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  • Writer's pictureCapt. Memphis Zachry

Crystal River Fishing Report - December 2023


Redfish caught on fishing charter

Its that time of year again! Big Redfish and tons of Trout here in Crystal River. The Redfish bite is getting better and better everyday and large numbers of Trout are starting to make their way inshore. Below i will go over some helpfull tips for fishing in Crystal River during December and January.


Redfish Report

As the water temps drop and the tides start to get lower the Redfish will begin their journey inshore to find comfort in the warmer water. Many of our Redfish will school up in the early morning and late evenings while the water temps are low, during this period it is best to fish for them slowly using shrimp on the bottom. They wont be as active so you will have to have some patience and wait for one to pick it up. In the afternoon when the sun starts to raise the water temperature the Redfish will start to spread out and actively feed making them more aggressive and easier to fish for in Crystal River.


Recomended bait and rigging


Morning and Evening - Shrimp on the bottom or a weedless rigged soft plastic lure worked slowly on the bottom. Small chunks of cut Pinfish or Mullet on the bottom will have great results as well.


Afternoon - Live Shrimp and Pinfish. Also, a wide veriety of artificial lures including soft plastic swim baits such as a MirrOlure Little John XL or a top water lure like the Rapala skitter walk.



Trout caught in Crystal River


Trout Report

Trout fishing in Crystal River in December is always a blast. Most of the Trout have made there way into shallow water and are easier to fish for compared to earlier months. As always, the Trout are super easy to catch but not always easy to find. When looking for a good Trout fishing spot try to target areas with a mix of structure, current and varying depth. In Crystal river, Kelp is the main structure you want to look for.


Recomended Bait and rigging


Shallow Water - A light colored soft plastic jerkbait with a small nose hook or a 1/16th ounce jig head fished at a medium speed.


Deeper water - A Small sinking Mirro-Dine or a simmilar twitch bait or soft plastic lure on a hevier jig head fished slowly towards the bottom.


Trout Fishing Tip

The Trout here in Crystal River will almost always strike your bait when it is falling! So make sure that you work your bait so that it has an exaggerated rise and fall throught your entire retrieve.


Fish caught offshore


Crystal River Offshore/ Rock Pile fishing report

Crystal River fishing in December is exeptional out on the rock piles just off the coast. As the water temps get colder in Florida many of the offshore fish species will migrate into these areas. Right now you can easily catch a bounty of fish just a short boatride off the coast. You can expect to catch a wide veriety of fish including Sheepshead, Mackerel, Flounder, Grunt, Gag Grouper and even Sharks. If you're looking to get out on the water and do some easy fishing loaded with action this is the best way to do it.


Recomended Bait and rigging

Free lined Shrimp and Pin Fish or Shrimp on the bottom will work great. If you are loosing too many hooks to the rocks you can always use a float with a few feet of slack to keep your bait off the bottom.


Trout and Redfish caught on a Crystal River fishing charter


Book your fishing charter in Crystal River today!

December and January are a great time to get out on the water and go fishing. Check out the link below to get in on the action and create an experience that you and your family will never forget!





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