Grouper is a very popular fish to catch. They taste great and you can find some very large ones. So here are nine tips that you can use for fishing for grouper and being successful.
1. Fish Nearshore or Inshore During Winter
When the waters are colder, a lot of the fish that live in shallow water go in closer to shore or inshore. This is when you want to save gas and catch quality fish.
2. Try the Residential Docks During Winter
The gag grouper travel really close to shore when the weather is colder, even sometimes to deep channels and residential canals. This makes them easy targets. Pitch live mullet or sardines by the dock’s edges, tighten up your drag and make sure you hang on.
3. Fish in the Deeper Offshore Waters During Summer
When water starts warming up come spring, the groupers that had been living in shallow waters start going back into the offshore waters to the cooler water. Some grouper species, however; still can be caught in the more shallow water.
4. Try Trolling
A lot of people have success when they are trolling for grouper, and that is for a number of reasons. One reason, is that you’re able to cover lots of ground, so you’ll have a better chance of finding a very large grouper. Another reason is that when fish bite trolling lures, they have to do it by coming out of their ledges and holes. This makes it a lot harder for them to go back there. One of the things that you should remember when it comes to trolling for grouper is to take it slow. Go at 2 knots. Downriggers or planars are great for methods for trolling for grouper.
People who are experts in fishing for grouper use frozen sardines and squid for their chum. The smaller grouper species and fish like grunt are going to chew up this type of bait and then disperse their leftovers into the water. This will turn on larger grouper species and encourage them to bite. That’s when you follow up your chum and drop a live grunt or pinfish so that your larger groupers bite. So when you are bottom-fishing and you’re anchored, using chum can increase the amount you catch dramatically. It’s bringing your grouper away from holes. If you’re getting good bites while close to a reef, you’re probably going to find that they are going right back into holes and your fish will be lost.
6. Use Natural or Artificial Lures When You Troll
You’re going to find that there aren’t a lot of situations in which you can use either artificial or natural bait when you are trolling. However, when you are trolling for grouper you can use either. When you are slowly trolling using a lure made for deep diving, it’s going to produce a lot of fish. These types of lures are able to dive anywhere from 30 to 40 feet based on the troll’s speed. They’ll work great when you’re trolling over shallow reefs and ledges. When you are using a natural bait, downriggers and planars will be wonderful tools for getting your bait down.
7. Use Your Heavy Tackle
Since grouper love running back into their ledges and holes after they’ve been hooked, a lot of people lose their fish. But you can overcome this by using heavy tackle and an 80 to 100 pound mainline. This is going to help you with tightening your drag and muscling your fish to your boat before they’re able to get away.
8. When Trolling, Use Your Monofilament Line
This is the best line when you’re trolling because it’s able to stretch. When you’re grouper trolling, you should do it in water that is 30 to 60 feet deep. You’ll have no trouble setting the hook even though it’s that deep. The stretch is going to give your fish some leeway anytime it strikes your moving lure, so it’s not cutting the mouth of the fish.
9. When you’re Bottom Fishing, Use Your Braided Line
This is particularly true when you’re in deep water. Using a braided line will help a lot with your sensitivity. You’ll be able to feel the grouper bite so you’re ready to start pulling. When you’re fishing at depths of approximately 160 feet, you’re not going to feel a bite on your monofilament because of the line stretching. But you should always use a leader that is long and clear, anywhere from 4 to 6 feet, so your fish isn’t spooking when they see your line. Either a fluorocarbon or monofilament is going to work well.
When you want to go catch grouper, remember these tips. They will help you to be successful and you may even come home with a trophy.
Have more questions about saltwater fishing?
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