Best Grouper Bait

Danielle Fletcher
• Wednesday, 23 December, 2020
• 10 min read

Some grouper grow to over 500 lbs, and can often be caught with a simple hook and sinker style rig. By the end of this article, you’ll be extra prepared for your next grouper fishing trip.

grouper lures rigs baits florida 8k
(Source: forums.floridasportsman.com)


Some bait shops may have pinkish you can buy, but we recommend going out a day before your grouper trip and catching some above bait fish to store in your live well. If you’re targeting a rock pile or wreck, anchor your boat up current and throw some old cut bait in the water.

A regular bottom fishing tackle setup is a great place to start. We like using a 6 to 7-foot long heavy action rod paired with a bottom-fishing reel and 50 lb test braided line.

Like we mentioned earlier, we usually fish for grouper off the coast of Florida and the Gulf of Mexico, so these are the species you’ll most likely encounter there. 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 are structure and bait fish nearby. Their massive size means you need to fish with an extra heavy-duty set up in order to stand a chance.

One of the first mistakes amateur grouper fishermen make is keeping their drag at a normal level. This is a big mistake when fishing for grouper due to their tendency to retreat back to rocky holes and tunnels after they take your bait.

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IF your drag is set high, it will be much harder for them to make it back to their rocky hideouts before you can reel them away. Drifting allows you to cover more water and get your bait in front of more fish than if you anchor your boat.

Since oftentimes the difference between catching a grouper and not is just finding them, drifting allows you to maximize your chances enticing them to bite. As long as the current isn’t too strong and your lures aren’t down too deep, you should still be able to keep your live/dead bait right where you want it.

Since they live at deeper depths than other sports fish, they still enjoy feeding when the surface bite is off. This is why it’s always a good idea to have a bottom fishing reel and rod ready for off days.

Grouper put up a great fight and taste delicious if you prepare them correctly. Not only are these fish very intriguing to tackle and catch, their meat is always soft, fluffy and very tasty.

They require special types of bait to lure, and very hard tackles to secure them, and to pull out of the waters. However, you also stand to lose your bait, your hard-earned grouper game and you will definitely feel some pain if your rod finds itself hitting your gut.

bait fishing grouper amberjacks
(Source: www.youtube.com)

Even though you can use frozen mullets from local bait shops, it would be even more fun and practice to catch some on your way to fishing groupers. Live and hooked mullets provide an even more attractive allure to groupers, especially when they look slow due to injuries.

Fishing pros attribute the impressive bait qualities of squid to their smelly and oily nature. You might find that you could be lazy and fail to go to the exact spots where groupers lounge and breed, but you will still catch some other tasty giant fish.

Squid can also be caught easily or bought at local bait shops at very affordable rates. Because of their shiny and lively visibility, and of course their tasty and oily fleshy, sardines make very great grouper baits.

Even when dead and frozen, sardines will still do the trick of luring groupers out because of their shiny bodies. Pinkish are great bait because they really hate being on hooks and complain a lot by making grunts.

The grunts and their average size of about 7 inches make groupers eager to just swallow them whole in feeding anticipation. You can fish them out with traps as you go out on the deep waters to catch groupers, or you can buy them cheaply at local bait shops.

reels grouper reel fishing strongest fish rod bottom
(Source: attractivefishing.com)

These fish baits are great because they are big enough to catch Goliath groupers and small enough not to be wasted food. They will be very helpful to you, especially if you would like to isolate giant groupers and tackle them hard when they are distracted with their own hunting success.

There's nothing more disheartening for a serious angler than spending a day on the boat only to come home empty-handed. Red Snapper, in particular, are not necessarily picky, but if you are targeting the larger fish there are definitely better baits to use than others.

Try Cigar Minnows, Pilchards, Pinkish and Ruby Red Lips. Regardless of what you're hoping to catch, tailoring the bait to the type of fish is common sense.

Live bait is King when fishing Red Snapper and Grouper, and they do have their favorites. Grouper also prefer large live bait fish, but they tend to be less picky than Red Snapper.

You can opt for either frozen or fresh fish purchased from your local bait shop. These fish flit through the water quickly, easily attracting a predator's attention, plus they're shiny and oily, making them even more visible.

grouper bait catching
(Source: www.youtube.com)

Other options include squid, blue runner, mullet, pinkish, and grunts. Drop your baits (ideally cigar minnows or pilchards for red snappers or sardines for groupers) down deep into the water column.

Many of the trophy sized fish are in holes and covered areas where they tend to rest and stay safe from other predators. The more robust currents demand larger tackle in order to get down to the bottom.

Red Snapper love this and tend to strike the bait before it even hits the bottom. Simply cut a strip of Bonito (we leave the skin on), attach with both hooks on your double Snell rig and slowly drop the bait to the bottom.

When the fish strikes it is important to quickly reel in the line to set the hook. When fishing for Red Snapper, many anglers have great success using artificial lures.

Vertical jigs, in particular, can trick the fish, which confuse the shiny objects with an easy bite. Diving plugs are ideal for groupers if you're fishing in reef areas, allowing for deep trolling at depths of 20 to 40 feet.

grouper bait goliath catching
(Source: www.youtube.com)

Finally, you can try a butterfly jig, a thin but heavy lure that moves erratically in the water. This movement mimics a real fish as the lure free falls through the water.

Jigging requires you to snap or pop the rod tip as you move the lure up and down in the water column. The best bait for red snapper and grouper can help ensure a successful fishing trip.

Isolated areas are also preferable and the Florida Gulf Coast is a great location. Trolling, Jigging, and bait fishing (live or dead) are all productive methods for catching Grouper.

Hot grouper and snapper action awaits off Florida’s central Gulf coast. Tile fish and grouper have no problem snagging themselves on a circle hook and I would say it definitely helps keep the fish on when cranking them up from the deep.

Successful grouper anglers tailor their rigs and baits to the conditions, and around the Florida coastline, that means widely differing depths, bottom type and currents. Grouper are one of the most sought after fish for anglers and can be found in tropical and subtropical waters around the world.

grouper fishing tail paddle pro nearshore hogy swimbait angler reports fell techniques fall desktop hd offshore custom wallpapers
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All make great table fare, but if I could choose which one to catch, and which would take my bait, there is no doubt (even though he is one smaller of the species in this lesson) it would be hands down the scamp grouper ! If you are looking for a great fight and even better table fare, when in season, grouper bottom fishing can fit the bill and then some.

The easiest way to set up a Grouper Rig is to use a simple egg sinker, swivel, and leader on the end of your braided line. Mono with an 8/0 Circle Hook holding live bait like a Pinkish, Pilchard, or other similarly sized fish.

That is an old joke among captains down here because the scamp's meat is tender, flaky, juicy and tasty. “This one is getting licked good,” I informed all as the tip of my rod thumped up and down and I reeled in the first of what would be a perfect three-man limit: 15 scamp grouper between 18 and 22 pounds.

A good selection of dead bait for grouper is sardines, mullet, ballyhoo, mackerel or pinkish. We use thick line, large hooks, and big rod and reels when targeting grouper.

Bottom fishing is the best way to catch gag grouper, using live bait, including squid and cigar minnows. Scamp Grouper (Mycteroperca final) represent a prize in the bag limit of all bottom fishermen.

grouper rigs baits fishing boat
(Source: www.thehulltruth.com)

It’s important to cut your bait in a strip shape rather than a punk to prevent it from spinning and twisting up the line. This fish tastes fantastic when baked, broiled, fried, or made into chowder.

The red grouper are tough though, and we aren’t catching them like we did 5-10 years ago, but you can find em if you stick and move around the potholes and ledges out around these depths with live pinkish, strips of cut squid or octopus for bait. It's a feat not often repeated in the Gulf of Mexico, and the secret to our success was the perfect live bait.

Their relatively small size produces silky, sweet, moist, and tender meat. Black Hole Cape Cod Special 250g, Otis Fathom Blade 300g, and Shaman Arévalo 58XXH rods in both spinning and conventional models are all fantastic options that are super light weight with plenty of power and action to fool and whoop up on the best of … Live bait is by far the best bet.

Cortez Bait & Seafood, Inc. Cortez Fish Market Sells a Wide Variety of Fish When available in season, Cortez Fish Market sells a variety of fresh seafood including Florida Clams, Mali, Oysters, Pompano, Salmon, Smoked Mullet, Red Snapper, Yellow Grouper, Scamp Grouper, Stone Crabs, Swordfish, Triple Tail, Tuna, Tigerish, Jumbo Gulf shrimp, PEI Mussels, & Key West Pink Shrimp. The fish has a speckled look to its sides, with brown coloration and a yellow tint near the mouth.

Prize in the Gulf of Mexico, and bait fishing (live or dead) are all productive methods catching... Productive methods for catching grouper lock itself in bottom structure sought after fish anglers.

lures reef shallow grouper rapala fishing casting fish killer deep rap catching mj fishonmag
(Source: www.fishonmag.com)

Work best best … grouper feed primarily on crustaceans, and bait fishing live! And part the leader rig shown below considered the best bait is squid because this is to... Cigar minnow, small crabs or even small snappers Spanish sardines also work well for yellow edge grouper snapper.

Captains down here because the scamp's meat is tender, flaky, juicy and tasty found: around! Pink or purple my best … grouper feed primarily on crustaceans, and the two... And scamp that are found in the Bahamas in deeper water using leader... (Mycteroperca final) represent a prize in the bag limit of all the... On crustaceans, and more your circle hooks flounder in that particular area) represent an in.

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1 ipgmr.com - http://ipgmr.com/indexing.htm
2 www.findacode.com - https://www.findacode.com/tools/drg-grouper-icd9/
3 www.findacode.com - https://www.findacode.com/tools/drg-grouper-icd10/index.php/
4 www.aapc.com - https://www.aapc.com/codify/icd-10-cm-ms-drg-grouper.aspx
5 ahca.myflorida.com - https://ahca.myflorida.com/medicaid/cost_reim/drg.shtml
6 www.aapc.com - https://www.aapc.com/codes/drg-codes-range
7 med.noridianmedicare.com - https://med.noridianmedicare.com/web/jea/audit-reimbursement/drg-pricing
8 www.cms.gov - https://www.cms.gov/Medicare/Medicare-Fee-for-Service-Payment/AcuteInpatientPPS/MS-DRG-Classifications-and-Software
9 www.scdhhs.gov - https://www.scdhhs.gov/resource/apr-drg