Last Updated on October 6, 2021 by Eric
Fall is just about a week away, and for Crystal River that means an amazing crossover of summertime favorites and fall/winter species intermingling. At the same time, in this pristine inshore fishery, the temps begin to cool, the weather cooperates a bit more, and the fishing is simply unmatched.
What To Expect In Fall
The official start of fall is September 22nd, but the kind of fishing you will find during the early part of the season is already underway. Crystal River, part of Florida’s Nature Coast, is an exceptional fishery with a diverse ecology that draws in many of the state’s top inshore gamefish species.
Top Fall Species
While not considered an inshore species throughout most of the locations that grouper are found, Crystal River is home to this unique grouper fishing opportunity.
In fairly shallow water, along the expansive flats systems here in Crystal River, gag grouper lurk among the various types of underwater structure that exists here.
It is a combination of ecology and diversity that bring this ambush predator to the area and fisherman who choose to target them can have incredibly productive days during this time of year.
Snook is an incredibly popular inshore species all along central and south Florida. Crystal River is home to a diverse and healthy population of snook that ranges in size from small juveniles to absolute bruisers- that will test your gear on the hookup.
Given the temperate fall water temperatures, snook remain in the area and is one of the most popular species during this time of year. This is a hard-fighting (and great tasting) inshore species that are looking to fill their bellies in time for winter.
What this means is that snook fishing heats up as the weather cools in the Fall – putting them on our list.
Redfish are one of those species that can be targeted all year. But, redfish are known as a fall favorite (local’s call the Flats Pumpkins) and are definitely on the top of the targeted species list.
The only thing that really starts changing in Fall with redfish is their diet. While during the heat of summer these guys can attack topwater lures and various types of live baitfish, starting in fall and continuing into the winter – they switch gears.
This species is designed by nature to be a bottom feeder. When redfish hunt the bottom of the shallows they are looking for various crustaceans (shrimp and small crabs). Doing this leads them to stick their tails out of the water. This is when sight-fishing for reds in shallow water becomes awesome.
Finding some tails waving in the distance will let you know exactly where these fish are and what they’re eating.
Mixed Bag Opportunities
Florida is the Fishing Capital of the World and Crystal River is one of its most diverse fishing locations. In this, there is always opportunity and surprises waiting for you on any given day.
Finding seatrout, black drum, sheepshead, mackerel, snapper, jack crevalle, late-season tarpon, and many other species in the fall is not uncommon.
Let’s Fish Crystal River
We get excited during this time of year and the best part is many of the summertime crowds are off the water here at the start of Fall. Making this one of the few times that local Crystal River fishing guides have available days and you will have some incredible fishing action.
You can check out real-time availability and lock in your charter day here.
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