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.
Before you make your choice, you have to consider different kinds of reels and rods on the market. Several factors combine to determine the best reels for different fishing waters.
The choice you make would depend on the size of grouper you want to tackle. If you are targeting a bigger grouper, then you would require the equivalent tackles for the fish.
If you want to fish in a rocky area and you are targeting grouper of about 50lbs, you have to consider the braided line as it can offer some benefits. Furthermore, you have to consider a reel with a good drag, it is going to be more powerful, and that means that you can catch bigger fish.
If you want fast and heavy fishing action, then you require about six to seven foot spinning rod. If you want to catch the biggest grouper you require a heavy rod and this must have a strong backbone.
This type of rod is unique because you are not going to find it hard to lift your grouper fish as soon as you catch them. In deciding the type to buy, then you have to consider the fish strength and size.
Another important factor to consider when you want to catch grouper is the gear ratio. You are not going to find it difficult to catch the grouper because it would make it easy for you to pull away the fish from the rock where it could hide itself whenever it is hooked.
It appears that many people are more conversant with conventional reels, and the reason for that is the benefit it offers, as well as the better fishing leverage it provides for its users. When you use them, it is going to force even the heaviest and the strongest grouper from its holes and hiding places.
This is one of the best casting reels and it is perfect for different kinds of fish, especially grouper. The brand is popular because of the solid construction of a single aluminum frame which makes it very strong.
It is equally composed of heat pickled pinion gear. The gear train is unique and it was designed in such a way that it can serve you for a very long time.
This product is a redesign of the previous brand, and it is done to satisfy the needs of users. It is powerful enough that it can catch any kind of grouper you want, but it is most suited for saltwater.
This is good because the ball bearings would neither rust nor corrode, which makes the product is responsive anytime you use it. Infinite anti reverse Machined aluminum spool Machined aluminum rod with a clamp Lever drag two speed reel Precision ratchet anti-reverse feature It is medium light and compact design Furthermore, it features 6.3:1 high gear ratio as well as 3.1:1 low gear ratio The line capacity of the product is 20/300 and several other ranges.
Obama Lamar has produced many kinds of spinning reels. If you want to fish in trout, bluegill, crappie, as well as small perch, then you can use the smallest size of that family, which is the C10 brand.
This smallest size is meant for two to six pounds fishing line. These are intermediate size reels, and they are good for many anglers, especially those that fish on steel head, walleye, bass, as well as catfish and several others.
This is a capable reel, and because of the efficiency, it can hold as much as two hundred and forty of fifteen pounds monofilament line. This brand possesses an extraordinary cranking power and it can hull any grouper of any size because of the capacity.
If you are looking for a product that would deliver maximum performance in saltwater fishing, then you have to choose the brand. It is the best for catfish, groupers and other types of fish in lakes and big waters.
For an effective reel control, the product features forged aluminum handle. One of the best reel products of the company includes the Penn Squall Level Wind reel.
This replaces the famous brand from the company that is the GT series reels. This latest product has the good qualities of the GT series and this is in addition to the improved features.
An added feature of the product is the instant anti-reverse bearing and it is now packaged in a more compact form. Furthermore, the brand features a lightweight graphite frame, as well as a side plate.
Forged aluminum handle Machined aluminum spool Stainless steel pinion gear HT 100 drag system Stainless steel bearing Instant reverse system The product is durable as the body is designed with the finest quality stainless steel materials.
This means that irrespective of the number of hours that you use the product that it would not creep. If you want a powerful fishing reel, this brand offers you a good option.
Just so you know, Track Fishing may earn an affiliate commission from the links on this page, at no extra cost to you. As a new angler, assembling your tackle box and gear bag can be quite intimidating.
There are so many products to choose from that it can be tough to know which items you need to have, and which are merely luxuries for a day out on the water. This technique refers to fishing for species that are usually found near the bottom of the water, and a conventional reel is ideal because it can hold much more line.
Often, these skills need to be practiced and learned through experience before you have much luck in bottom fishing. Groupers are some of the most common fish that you might go after in this area, but you might also target flatfish like halibut, fighters like red snappers, or even bream, catfish, sea bass, or other bottom feeders.
In some cases, you may be able to target large migratory species through bottom fishing, too. The bottom of the water column serves as an excellent hunting ground for anglers to catch species like tuna, cobra, and mackerel.
It can be confusing to figure out reel sizing, as each manufacturer lists this differently. Small spool size is ideal for light fishing in rivers, lakes, bays, and harbors.
Make sure you invest some time in figuring out your budget before you even begin shopping. However, your personal preferences should come into play when you’ve selected the best conventional reel for bottom fishing for you, too.
Some people prefer more streamlined models while others like rugged, bulkier builds. Conventional reels that are designed for bottom fishing are usually quite rugged by their very nature, built to withstand abuse and made out from heavy-duty materials.
This is because the harsh topography of bottom waters requires more cranking power, heavy sinkers, long line, and more torque. That being said, if you’re fishing for large, heavy species that weigh more than fifteen pounds, you are going to want to search for a conventional reel that has a stronger, more durable build.
Another important consideration to make when you are shopping for a conventional reel for bottom fishing is the gear ratio. A low gear ratio will give you more power, which is often crucial when you are fishing for heavy bottom-dwelling species like grouper.
As a result, you will need to equip your line with heavy weights or lead sinkers. However, the specifics on how you set up your line, reel, and rod will vary depending on the exact species you are fishing for.
It is easy to spool with a braided line, both casting and retrieving effortlessly as well as performing flawlessly when allowed to sink to the bottom to lie in wait for an unsuspecting fish. It has a “super stopper anti-reverse” feature to prevent line tangles and has a pagan body, too.
Penn has a ton of reels on the market, including the well-known, beloved GT series. The Penn Squall Leveling is a step up from the GT series and believe me, there’s plenty to love here, too.
A saltwater-grade product, it has an aluminum spool and a graffiti body and side plate that resist corrosion without being too heavy to hold. Your drag washers will remain consistent and high-performing even when you’re reeling in large fish.
This conventional reel has a trendy, sleek design with black and orange finishes. It has a patented Ultimate Tournament Carbon Drag System and brass gears that can withstand just about any kind of damage while still operating quite smoothly.
These have dual-system anti-reverse with infinite capabilities, helping the reel turn smoothly without tangling your line. The reel itself weighs less than 22 oz, making it comfortable and lightweight to hold in your hand.
This adds to the reel ’s corrosion resistance and ensures that it will operate perfectly for you every time. It even has backlight side plates, all of which combine to produce a reel that prevents frame flex and provides leverage when you are attempting to fight a fish that’s giving you it's all.
This allows you to crank away in comfort without having to worry about losing your grip on the handle, even in wet conditions. Whether you choose to go with one of these products or find one with even better qualifications, know that a good conventional reel for bottom fishing will be a sound investment, providing you with years of entertainment, memorable experiences, and mantle-worthy catches.
There are quite a few other species of grouper that are found in deeper waters and throughout the Bahamas and other locations. 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.
Goliath grouper grow hundreds of pounds and requires special tackle. 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. 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.
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. 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. 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. 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. Many a large Goliath grouper has surprised an angler casting to the mangroves for shook or redfish.
Ok biggest thing I have is a Penn 309 level wind, and it will bring up the majority of snapper when I am on a honey hole. So the question is what is a good entry level not to break the bank reel that can handle the biggest of snapper and decent grouper as well.
If you're wanting to stay In The $100 range, a Penn 330 will do just fine. If you want to up the price a little, the Penn squalls would be the next choice I would make.
Hell just get an ole Penn 4/0, hammer the drag down, load with 80# mono, thumb the spool with all you've got if he takes drag and horse em up! Seriously, skip the 4, go 6/0 with 120-pound main line and adjust the leader as needed starting at 50 pounds.
Defiantly see what Ocean master or pompano Joe have for sale once you get an idea of what you want. Older made in USA ones are plentiful and less than 100 bucks.
Wirelessly posted, ve got a Mabel os11 on a 5'5” bill fisher stand-up running 100# power pro, picked it up at outcast sale a while back. Mabel's are a little pricey but cheaper than avert's and the rest.
There's a lot of good ones but I'm a huge fan of the Penn 113HN. Give me your honey hole numbers, let me try it out, then I can recommend what you need.
I've whipped everything that has found itself on my 4/0 spooled with 80lbs mono in terms of bottom fishing; I almost got owned by some AJS but if you work them right, you can handle it them pretty effectively. Mabel Reel 09 series tons of torque smooth very large handle holds lots of braid small in design lots of drag 45lbs -- lever drag if interested in getting a Mabel send me a PM I can possibly get you, your best deal on one.
Pro Staff recommendation price :yes: to a forum buddy. This reel doesn't budge for any reef fish... your terminal tackle will fail b4 the reel even begins to think about quivering***I have mine loaded with 80lb power pro to a top shot of mono usually 60lb+ ill sometimes throw on a four leader if needed.
As for big reef fish this reel puts on the heat I'm usually the one putting on the torque to the fish not the other way around rod selection is also very important if you're getting into large snapper and grouper I recommend 60-80LB stand up And rod all day match with a 09 series Mabel that rod will turn their head and the reel will put the breaks on those big'NS power handle for torque / power. I enjoy AJ fishing and I used to get my butt holy topped by those jokers.
So I looked for torque and backbone never again do I feel as though I'm under prepared You don't need anything special for Snapper, but Grouper over big structure is another thing entirely.
LOL So SAR we have limited out on snapper each time, caught some great triggers, and yesterday he had a grouper swallow his snapper and fought it for 20 min before the grouper won ! That's what made for the intro of LRS (Long Range Special) reels by Shaman.
Guys on the west coast Long Range Boats were fishing 50 and 80 lb line on light reels, but couldn't get the drag settings more than 15 or 20 lbs. The LRS reels had beefed up drags applied that could now generate 30lb of drag and still maintain free spool, which allowed the anglers to cast anchovies and mackerel.
That's also what Cal Sheets does to Penn Internationals -- he completely re-engineers the lighter 16/20/30 series Internationals so that you can fish 30, 50, and even 80 lb line (usually spectra with a mono top shot). Few denizens of the deep have brought as many fishermen to their knees or humbled as many experienced sinker bouncers as monster gags determined to make it back to their lairs.
I’ve been there and each time I locked up and held on, pushing my tackle to its very limits in an attempt to prevent the fish from rocking my world, I emitted strange moans and groans reserved for only such occasions. Fortunately, the tables have turned and the majority of my recent hard-fought grouper encounters have left me on the winning end, but that wasn’t always the case.
Years ago I was one of those lost souls who mistakenly believed he could get away with inferior tackle better suited for open water king mackerel fishing than beating industrial-strength bottom brawlers. Powered by wide broom-like tails and muscular shoulders, the large profile of a hefty gag grouper alone spells trouble.
These dominant bottom feeders thrive in forage-rich habitats ranging from relatively shallow rock piles to ledges and peaks sitting under hundreds of feet of water. Deteriorated artificial wreckage is also a favorite gag grouper haunt and no less forgiving on fragile terminal gear.
Heavy-duty outfits are required not only for slamming the breaks on determined adversaries, but also for dealing with heavy sinkers, big baits and deep water habitats. Cranking Power While no one reel is ideal for all gag grouper applications, large fish and heavy terminal gear require high-quality conventional.
The 6/0 isn’t the fastest reel, nor is it the prettiest or lightest for its size, but it is tough as nails with plenty of line capacity and substantial cranking power. Modern two-speed lever drag reels are also a solid choice, with the Died Saliva SALD60 and Shaman Tyros TYR20II at the top of the list.
However, while these modern winches are much lighter than a Penn Senator, they do require a chunky investment and may not be the ideal choice for relatively inexperienced anglers unfamiliar with lever drag systems or the benefits of two-speed reels. While I believe in custom rods built for the way you fish, Cousins Tackle manufactures an excellent off the shelf graphite grouper stick, the Lb 8050.
Leading the Way Big gag grouper aren’t incredibly line shy, so relatively heavy fluorocarbon leader is standard across most fisheries. Grouper will easily exploit the weakest link in your terminal connections and its critical line and leader are free of abrasions.
Stick it to ‘Em Gag grouper fishing is primarily a live or fresh dead bait scenario. Remember that proper rigging is all about balance, so if you’re specifically targeting jumbo gags with beefed up gear, then upgrade your hook to ensure it can withstand the extreme stress associated with fishing heavier line and leader.
If you can stop a big gag before it enters a cave or ducks under a sharp ledge, then you may get a chance to enjoy fresh grouper for dinner. Deep-sea fish provide a very challenging fight for the beginner and advanced fisher alike.
For example, groupers may be found near docks, fishing buildings, or other areas that provide a great place to hide. Just as important, fishers need to understand that the grouper does have an aggressive streak when presented with bait and lures that catch its attention.
The higher the poundage on the line, the heavier the fish a person can catch, so aim high when going for groupers. A large, live bait sunk to the bottom of the ocean probably results in the most success with the grouper.
If going for artificial lures, try to find jerk baits that emulate the look and feel of an injured fish. When reeling in the line, let the lure more in erratic and jerking actions to attract the grouper's attention.
Map out the location using appropriate nautical charts and seek out deep water with thick rock groupings littering the bottom of the ocean bed. These ledges typically hang over fairly rocky areas and provide excellent shade and protection for the mysterious and often quite aloof and grumpy grouper.
Anyone trying to catch a grouper should hire a professional to not only get them out on the water safely, but to also provide even better tips for fishing. 1 At Big Pier 60 in Clearwater, a few Spanish mackerel were caught early before the latest front, but nothing since.
Decent whiting have been caught, but the water has been churned up, reports Big Pier 60 Bait & Tackle (727-462-6466). 2 At Madeira Beach, nearshore there are dogfish around a depth of 30 to 70 feet on live shrimp.
The black fin tuna bite is picking up for the pelagic anglers, reports Capt. 4 At Fort De Soto Park, sleepyhead up to 5 pounds are biting around the bridges, the area docks and the marina.
At the pier, sleepyhead are on the pilings, but the water is churned up, reports Joe Berlin of Terra Verde Bait and Tackle (727-864-2108). The shallow reefs and rock piles are holding good numbers of keeper grouper.
There’s plenty of snooks, redfish and trout in Terra Can Bay and the mouth of the Manatee River, reports Capt. “There’s a phenomenal gag grouper bite in Tampa Bay right now,” reports Capt.
6 At Anna Maria, redfish up to 30 inches are up around the docks of Palma Sold and on the west side of the sound around Key Royale. Good-sizes nook are holding at the Rod and Reel Pier, but they’re finicky on the bite, reports Moore.
Redfish, trout and a few snooks are biting around Miguel Bay, Terra Can Bay, the mouth of the Manatee River and south to PERCO Bayou and the surrounding flats, reports Capt. 7 At St. Petersburg, the gag grouper bite is solid on most structure, around the bridges, the reefs and along the shipping channel.
Redfish have moved real shallow and cut bait on the bottom is producing in the deeper holes on the low tides. Gag grouper have been caught while trolling along the channel south of Picnic Island.
A few tripletails have been caught while blind casting the markers, reports Andy Bait & Tackle (813-839-5551). • At Homosassa, the offshore gag grouper bite has been good using live pinkish, but cooler water has made the fish sluggish.
Live shrimp are the best bait, but soft plastics along the rocky points along the north shorelines will produce, reports Capt. • At Fort Pierce, lane snapper are biting offshore on the bottom at a depth of 50 to 80 feet.
The Melody Lane Pier and the bridge catwalks are producing sand perch, sleepyhead and black drum. The oyster bars and mangrove edges in the river are also producing sleepyhead, reports the Fishing Center of St. Lucie (772-465-7637).
A nice big grouper to start this page off the right way! Grouper are often targeted because their flesh has an amazing texture and consistency that people love on sandwiches, blackened on a plate, or in a salad.
If you haven’t had a grouper sandwich, you’re missing one of life’s true pleasures. Grouper are heavy and strong fish that immediately try to wrap your line around structure or sharp stuff, so they’re fun to catch because you’ll need to use all your strength to get a big one up to the boat or pier.
Only three species cannot be caught and eaten, you can see in the black cells in the chart below. You’ll find the adult fish around 60 feet deep and more.
And stay at the bottom (3 to 230 feet deep) eating crustaceans and smaller fish. Coney Grouper have color variations including hues of red, brown, and yellow.
These massive fish can eat anything smaller than themselves including sharks, turtles, fish, crabs, octopus, squid, and attempts to have been made to munch on divers too! Identification isn’t difficult when the Goliath Grouper is mature at 400 to 800 lbs.
Goliath Grouper Identifying Features Can grow to 8 feet in length and over 800 lbs. Brownish yellow, gray or green hued body color.
Head and dorsal part of body and fins with small black spots. Grays by Groupers are best identified with series of spots below dorsal fin.
Operate with 3 flat spines (by anus) 4 dark or white spots at base of dorsal fin. A slow growing and delicious fish that has been overfished and taken by spears, decimating the population.
Strict regulations are in place to attempt to bring back a healthy Florida population of these fish. This grouper eats fish, crabs, and squid and can grow to around 5 feet in length and over 200 lbs.
Misty Grouper Identifying Features Easily recognizable by 8-11 dark bands, similar to Sleepyhead fish. These Red Grouper spawn more than twenty times between February and June each year.
Red grouper are opportunistic feeders and will eat just about anything smaller including crabs, shrimp, fish, octopus, and squid. Red Grouper are common and great fun to eat.
Rock Hind Grouper Identifying Features Coloration varies, but overall tan color with large oval/circular spots of reddish brown, red, and dark gray and black that get larger toward the ventral side (belly). Scamp grouper have almost decorative fins, which can make them easy to identify.
Scamp Grouper Identifying Features Scamp Grouper have a brown or reddish body, sometimes it is light gray Lateral (sides) are covered with dark spots, sometimes in small groups. Upper and lower caudal fin rays are long in a spot, giving appearance of an oriental style fish.
These Grouper reach 4 feet in length and yet the maximum recorded weight for one is only less than 70 lbs. Sub-adults are dark brown and have white spots in vertical rows on head and body.
These are beautiful fish to see in real life, the illustration isn’t bad either. Yellow fin Grouper Identifying Features The outer one-third of the pectoral fins are bright yellow.
IUCN Realist Status: The Goliath Grouper is listed as Vulnerable and populations declining. Other Grouper species in Florida State waters are plentiful and not in danger of being overfished.
Appearance: Grouper have a thicker body than some other fish with respect to length. Some Grouper are found in the Caribbean, Cuba, Portugal, Trinidad, Brazil, and the West Indies.
Young grouper spend their early years near submerged rocks and other structure close to the beach, so they don’t become prey for Shook, Jacks, Redfish, other Grouper, Tarpon, and Sharks. Diet: Pinkish, mullet, other bait fish, crabs, squid, octopus, lobster.
This section was easy to write because all three grouper world records were caught in Florida, so they’re the same. The Biggest Gag Grouper was caught in 1993 in the waters off Destiny, Florida and the big fish was 80 pounds, 6 ounces.
With the average adult Goliath Grouper weighing in at around 400 lbs., you know the biggest one recorded is going to be huge right? The Biggest Goliath Grouper was caught on hook and line in 1961 at Fernanda Beach, Florida.
I remember talking to some people who’d seen a massive Goliath Grouper at the Sunshine Skyway Bridge that they named Hitler. The Biggest Red Grouper was 42 pounds, 4 ounce fish that was caught on hook and line off St. Augustine, in the Atlantic side of Florida in 1997.
Grouper is one of the most often targeted species of fish by anglers all over the USA for a couple of reasons. If you’ve never had a blackened grouper sandwich at a restaurant along the coast in Florida, you’re missing an incredible experience.
Grouper is thick and juicy and has an odd texture that most fish don’t possess. Besides being great for a meal, Grouper takes your bait and immediately pulls hard when it realizes it is attached to your line.
It’s a real fight to get a grouper up off the bottom of the sea, especially if it’s down 100 feet or more. They’re heavy, strong, and tough fighting fish that will give you a workout.
Small grouper can be found generally inshore, and in water 15 feet deep or more usually. I’ve caught small black, red, and gag grouper in shallow areas near the Sunshine Skyway Bridge in south Pinellas County.
To find adult grouper you’ll need to take a charter off the coast and ride out for a while to reach deeper water. Around 60 feet deep is a good starting point, and any structure, wrecks, or rocks will probably hold at least a grouper or two, but bigger areas will hold dozens, possibly hundreds.
Don’t get me wrong, you CAN find grouper in shallower water when it’s cooler, and I’ve seen them pull 12 lb. Gag Grouper out of 10 feet of water off the Gulf Coast.
If you’re fishing with artificial, you can get some larger Your Minnows with 2 treble hooks and try those retrieved at a fast (but not blinding) rate. Hit the piers, wrecks, rocks, and fallen trees to try to find some Grouper in the shallows if you are in a Kayak fishing or other small boat.
Every year there are some good size Grouper pulled in at most of the big piers in Florida. Between Thanksgiving and Christmas is prime time for Grouper in Florida.
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.
You don’t set a circle hook, you’ll likely just pull it free of the mouth before it has a chance to work itself into the jaw of the fish. You can Troll for Grouper in the Gulf, and that works well for people who feel like they have to be on the move and want to fish shallow water.
Hook and line, and spearfishing are legal options for harvesting most Grouper Species. Grouper species are regulated differently, and it’s quite daunting to try to comb through the official website and figure out what you can and can’t catch, when and where.
We’ve combined all Grouper Laws into this graphic to make it easier, but to be honest, it’s a bit easier, but you still need to read a lot to understand how to take Grouper legally in Florida and in International Waters. If you also want to know about which fishing license and permits you need in Florida, we just created a new page for that HERE which easily explains it.
Grouper are farm raised in some areas of the world, primarily Asia. Here’s an interesting and informative article about some challenges Grouper farmers faced in Thailand.
The best way to cook Grouper is to blacken it with some Cajun spices or something that adds some spiciness or other flavor to it. I always bleed the grouper immediately after catching by cutting the gills with scissors or a knife after I’ve put him out of his misery.
Trying to bleed a fish after icing, is an exercise in futility as not all the blood comes out easily. I also coat each side in some finely ground black pepper because I love the taste.
Put the Grouper Fillets in the pan and cover, leaving room for the steam to gather, and escape. Cut your Italian bread into sandwich-sized portions and smear butter and minced garlic pieces on them.
Put in oven on top shelf on Broil until lightly brown, remove quickly. Throw your fillets on your sandwich, cover with guacamole, tomatoes, chili water, onions, and smash it all together with another piece of garlic bread on top.