Florida's Crystal River: Red-Hot Action

The Sport Fishing staff had a chance to sample angling opportunites in the Crystal River region of Florida's west coast.

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Capt. Dan Clymer of Racin' Mullet Charters prepares to release a tarpon for managing editor Stephanie Pancratz.Chris Woodward
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Editor-in-Chief Doug Olander hoists a beautiful red grouper he landed on light tackle.Jim Hendricks
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The spotted seatrout can grow big in the rich waters off Florida's Crystal River.Doug Olander
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Capt. Gary G.T. Cox of Slap Stik Charters lifts Mark MacKenzie's redfish into the boat.Doug Olander
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Our first trolling strike produced this nice king mackerel.Jim Hendricks
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The marina at the Plantation on Crystal River is a great starting point for fishing the Crystal River area. The marina has a launch ramp and plenty of parking for your trailer and vehicle.Jim Hendricks
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Director of sales and marketing for the Plantation on Crystal River Michael Mancke checks out the boats at the marina that are prepping for a day of fishing.Jim Hendricks
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You can dock your boat along the canals that encircle the Plantation resort.Jim Hendricks
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A number of guides are available for fishing out of the Crystal River area, whether you want to fish inshore for redfish, seatrout and tarpon, or offshore for grouper, kingfish and snapper.Jim Hendricks
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Capt. Gary G.T. Cox of Slap Stik Charters heads out for a day of fishing along the Crystal River coast.Jim Hendricks
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Capt. Don Chancey of Flats Chance Charters discusses the Crystal River inshore fishing game plan for the day with his guests.Doug Olander
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There are a number of no-wake zones on the Crystal River, with numerous manatees inhabiting this scenic waterway.Doug Olander
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Capt. Dan Clymer skippers his custom Pro-Line inshore boat enroute to fishing for redfish, seatrout and tarpon along the Crystal River coast.Jim Hendricks
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The Crystal River area abounds with inshore flats -- ideal habitat for redfish, seatrout, tarpon and even cobia.Jim Hendricks
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Sport Fishing Editor Chris Woodward shows off a beautiful Crystal River spotted seatrout.Jim Hendricks
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Capt. William Toney with Homosassa Inshore Fishing boats a bragging-size spotted seatrout.Doug Olander
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Editor-in-Chief Doug Olander hoists another nice spotted seatrout.Jim Hendricks
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Soft-plastic jigs are highly effective for seatrout in the waters of Florida's Crystal River coast.Jim Hendricks
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Capt. Dan Clymer admires this hefty seatrout caught by SF's Editor, Chris Woodward, over the grass beds in shallow Gulf waters.Chris Woodward
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Capt. William Toney helps Sport Fishing's Jim Hendricks land a beautiful spotted seatrout.Doug Olander
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Spotted seatrout are not only fun to catch, but delicious, too.Doug Olander
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Capt. Gary G.T. Cox helps Sport Fishing's Mark MacKenzie land a nice redfish along the Crystal River coast.Doug Olander
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Sport Fishing's Mark MacKenzie lands his redfish.Doug Olander
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Redfish grow fat and plentiful in the inshore waters of Florida's Crystal River coast.Doug Olander
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This Crystal River redfish fell for a weedless spoon.Doug Olander
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Tarpon are also regular visitors to the waters of the Crystal River coast.Chris Woodward
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Tarpon haunt the flats outside Crystal River, and it's not unusual to see several in a single day of fishing.Chris Woodward
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Capt. Dan Clymer helps Sport Fishing managing editor Stephanie Pancratz land her first tarpon.Chris Woodward
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While fishing offshore from Crystal River, we spotted this water spout first thing in the morning, and steered well clear of it.Chris Woodward
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Once we passed the storm, the ocean off Crystal River was like a lake, even 32 miles offshore where we trolled for kingfish.Jim Hendricks
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This kingfish struck a deep-diving Halco plug.Jim Hendricks
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The preferred lure for red grouper in the waters off Crystal River is a Spro jig with a DOA plastic tail.Jim Hendricks
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The Sport Fishing staff enjoys a triple hookup on red groupers while fishing 32 miles off the Crystal River coast.Doug Olander
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Sport Fishing's editor, Chris Woodward, battles a powerful red grouper on light tackle.Jim Hendricks
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Sport Fishing's managing editor, Stephanie Pancratz, fights a nice red grouper.Jim Hendricks
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Capt. Clay Shidler of Hang 'Em High Sport Fishing shows off one of many red grouper he helped the SF staff catch in the waters off Florida's Crystal River.Jim Hendricks
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Along with dozens of red grouper, we also caught several nice black sea bass.Jim Hendricks
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Capt. Clay Shidler helps SF Editor Chris Woodward land one of many red grouper.Doug Olander
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Capt. Clay Shidler lifts a beautiful red grouper into the boat.Doug Olander
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Capt. Clay Shidler beams with pride at having put the Sport Fishing staff on a hot grouper bite.Jim Hendricks
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Editor-in-Chief Doug Olander beat this beautiful red grouper on super-light tackle.Jim Hendricks
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Bottom fishing doesn't always mean heavy tackle. Editor-in-Chief Doug Olander multiplied the fun by challenging red grouper on light tackle off the Crystal River coast.Jim Hendricks
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Red grouper are suckers for a well-presented jig.Jim Hendricks
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Managing Editor Stephanie Pancratz and Pacific Editor Jim Hendricks compare their catches of gag and red groupers, respectively.Doug Olander
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Pacific Editor Jim Hendricks traveled across the country to fish the Crystal River coast.Doug Olander
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Capt. Clay Shidler enjoyed the red grouper action himself, catching several on light tackle.Jim Hendricks
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Sport Fishing Editor Chris Woodward shows off one of many big red grouper she caught with Hang 'Em High charters off the Crystal River coast.Jim Hendricks
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Capt. Clay Shidler stayed busy assisting all four SF anglers during our trip off the Crystal River coast. Here he helps land two red groupers at once.Jim Hendricks