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Tips on Inshore Fishing in Crystal River, Florida

Tips on Inshore Fishing in Crystal River, Florida

Crystal River is located approximately 90 miles north of Tampa and it is one of those laid-back, funky and not too touristy towns in Florida. There are many interesting things to do around here, but most people come for Manatees, diving and incredible fishing opportunities. If you are considering booking Crystal River fishing charter, we have gathered some really useful information and tips for a memorable fishing experience in this area.

The inshore fishing scene in Florida is by all means among the largest in the world. The reasons are simple: dynamic estuaries and a mild climate make Florida perfect for year-round shallow water fishing activities. One of the best locations for inshore fishing in the state is certainly Crystal River. It is ideal for both newbies and more seasoned fishermen. However, if you have not experienced inshore fishing in the area so far, covering some basics would be more than recommended. So, let’s go!

Equipment: Lures and Tackles

In general, there are 3 types of lures that are used for shallow water fishing: soft plastic, suspending twitch and topwater. For targeting almost any inshore fish species, you should have all of three.

When it comes to fishing tackles, to determine the size and the type, you need to know what exactly you want to catch. For instance, you need different setups for Sea Trout and Redfish. Nevertheless, if you need a setup for a general shallow water fishing, a medium light action rod with the reel size of 3000 or 3500 would be a nice combination for most of the targeted species. Light lines are probably the best solution, therefore go for something around 10-20lb. Complete the setup with a fluorocarbon leader (12 lb to 30 lb test).

Are you still uncertain about the equipment you should use? Do you think someone else would make better decisions regarding the lures and tackles? Then I suggest booking the right Crystal River fishing charter. The experts will provide the right setup for your angling needs and wonderful fishing experience.

Bonus Tip: Don’t forget to bring sunscreen, sunglasses and a hat. Depending on the weather, you might need a waterproof jacket/coat. Additionally, make sure you have enough water and snacks!

Fishing Spots

If you do not know the area, you should check out Google maps to discover spots that should be good for shallow water fishing. It is recommended to look for grass flat areas with deep water pockets or drop-offs, mangrove islands and oyster reefs. Basically, you should opt for diversity and these spots will surely offer a good starting place. When you find such a spot, go with the tides.

Weather, season, tides and depths are factors to consider when you determine the right fishing location on a given day. Most fishermen prefer skinny water areas. They wait for the tide to come in and begin angling over the spots that were exposed during the low tide. For example, Redfish are attracted to previously exposed oyster reefs and sandbars.

All The Right Moves

If you have already been fishing both inshore and offshore, you have certainly noticed this. Everything you do in shallow water areas affects your catch significantly more than in deep waters. So, pay attention to your positioning and moves, as well the sounds (and shadows) you make. These should by no means interfere with what your fishing goals and aims.

Presentation Technique

Some anglers love inshore fishery because of using light tackle for targeting hard fighting catch close to their home. For others it is a priceless experience, because it is so similar to hunting; you need to locate the fish and outwit it before it spots you. No matter the reason, for catching a trophy you will need the right technique.

Bait presentation plays a critical role when getting a fish to eat. In case inshore fishery is somewhat new for you, prepare yourself for ups and downs. It takes some time to master this skill. When you cast “blind”, it is a good idea to work the water column in order to find out where the fish actually hide. If, however, you can see the cruising fish, you should “lead it” with the bait.

To determine the perfect presentation technique, you should also take the season in account. For instance, in colder weather, everything is a bit slower. Therefore, your moves and retrieves should reflect that. In the summer, on the other hand, the atmosphere is vibrant and lively. Thus, a more aggressive approach would be appropriate then. So, although you can use the same lures year-round, you should adjust the action to make it more natural in the area at the time.

Every Season has Its Charm

Yes, as mentioned above, seasons play a great role in choosing the type of presentation (and baits) you should use. What’s more, it depends on the season what fish species would most likely be biting in Crystal River, Florida. Once again, no matter what season you choose for inshore fishing, the area has always a lot to offer.

Sheephead – Florida Fishing Adventures

Spring: Inshore Grouper, Redfish, Seatrout, Tarpon, Shark, Snook, Snapper, Pompano, Cobia, Black Drum, Tripletail, Jack Crevalle

Summer: Redfish, Seatrout, Tarpon, Shark, Snook, Snapper, Black Drum, Jack Crevalle, Spanish Mackerel, Permit, Spanish Mackerel

Autumn: Inshore Grouper, Redfish, Shark, Snook, Snapper, Pompano, Cobia, Black Drum, Jack Crevalle, Spanish Mackerel, Sheepshead

Winter: Inshore Grouper, Redfish, Snapper, Pompano, Black Drum, Sheepshead

Fishing Licenses

Anyone who wants to fish in the State of Florida needs a valid fishing license. For fishing both salt water and freshwater fish species, you need to get both licenses. If you are booking Crystal River fishing charter, make sure they will provide you necessary licenses. If not, call 1-888-Fish-Florida or visit the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Finally, since Crystal River is such a wonderful place for fishing, there are many companies offering fishing charters and guides here. If you are new to the area or not as experienced in fishing in general, I strongly recommend hiring someone more seasoned to guide you. Crystal River offers so many opportunities, thus it does not deserve to be remembered in a bad way. Especially, when it comes to inshore fishing! Choose the right charter and guide and enjoy shallow water fishery to the fullest!