Whenever I can fish and hunt in the same trip, I rank that high on my list of top adventures. I got the chance to do just that when I joined a group of outdoor editors and writers in Crystal River, on Florida’s west coast, to fish the Gulf of Mexico for snapper and grouper, ply the estuarine waters for cobia, trout and tripletail and then hunt the palmetto lowlands for feral hogs.
Plantation on Crystal River and Ross Hammock Ranch hosted our gaggle; inshore boats left directly from docks on the Plantation property. Those who stayed to hunt the last few days of the week bunked at Ross’ well-equipped lodge, just 20 minutes up the road.
While fishing, we sampled gear from Okuma, Mustad, Savage Gear, Cuda, Yo-Zuri, Power-Pole, and Maui Jim. We navigated and searched out structure using Navionics charts and Raymarine electronics, including that company’s RealVision 3D sonar on Axiom multifunction displays.
As you will see in the video, we caught a variety of species, and one of our crew — Navionics’ Paul Michele — shot a 600-plus-pound boar hog.
For aerial footage, GoPro loaned me one of its Karma drones to pair with my HERO5 camera. Setting up and flying the drone proved super easy; I was able to pilot the craft offshore on only my second-ever flight.