The beauty of this part of Florida is the exceptional year-round fishing. As we get into Winter, we take a quick peek at what fishing in Crystal River looks like during the season.
What To Expect During The Winter Months
Just kidding – this is the Nature Coast of Florida, and even though the temps will dip and dive here and there throughout winter, we still launch from sandy shores under (mostly) sun-drenched skies. For the most part, winter brings in a few species changes and in some cases how they are targeted. Fish will pattern and move differently, so it is important to understand where they go and when they go there.
At the start of winter, fishing will not look too different on the flats, backcountry, and on the grouper fishing grounds. It is the start of seasonal changes, but snook, redfish, seatrout, and several others will be readily available in the usual locations.
As we get deeper into winter, big tidal movements come into play. Extreme tides are part of Winter thanks to the lunar pull. Strong tides, in or out, are always awesome times to fish. The difference for winter is that when these tides go out, the water can get real skinny. At the same time, many of our resident inshore species will tuck away inside of coastal rivers in search of more temperate waters. With these things in mind, the first big change to understand is that it can take an extremely shallow drafting boat (sometimes a mud boat) to get back to where these fish are.
The average winter temps for Crystal River ride between the mid 40’s at the lowest, and low to mid 70’s at the hottest. However, those lows will generally be at night – during the day you will be looking at awesome Florida winter weather (those 70’s). This is a convenient break from the heat for residents and a break from the snow for visitors. Early morning winter fishing charters may start with a chill, however, so a simple layer system for your clothes will need to be considered.
Top Species To Target
At the start of winter, extended from the fall, grouper is really the name of the game. The shallow water grouper fishery located here is a year-round one, but winter marks the peak of that action. At the same time, snook in the mangroves, and reds and seatrout on the flats are fairly common.
Once we get into the depths of winter and we switch back to our favorite inshore targets, reds, seatrout, sheepshead, and black drum will be found hiding out inside of warmer water outflows or up those coastal river systems that were mentioned earlier.
This transition will take place about mid to late December.
Fish With Us
The Captain here at Crystal River Guide Service is a highly experienced and personable local fishing guide in Crystal River, Florida. This winter he invites you to join him for an epic day on the water. Learning more or getting started is easy, pick a link below to start planning: