December 2022: Gag Grouper & Tripletail

December 2022: Gag Grouper & Tripletail

Last Updated on December 7, 2022 by Eric

Ready to go inshore fishing this December? Well, if so the water is teeming with some local Crystal River favorites: gag grouper and tripletail. It’s not every day you see either of these fish, but in Crystal River, you have the opportunity to catch both these elusive species on the same day! Whether you’re a novice fisherman or you’ve been doing it for a while, Crystal River Winter fishing has something for everyone!

Shallow Water Grouper in Crystal River

Crystal River, Florida, otherwise known as “The Nature Coast,” is a hidden artifact in Florida that many do not know about. Located in the Big Bend area of Florida, this location has unique ecology and geography that allow some extraordinary things to take place. What makes this area unique is the shallow waters that generally don’t extend past a couple of hundred feet past the shoreline in most places, extend for miles here. Because of this, the fish that usually live at these distances in deeper waters have no problem coming closer to shore in the shallows. One of those fish is gag grouper, which have been dubbed “shallow water grouper” in the Crystal River area because these normally deep-sea fish venture inshore and are a fisherman’s delight.

A picture of December 2022: Gag Grouper & Tripletail with Crystal River Fishing Charters

Gag grouper in Crystal River come in all shapes and sizes, and from late fall to early spring, these guys come even more inshore to escape the cold offshore waters. This means you don’t have to go very far to catch one of these otherwise deep-sea monsters. If you’ve ever wanted to go offshore fishing but didn’t want to make the time/energy/money investments required to make that happen, you should check out Crystal River, one of the only places you can catch grouper within sight of land.


Tripletail are an elusive fish local to the Gulf of Mexico and other tropical climates across the globe and are an extremely rare sight even for avid fishermen. But due to the amazing ecology in Crystal River, these fish are a bit more common. Easily identified by their “triple” tail appearance, as the name suggests, you’ll know exactly what it is once you see one. These fish are known to be similar in taste to snapper; some say they taste even better than snapper too.

A picture of December 2022: Gag Grouper & Tripletail with Crystal River Fishing Charters

Tripletail are known for their love of crabs and are very active during the stone crab season in Florida, which is around late Fall to early Spring. They are also known to have pretty sharp teeth, so if you get the chance to catch one be careful!

Get Fishing This December

December isn’t over yet, but it won’t be here forever! Crystal River is a great place to fish year-round, and Crystal River Guide Service is the perfect place to start when considering a trip. Captain Casey Russell has years of fishing and guiding experience and knows exactly how to get you on fish. From shallow-water grouper to redfish to tripletail, there is much fish to be caught. Book your trip today with Captain Casey and see what Crystal River can do for you!