State of Florida has mermaids as employees.

Some other locations of interest for me were Becky Jacks Food Shack and the Njoy Spirts Distillery.

Becky Jacks Food Shack is a restaurant often recommended by locals as a place you must try. Located on Cortez Boulevard past Weeki Wachee Springs State Park on the way to Bayport. It’s a must visit hole in the wall local spot with funky and creative menu. The Florida Style food is incredibly tasty and the portion sizes are huge.

NJoy Spirit’s Distillery is a family operated Florida whiskey distiller in the heart of the Chassahwitzka Wildlife Management Area. When they started making their Rye Whiskey and they wanted to make America’s finest 100% Rye Whiskey, and after a taste, I must agree.  Visiting Njoy Spirts is a true adventure as their location is on a ranch deep in the middle of the forest.

I was also honored my website won first place in FOWA’s Excellent in Crafts Award.  As an internet content provider, this recognition is very special.  Thank you FOWA and the Punta Gorda, Englewood VBC for this award.

My adventures on the water this week took  me to the Indian River Lagoon north of Titusville in search of some schools of breeder redfish which I found to be abundant.  I was honored the spend a day on the water with Pete, Brenda and Bella from Indianapolis.  While scouting the area the day before I found clean water in a few spots and decided to focus our efforts in these locations.  As I poled in shallow at first light we were rewarded by a significant school of breeder size redfish and both Brenda and Bella were successful in landing their very first redfish.  Soon the school dispersed and it was off to search for some black drum around the bridges and again they were rewarded by catching some big ones.  All in al, it was good to be back on the water and to fine that the big fish are still around.

As always, if you need information or have any questions, please contact me.

Good luck and good fishing,

Captain Tom Van Horn




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