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Best Florida Grouper Lures

author
Earl Hamilton
• Thursday, 24 December, 2020
• 10 min read

Grouper are reef-dwelling aggressive fish that are large and make a great addition to any outdoor grill. Many lures on the market are developed to trick an aggressive predator like grouper.

grouper lure fishing snapper boating
(Source: www.thehulltruth.com)

Contents

The most effective method is trolling slowly over their prime habitat or reef area, because their instincts naturally tell them to chase their prey and make a quick bite. Grouper lures are more effective than bait because the fish like to stay close to their reef home.

That is because they are predators that love the chase and catch the action of a fish in the water. This ideal grouper lure for deep trolling whether you are inland or way offshore can reach depths up to 30 feet and speeds of 13 knots.

The transparent design with an internal cast system means that you will throw it a good distance. Corrosion resistant parts mean it will endure through lots of fishing trips and use.

Since early 1952, Salas jigs have been helping fisherman catch albacore, perch, and grouper. This jig is a popular seller, because it really works to hook those big grouper fish.

With 7 times the light and a 3/0 hook size, you are sure to land some big grouper with this great lure from Salas. For over 50 years, Your has been making quality lures in Japan and shipping all over the world.

grouper lure fishing
(Source: www.thehulltruth.com)

Their advanced technology means they lead the industry in products that are among the best in artificial baits in the country. Your Crystal Minnows have a bright holographic finish that reflects light and attracts big game fish even in murky or unclear waters.

Whether you are using a stop and go or steady retrieval, these minnow lures from Your get the job done when it comes to catching big grouper. Whether you are using a stop and go or steady retrieval, these minnow lures from Your get the job done when it comes to catching big grouper.

With one of the above grouper lures, you will be sure to catch a great tasting fish on your next outdoor adventure. This is because grouper like to live near the bottom close to underwater structures like rocks and wrecks.

The Your Crystal 3D Minnow Deep Diver Trolling Lure is a great option when trolling for grouper (and other saltwater fish like Spanish mackerel) as it’s realistic 3D eyes mimic an actual bait fish’s eyes. The X-Rap has been a trolling favorite for years and works well for many species (like halibut, lake trout, and more) of fish besides just grouper.

These lures look and feel more like the fish grouper are used to eating, and are an excellent choice for trolling. The rubber tail’s action imitates a frantic bait fish trying to escape a hungry grouper.

florida underwater grouper gag fish saltwater trolling fishing lures south sportfishingmag shallow rap redfish winter arnold jason rapala patch ticket
(Source: www.pinterest.com)

The rubber tail flutters in the water at all speeds and mimics a scared shrimp or shad. Grouper love feeding on both small crustaceans/bait fish and find the Each Fat Swing Impact Rubber Shad irresistible.

If you aren’t getting any bites on your soft plastic lures or the diving plugs, we recommend trying out a fishing classic: metal spoons. Metal spoons imitate sardines, mackerel, and other small shiny fish that grouper like to eat.

These chrome-covered spoons have been catching many types of fish for years, including grouper. They have a simple action that when trolled with a down rigger looks like a small bait fish that has been separated from its school.

It has a more aggressive action than the Clark spoon which can entice reclusive grouper from where their hiding in underwater structure. The Huntington Stainless Steel Drone Spoon works for many saltwater species (such as smaller yellow fin tuna and bonito) along with grouper, so it’s a solid addition to any tackle box.

Now that you know what the best grouper trolling lures are, let’s discuss the typical kinds of grouper you’ll catch if you use them. Keep in mind that we typically fish for grouper in the southern Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, so these are the species common to those areas.

grouper fish florida gulf mexico species fishing lady gag charters hook em
(Source: pcbeachfishingcharters.com)

They are gray and brown and love living close to coastal rock piles and underwater wreckage. Gag groupers will even hang in water only a few feet deep if there is structure and bait fish nearby.

You usually won’t catch Goliath groupers while trolling because they live in deeper waters and go after larger bait. While this can make figuring out where to fish for them easy, you need to be extra aware of your lure depth and how fast you’re trolling.

This might seem counter-intuitive when trolling, but you don’t want to give a hooked grouper any chance to swim back into the cover it darted out from. If it gets back to the hole it lives in, chances are your line will scrape against the rocks and snap.

A tight drag will not only prevent this but also act to set the hook with the movement of the boat. They are found in the warmer waters of the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, and points south.

While they are a powerful fish that puts up a strong battle, grouper are prized by many anglers for their flaky white fillets! There are quite a few other species of grouper that are found in deeper waters and throughout the Bahamas and other locations.

grouper doa juvenile goliath shad lures fishing saltwater beach water ate tail
(Source: www.pinterest.com)

For the most part, their habits are very similar and will be treated all the same when it comes to tackle and techniques. The one thing that all groupers have in common is that they are bottom dwelling, structure oriented fish.

Seldom will one be found high up in the water column or on sandy bottom with no structure. Reefs, wrecks, artificial reefs, areas of rocky bottom, and ledges are the top spots where anglers catch grouper in open water.

Penn is THE name in saltwater tackle and makes some excellent equipment at reasonable prices. This can handle most the bottom fishing situations as well as some light tackle trolling.

Anglers using conventional tackle for grouper fishing can choose a reel with a level wind or one without. Level winds are nice in that the line is spooled up evenly as it is retrieved.

Many old school grouper fishing reels such as the venerable Penn 4/0 do not have a level wind. Goliath grouper grow hundreds of pounds and requires special tackle.

grouper trolling florida zwy
(Source: www.youtube.com)

Anglers fishing in hundreds of feet of water in the Atlantic Ocean with heavy lead will need a stouter outfit than those fishing in 40 feet of water in the Gulf of Mexico. Anglers fishing in shallow, clear water sometimes find that lighter spinning tackle makes a more natural presentation.

Some anglers simply prefer the comfort and feel of a spinning outfit. This mostly occurs in the shallow waters of the Bahamas and the Gulf of Mexico north of Tampa.

Therefore, anglers anchor or drift a decent distance from the spot and cast live baits or lures in towards the structure. A 7-8 foot heavy action rod with a 6000 series real is a good all-around combination.

With this outfit, anglers can cast lures and live baits towards structure as well as have a decent chance of landing a big fish that might be hooked when bottom fishing. In water much deeper than 50 feet, conventional outfits are simply a better choice.

While the initial cost is higher, braided line last much longer than monofilament. Braided line is also thinner in diameter, which allows it to sink faster when fishing in deep water.

grouper florida morio epinephelus catch
(Source: www.floridasportsman.com)

Many use a strong black swivel to connect the leader to the main line. A sliding sinker is often placed on the main line and then the swivel stops it from going any further.

Leader length and strength varies greatly, depending on the fishing situation. Many anglers fishing in deep water use a very long leader, up to 20 feet and even longer.

Anglers grouper fishing in the Gulf of Mexico are required to use circle hooks. The hook may look huge, but the important part is the distance between the tip and the shank.

Standard short shank live bait hooks are also popular for grouper fishing as well. In very deep water, just reeling and coming tight as is done with circle hooks works the best anyway.

The weight is generally placed on the running line ahead of the swivel that attaches the leader. However, there is another rig that works very well for grouper fishing, particularly in water shallower than 100 feet.

grouper florida keys fishing
(Source: www.delphfishing.com)

With this rig, the sinker slides on the leader and rest right on the eye of the hook. Also, when snagged up, the sinker jerking up on the line then banging the eye of the hook will often free it.

With this rig, multiple hooks are tied off of dropper loops on the main line. The bank sinker works well as it tends to walk and bounce off of rocks and other snags.

While most grouper are caught on live or natural bait, there are a few situations when they can be taken on artificial lures as well. Trolling with deep diving plugs is an incredibly effective technique when grouper are in fairly shallow water.

It allows anglers to cover a lot of water over a large piece of structure in search of fish. Trolling is effective anywhere that there is submerged structure in the 50 feet deep or shallower range.

The shallow waters of the Gulf of Mexico, channel edges and large bays such as Tampa Bay, and coral reefs of the Caribbean are prime spots to troll for grouper. They are categorized by size, giving anglers a good idea of how deep they will go.

grouper fishing gag sea deep charters fl bait season adult dead clearwater shrimp fishes months reserve well
(Source: www.fisheyesportfishing.com)

Papal and several other lure manufacturers also make quality deep diving plugs for grouper fishing. With the boat idling along at 4 to 5 knots, the plug will dig down to the maximum depth, putting out a lot of flash and vibration.

A down rigger is a device with a cable and a heavy ball which takes the lure down deep. This technique is used extensively in the Great Lakes region for walleye and salmon.

Grouper can also be caught by anglers casting artificial lures, though there are limited situations where this can occur. Basically, when grouper are holding over structure in fairly shallow water, usually 10 feet deep or shallower, casting lures over the structure and retrieving them back in can produce jarring strikes from grouper.

Plugs will dive to a determined depth, while jigs can be worked through the entire water column but are extremely effective when bounced on the bottom right on top of the structure. White buck tail jigs are often used and can be tipped with a strip of squid or cut fish.

There are basically four types of grouper that are found in good numbers in the United States. Gag grouper are very aggressive and are the species most often targeted by anglers fishing with artificial lures.

grouper florida fishing keys
(Source: www.delphfishing.com)

Black grouper are normally found in the deeper waters of the Atlantic Ocean and down around the Florida Keys. Surprisingly, they are often encountered in the inshore waters, as shallow as five or 6 feet deep.

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Sources
1 www.cookingfishmonger.com - http://www.cookingfishmonger.com/grouper-fish.html
2 www.cyberangler.com - https://www.cyberangler.com/fishing-reports/florida/crystal-river/giant-black-drum-grouper-27984.htm
3 www.theledger.com - https://www.theledger.com/story/sports/2020/12/24/saltwater-gag-grouper-biting-offshore-and-around-inshore-structures/4024564001/
4 www.takemefishing.org - https://www.takemefishing.org/fish-species/black-drum/
5 www.cyberangler.com - https://www.cyberangler.com/fishing-reports/florida/bonita-beach/black-drum-invasion-red-grouper-35068.htm
6 www.theledger.com - https://www.theledger.com/story/sports/outdoors/fishing/2020/12/10/saltwater-gag-grouper-phenomenal-around-tampa-bay-right-now/3875251001/