Crystal River Reef 12/9

Me and my fishin buddy jake have been wanting to try to artificial reef lately to see if there's anything schooled up yet. He brings his dad along for the second time in 10 years. Water was flat couldn't ask for a better day to try to head out in our deck boat. After getting rid of our not very big offshore boat we used to have, we don't really venture out more than 9 miles usually, so this was a good day. We get there pretty quickly cruised around 36mph the whole way smooth ride achor on one of the 10 foot high concrete pieces and its one grunt after another some over 14in big grunt for us. We weren't grouper fishing we were looking for hogfish or snapper or even sheephead with shrimp. While Jake is making fun of his dad for lack of techique bringing in grunt his next drop he's getting excited his pole bent pretty good and only using 15lb test Jake is sayin it's just a grunt but I was sayin Jake I think he might have somethin. Turns out to be a 22" gag on shrimp, a little surprise a grouper of that size would hit a dead shrimp but we've caught many smaller ones so why not. We couldn't make fun of how funny he looked bringing in fish the rest of the day because of the one grouper he caught, but that was about all he caught the rest of the day, kinda funny. We got into schools of smaller snapper on the 5 foot pieces not sure if it was the same concrete it looked more like live bottom on our depth finder which isnt very impressive so I don't know for sure but all 20 snapper were only 11" keeper inshore but I think they have to be 12" outside of 9miles? Dropped down a dead pinfish a couple times, got stolen a couple times and got one 11" seabass at the reef, I think my first one out there. There were a few times I wish I was using heavier line when our poles bent right over and there was no stopping it when I had 4 poles right next to me rigged for grouper but I didn't want to catch smaller fish on a big pole so oh well. We brought back the 50 biggest grunt couple huge porgies and the seabass to hit some rocks on the way in. Shortly after being at the rock we love to stop at we bring in 5 fairly big seabass. 2 at 11" one over 13"! Probably the biggest I've caught in crystal river, fought like a grouper maybe even better we caught about 5 short grouper right before that seabass and they didnt even fight that hard. Couple mackeral I believe taken off with our lines and breaking them and a mix of seabass and big grunt we headed back. A boat in the river lost sterring to the engine and we gave them a tow to their house while me an jake bass fish, I normally out fish him everytime but today theres a crowd he caught 3 bass all about 14" and a small snook and all I got were huge attacks on my lure with nothing in the boat:banghead. Good day in Crystal River.


  • troutman57troutman57 Posts: 3,691 Officer
    Great box of fish! Sounds like a fun day.
    This place Rocks if yer a crabber
  • tomcat619tomcat619 Posts: 38 Greenhorn
    Which reef did you fish? There's 3 I believe.
  • anglerbros 7286anglerbros 7286 Crystal RiverPosts: 612 Officer
    Artificial reef 20 miles ranges from 27 to 32ft depending on the tide. I've heard people say it's the old dunnellon bridge wasn't 100% sure so I didn't say it. Gets fished alot certain times of the year I've seen 15 boats easy at this area all in about a mile so there's alot of these 5-10ft concrete slabs close together.
  • ripnlipsripnlips Posts: 2,535 Captain
    Great catch. Those reefs get hammered pretty hard. Glad ya found some.
  • RedbonzRedbonz Posts: 4,524 Captain
    Some of the best eating those sea bass...good job..
    If it don't fit force it. If it breaks it needed replace anyways. :banghead
  • huntentailshuntentails Posts: 1,695 Captain
    Looks like dinner is
    headed for the dock
    Nice Job
  • Salty Dawg44Salty Dawg44 Homosassa, FLPosts: 861 Officer
    The reef area gets hit pretty good at times, but slacks off some in the winter. Fishing there can be really good in early spring after it has had less pressure for awhile. Those 10' high things showing on your depthfinder are called "Lincoln Logs" because of the way they are stacked. This is how they look to a diver.

    And this is how they show up on my side-scanning sonar.

    On a calm day with clear water they can sometimes be seen from the surface.


    I may not always agree with what you say,
    but I will always respect your right to be wrong!
  • Capt.ZacharyCapt.Zachary Posts: 110 Officer
    That reef sure can be fun, especially when the cobia cover it, a little bit of live bait and a tall platform to see from and it can be some amazing fishing. Nice sea bass though man!
    Fish till your arms fall off.....
  • Chesapeake trollerChesapeake troller Posts: 76 Greenhorn
    Soundds like a great day on the water with food for several dinners to boot!

    I love the way that reef looks on the side scan. I got a Furuno 585 this past summer which I am very happy with but at times wish I had pulled the trigger on that technology. Especially looking for new spots.

  • tankardtankard Posts: 6,423 Admiral
    There is this stuff called "ice".
  • PONCEPONCE Posts: 5,943 Officer
    Sweet Bogan and a cooler full of fish , thats right :hail
  • nicknick Crystal RiverPosts: 4,535 Captain
    tankard wrote: »
    There is this stuff called "ice".

    Ping flash!

    Seabass are good eats!
  • anglerbros 7286anglerbros 7286 Crystal RiverPosts: 612 Officer
    That side scanner looks pretty awesome and I've been able to see it on a calm day when the sun is high, but it wasn't out at all last week.
  • Chadboss123Chadboss123 Apopka Florida Posts: 3 Greenhorn
    Do you have the gps numbers to to the reef

  • Chadboss123Chadboss123 Apopka Florida Posts: 3 Greenhorn
    Do y’all have any gps numbers to any reefs or recks
  • Salty Dawg44Salty Dawg44 Homosassa, FLPosts: 861 Officer
    edited June 19 #17
    Do you have the gps numbers to to the reef

    This should keep you busy. All artificial reef structure locations are public information and can be found with a computer search.

    As info, the numbers like 2847.352 / 8303.491 are entered as
    N28deg 47.352min and W83deg 03.491min.


    I may not always agree with what you say,
    but I will always respect your right to be wrong!
  • mr.bubbamr.bubba Posts: 46 Greenhorn
    Check out this app on play store. Fla reef fishing map. It's free, you can zoom in to get the coordinates.
  • SloughSlough S.w. Ga./ St. JamesPosts: 4,502 Captain
    Good dill
    I didn't say it was your fault, I said I was blaming you
  • Rick1-2Rick1-2 HorseshoePosts: 881 Officer
    nice cooler full
  • Wishin i was fishinWishin i was fishin Dunnellon FlPosts: 899 Officer
    Looks like you kept rods bent! Sure beats a day at work..
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