Although heavy reels are not required for inshore fishing with live bait rigs, they don’t hurt. This will allow you to exert more strength and precision when it comes to extracting the grouper from its hiding places.
Shaman TLD 2-Speed Conventional Reel is durable, sturdy, and remarkably powerful. It offers exceptional lever drag, a unique feature that should be praised for numerous reasons.
The Shaman TLD has a unique design that includes a solid graphite frame as well as a side plate with an aluminum spool. Shift gears easily with the two-speed effect of this reel and know that it has a maximum drag of 42 lbs.
A slight upgrade to the Penn Squall series, this reel is not only robust but it’s also durable. The Penn Squall Level Wind is corrosion resistant as it is designed for saltwater.
Corrosion-resistant and perfect for saltwater use Has a large spool capacity A versatile and strong reel You aren’t limited just to grouper when you use this reel, however, as it can also be used for other bottom fish or large species, too.
Built with a solid aluminum frame, this reel is strong, and resists rust and corrosion. The Penn US Senator also has the HT 100 drag system, providing you with all the fishing power you might need.
It can easily land fish past 50 lbs, offering power and user-friendly design. It has a power handle that is comfortable to use and easy to hold along with reversible harness lugs.
It has a durable gear train and is machine framed, making it more resilient and perfectly aligned. You can add a backlight side plate, for instance, to make it perfect for commercial use.
Great for hobby or commercial use Excellent for saltwater use Has six stainless steel bearings Known as the Saliva Lever Saltwater Reel, this product has six separate corrosion-resistant ball bearings.
It performs well on fresh and saltwater, offering greater versatility and strength than some smaller models. A highly capable reel, it can hold a ton of monofilament or braided line.
The bestgrouperfish are often caught in shallow waters of tropical and subtropical seas. These fish have a distinctive barbell shape, usually gold-brown, that grows almost completely around the dorsal fin.
Small minnows or bait fish work well for such a deep-water grouper fishing expedition. Small sharks are also popular, especially those of the species ‘white tip’, which can grow up to eleven feet long.
The oceanic white tip shark is considered to be the number one danger, as it’s known to get up to fourteen feet in length. Since they live in the deep oceans, marlins are often found hundreds of feet under the surface.
Marlins are thought to grow to about two hundred fifty pounds and are a wonderful tackle for any angler. A company in Australia named “Ocean Sport” offers a line of Marlin lures to fishermen that enjoy deep-sea fishing.
They sell lures, flies, and other types of baits that help to attract the fish. It gives anglers the ability to choose a beautiful lure and catch a hungry fish.
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.
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.
Now that you know what the proper grouper bait is and how to fish it, you’ll be prepared next time you get out on the water. Grouper is similar in flavor to bass and halibut: very mild, but firm enough to cook in a grill pan.
Since grouper fillets can be pricier, we highlight this fresh fish by preparing it with simple ingredients like butter beans, jicama, cucumber and collard greens. Try Jacques Pepin’s recipe, served with black bean sauce and simmered vegetables, or our Asian-inspired version, which features a soy-mustard dressing and a crispy pan-fried fillet.
He likes serving the grouper with a quick and punchy citrus sauce and a briny “martini” relish made with olives. For his take on the sandwich, he tops the crispy fish with a tangy relish and a drippy ranch-style sauce studded with charred jalapeños.
A simple salad of julienne cucumbers and carrots tossed with a soy-mustard dressing makes this light fish dish incredibly vibrant. The grouper represents the coast, while the creamy butter beans, tomato and dill exemplify the seasonal bounty.
This dish was inspired by the delicious local grouper Jacques Pepin picks up at the beach when the fishermen return with their catch. Here, the skinned fillets are steamed over a bed of simmering local vegetables, including a die of juicy jicama, which Jacques usually adds raw to salads for a cool crunch.