viernes, 24 de junio de 2022

#IPW2022 #CrystalRiver


Discover world-class fishing, manatee encounters, scalloping, fish-to-fork dining and more


For most travelers, a visit to Florida simply must include some wet and wild fun on the water. Situated on the Gulf of Mexico, about 75 minutes North of Tampa, Crystal River and the surrounding cities of Homosassa, Inverness and Floral City are defined by water like few other places in the world. There is a spectacular labyrinthine of spring-fed rivers, manatee-filled bays, and pristine lakes, making it a popular option for world-class fishing – starting with the first of two snook seasons (March 1 to April 30) – and some of the most unique aquatic adventures ever.



These waters along the Gulf Coast are some of the most sought-after fishing destinations for professional and recreational anglers alike. The area is frequently showcased by experts on top fishing shows and home to a number of high-profile fishing tournaments. Homosassa is even know as an original Florida fishing village. But no special expertise is required – whether freshwater or saltwater, offshore or in the flats, from the bank or the boat, there are plenty of options for fun excursions that are more than a little fishy.

Some of the most productive hot spots include St. Martins Marsh and Big Bend Aquatic Seagrass Preserves, where giddy anglers happily cast for trophy redfish, snook, and gag grouper, or even a record cobia or tarpon on a fly. On the Chassahowitzka, Halls, Crystal or Homosassa Rivers, visitors rave about the gin-clear freshwater springs, wild landscapes, and boatloads of freshwater and saltwater fish. Inland, Lake Rousseau and the 30-mile long Tsala Apopka Chain of Lakes along the margin of the Withlacoochee River are home to large-mouth bass, white bass, crappie, stripers, catfish, bowfin and gar, making it one of Florida’s top freshwater fishing sites.

The fishing is phenomenal year-round, but springtime and summertime are perfect for certain species. For example, the first of two snook seasons (March 1 – April 30 and Sept. 1 – Nov. 30) and tarpon season (April-May) bring an abundance of these fun, hard-fightin’ fish to area waters, with bull redfish (Aug. 1 – Oct. 15) being the late summer special for avid anglers.

No matter when or where you drop a line, some of the best fishing comes with one of the area’s accomplished guides, some of whom trace their lineage back generations. Whether visiting with their own gear or looking for a fully supported adventure, anglers can rely on these friendly, knowledgeable, professional charter captains to deliver an unforgettable experience.



Speaking of unforgettable experiences, Crystal River is known as “The Manatee Capital of the World,” and is the only places in the United States to legally have up-close encounters with the lovable, slow-moving West Indian manatees that inhabit the area’s pristine, spring fed waters. Tour operators offer semi-private and private tours, ensuring visitors have the most rewarding encounter possible, safely swimming alongside manatees in their natural habitat. The trained local tour guides are proud stewards of the manatees, making sure swimmers, paddlers and boaters adhere to the rules and avoid designated sanctuary areas, treating this threatened species with the utmost care and respect.

Visitors who prefer to leave the springs to the manatees can still observe them in the wild from easily accessed boardwalks at Three Sisters Springs and the Ellie Schiller Homosassa Springs Wildlife State Park, or by kayaking and stand-up paddle boarding throughout Kings Bay or the Homosassa River.

While on vacation, eco-conscious visitors can learn about the many ways local communities work to preserve the pristine environment for manatees and other wildlife. Organizations such as Save Crystal River, Homosassa River Restoration Project, and Discover Crystal River Florida are working with government entities and U.S. Fish and Wildlife to restore water quality and seagrass beds, which in turn benefit the manatees, as well as the visitors who enjoy the unique experience of interacting and observing them in the wild.   

The official manatee season is Nov. 15 through March 31, but Florida’s beloved state marine mammal can be found in and around the waters of Crystal River year-round.



Manatees aren’t the only underwater entertainment in Crystal River and Homosassa. Scalloping season (July 1 – Sept. 24) brings excited visitors from far and wide each summer to hunt through the grassy shallows of the Gulf of Mexico for their share of delicious bay scallops. Whether launching from public boat ramps on their own, or with the help of an experienced local guide, scallopers follow the Homosassa and Crystal Rivers to the gulf. The family-friendly underwater adventure only requires a mask, snorkel, flippers, and a saltwater fishing license, unless of course you go with a charter captain. Like a Florida-style Easter Egg Hunt, scallopers float in the warm, shallow waters, searching sea grass beds for tiny glints of the blue eyes that line the scallops shell, working to fill their bag. An esteemed local tradition, scalloping is a fun, easy experience and a Florida family favorite.



In Crystal River, Homosassa, Inverness and Floral City, the unique experiences don’t have to end at the water’s edge. There are many local restaurants with “cook your catch” options and mouth-watering waterfront views. After a fun full day of fishing or scalloping, hungry visitors can enjoy their spoils courtesy of local chefs who are experts in creating flavorful dishes that are sure to delight. Simply call ahead to one of our participating restaurants before bringing in your cleaned catch, and they will do the rest, transforming your trophy into a memorable meal, complete with plenty of southern-style, home cooked fixins’. Regardless of how it is caught or who does the cooking, the area is known for its fresh, sustainably sourced food.


Start planning your wet and wild spring or summertime getaway now at

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