The Bowling Green, Fla., property has opened its Glory Hole lake to local anglers, while its sporting clays facility opened to the public February 1.
Streamsong Resort in Bowling Green, Fla., has opened its Glory Hole, an expansive lake created by phosphate mining, and clay-shooting amenities to the public, the Lakeland (Fla.) Ledger reported.
For the past couple of decades, the Glory Hole was strictly limited to VIPs and guests of The Mosaic Company, one of the most exclusive bass fishing spots anywhere in the world. But earlier this year, the expansive lake created by phosphate mining on Mosaic land in the southwest reaches of Polk County was opened to guests at the resort and to area anglers, the Ledger reported.
“It’s open to the public,” said Tyler Ramsdell, the recreation manager at Streamsong. “We want locals to come fish because it is a very prestigious lake that a lot of them have been wanting to fish for their whole life.”
Bass fishing is a side diversion for resort guests who come from around the world to play Streamsong’s two top-ranked golf courses. But Streamsong welcomes Polk County residents to enjoy the fishing facilities for a daily fee of $80 per hour, the Ledger reported.
To round out the outdoors experience, the resort also features a new sporting clays course for wing-shooters that is open to the public, the Ledger reported.
“We would encourage people to make reservations at the Lodge if they’d like to come out and use our sporting clays facility or bass fishing,” said General Manager Richard Mogensen.
“A lot of people who have been playing here for the past 16 months are now discovering that we have different sporting venues,” Mogensen said in late April. “And that wasn’t originally available. So now, we’re getting an exponential increase.”
Streamsong built the six-story Lodge along the southern shore of the Glory Hole. A long-distance cast would almost land in the open-air swimming pool between the Lodge and the lake, the Ledger reported.
The Glory Hole came by its name honestly, producing more than its share of double-digit bass throughout the years. The lake features deep, dark waters ringed with lily pads and bulrushes around the shore along with open-water brush and mussel bars, the Ledger reported.
Ramsdell said word has been spreading that the Glory Hole is open. “Two people from Lakeland came twice. They fished in the morning and golfed in the afternoon.”
Ramsdell said anglers can bring their own tackle, but no boats can be launched. Streamsong provides the boats—16- and 17-foot Mako center console open fisherman craft with electric trolling motors. The cost for a guided trip is $80 per person per hour, up to a maximum of six hours, for ages 13 and older. For youth 12 and younger, the cost is $40. Fishing licenses are not required, the Ledger reported.
Ramsdell said all anglers, even novices, have caught at least one bass. “Surprisingly, they always catch the biggest fish,” he said.
While bass fishing is most popular, the resort built a first-class sporting clays facility overlooking a lake that’s a 15-minute car ride from the Lodge and the Glory Hole, the Ledger reported.
“I think the views separate us from other courses in the state,” recreation coordinator Erik Prinz said of the range.
On the drive to the range, down a clay road though cattle pastures, we spotted a wild sow with her pigs and flushed a covey of quail. Prinz said he saw two Florida panthers resting on the Five-Stand platform one morning, the Ledger reported.
Mike Mezerra of Tampa Bay Sporting Clays helped set up the sporting clays course amid the 16,000 acres of reclaimed land that has reverted to pine woods with some oak trees. The sporting-clays range includes a small clubhouse, where merchandise is available, surrounded by an expansive wooden deck with seating. There is an eight-station clays course and the Five-Stand station, the Ledger reported.
Shotgunners from Polk have been taking advantage of the course since it opened February 1, before bass fishing was available. The bright orange targets, called clay pigeons, are flung by machine and simulate the flights of quail, dove and teal, as well as a challenging rabbit target that rolls on the ground at a quick pace, the Ledger reported.
“You can bring your own shotgun, as long as it’s a 12-gauge or a 20-gauge,” Prinz said. But shooters have to purchase shotgun shells at the range per regulations, the Ledger reported.
Prinz and Ramsdell are National Sporting Clays Association Level 1 instructors with National Rifle Association safety certification and certified as NRA range safety officers. They are fully capable of helping inexperienced shooters learn the sport, the Ledger reported.
“We can take out a beginning shooter and take them to the next level,” Prinz said.
The cost of shooting clays includes the use of a Mossberg 12-gauge over-under shotgun, a guide, ear and eye protection, golf cart and ammo. Prices are $100 for 50 shots or $150 for 100 shots, the Ledger reported.
There is a fire pit under an oak tree close to the clubhouse that’s a good spot for sharing stories during the winter. Prinz said a man and his 16-year-old came to Streamsong recently. They played golf, shot clays and fished—all in one day, the Ledger reported.
C&RB reported on Streamsong’s array of amenities in its November 2013 cover story, “Putting the Pieces Together at Streamsong Resort.”