Crystal River 04-09-16. And the wind blows on!

Been chompin at the bit to get back to Crystal River (we are from Alabama) for some inshore action with my wife, Cookie. *Cookie enjoys fishing almost more than me!! I'd been planning this for a couple months- and sure was excited when the weekend finally came. Friday morning we were packed up and an our way! We left the boat at home this time and scheduled to join my friend Marrio Castillo, at Tall Tales Charters, Saturday for some inshore fun! *You've probably seen him on some local fishing shows to the nature coast, as well as with George Gozdz on Reel Time, Florida Sportsman.
Then, "What! Small Craft Advisory!" That was the call I got from my buddy, Marrio, in Crystal River Friday afternoon as we were about 1 1/2 hr away. But the trigger had been pulled and we were going to do something!
We arrived at the Plantation, unpacked, and got a quick bite at the on site restaurant, West 82 Bar and Grill.

This place is big- and has that "golf club" feel for sure. But it was really nice, and has the typical marina and dive shop- indigenous to most hotels in the area. Its also where Marrio is based out of, so it was nice and convenient too.

And it was a bit chilly that morning. Mid 40s would seem pretty cool out on the water! It was going to warm up later in the day, but I was glad we had our jackets for the morning!
First, we ran out to a protected part of the spoils- a long "bar" on the side of the power plant channel. We started tossing some live shrimp and managed to pick up a few speckle trout and a small redfish.

As the day progressed, the wind seemed to die down some... so we hunted some crab pot floats for tripletail on the way out.... but didn't find anything legal!
We tried working another bar along the spoils further out- and picked up a couple more trout, some jacks, a redfish, and I finished my inshore slam with a decent snook!

After lunch, the wind changed and started picking up steam again! Plugging on, we found a few jacks to play with, and one undersized tripletail. Marrio and I spied a BIG one between crab pots- but as we circled around, he took a dive and we couldn't find him again! That would have been the fish of a lifetime for me!
We moved in to the mangroves and managed one more slot redfish before throwing in the towel!

By then the wind was howling again out of the west- and Cookie had had enough.
We kept 8 trout and released everything else to be caught another day!

It was really a great trip- We can't say enough about the great accommodations, restaurants, and friendly people in Crystal River! Not to mention a great guide- and Marrio always seems to be able to put us on some fish no matter the conditions!
FYI- It's not all just about fishing there too! They have all kinds of festivals and shops around! During our stay- just up town there was a car show, and on the other side of town there was a crafts festival going on! But you know me.... gotta fish! LOL

Hope you enjoyed my story- Video coming soon, so stay tuned to our youtube channel at

In the meantime, be sure to see the video from our last trip here!


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