Indian River Lagoon Fishing Report: For those of you who’ve followed my fishing and outdoor reports for a while know every now and then I wonder away from my familiar stomping grounds and explore adventure elsewhere, well this was one of those glorious occasions.
During our travels this past week, my lovely bride Sandi and I escaped to Citrus County on Florida’s west central coast to attend the Florida Outdoor Writers Association’s annual conference in Crystal River, Florida. Our accommodations for this excursion were the magnificent Plantation on Crystal River where we were greeted by cheerful and courteous staff along the banks of the quiet and peaceful Crystal River. Located just an hour northwest of Orlando. The Plantation is the place to stay if you plan a visit to either Crystal River or Homosassa or just looking to escape from reality for a few days. Located on the water, the Plantation includes on site marina and dive shop, guide services, fine dinning, boat ramp, boat slips with easy access to the Gulf of Mexico, and a championship golf course.
On our first evening we were treated to an exclusive back stage tour of the Homosassa Springs Wildlife Park were enjoyed an evening of wildlife viewing and our welcome reception. The park showcases native Florida wildlife, including manatees, black bears, bobcats, white-tailed deer, American alligators, American crocodiles, and river otters. Visitors can see West Indian manatees every day of the year from the park’s underwater observatory in the main spring as well as snook, sheepshead and other species of fish.
The Homosassa and Crystal River areas are renowned for scalloping during the summer and as a lifelong Florida native I’ve never been once, so I opted join some friends for a day of diving for scallops instead of fishing, and I’m glad I did. Our adventure began when we met up with Captain Rick Burns of Reel Burns Charters and his best mate Renee at Macrea’s of Homosassa. Soon we were under way heading out the Little Homosassa River to the grass flats west of Crystal River.
Although we were diving near the end of scallop season, Captain Rich and Renee knew exactly where to start, and in a matter of minutes from hitting the water, I was no longer a scallop virgin. Captain Rick’s a veteran Homosassa Fishing Guide who offers fishing charters year round, scalloping during the summer season and manatee swimming trips during the winter in the springs, and it’s well worth the expense to acquire his services for any of these excursions.
After snorkeling for several hours we returned for a quick refreshing swim in the 72-degree waters Homosassa Springs and finished our day at Neon Zeon’s where the staff prepared a fresh catch lunch of bay scallops, Cajun pasta and beer. Named after the legendary bass guitarist Leon Wilkeson of the southern rock band Lynyrd Skynard, Neon Zeon’s Zydeco Steak House is not only a great place to eat, it’s a most visit for anyone who enjoys the history of American rock and roll.
Although the entire week was great fun, the highlight of the trip for me was being honored by the Florida Outdoor Writers Association as the recipient of the Bass Pro Shop’s Pass It On Award for the volunteer work I do with the Anglers For Conservation’s Hook Kids on Fishing Program in Central Florida.
It’s always great to escape from reality for a few days and visit with my FOWA family, and I promise I’ll be back to Homosassa sooner than you think.
As always, if you have any questions. need information or would like to book a charter, please contact me.
Good luck and good fishing,
Captain Tom Van Horn
Mosquito Coast Fishing Charters