Both of these fish have a high oil and moisture content which makes them suitable to cook many ways. Grouper meat cooks up very firm, with big flakes and holds its moisture better than many other fish.
Other ways you can cook Grouper is to poach, steam, bake, broil and sauté and don't forget that it is excellent soups or chowders. If you are baking or broiling Grouper stick to the general rule of cooking fish, which is 10 minutes per inch of thickness.
Sea Bass, Dogfish, Mahi and Red Snapper Common Names: Red Grouper, Backgrounder, Gag World Names:Seasonal Availability: Year-Round Along the Nature Coast and what it has left behind is some incredible catches and a number of opportunities to look forward to as summer continues.
That's right Gag Grouper fishing in the morning and Scalloping in the afternoon is a great option this time of year for the Nature Coast Angler. The early Scallop Season strategy is to position your boat adjacent to some type of coral or sponge flat.
This strategy makes for a very appealing snorkel as you will find tons of fish, crabs, sponges and corals all with in a short swim. Scallops like these areas because as they move with the wind and tides they tend to congregate along many of the grassy edges surrounding these flats.
With most of our early season Scalloping being found in water less than 4ft, this is a great activity the whole family can enjoy. Keep in mind the Nature Coast is still featuring some incredible catches of Giant Backdrop this summer.
Most of the Backdrop are being found tailing in less than a few feet of water and with most fish averaging 20-60lbs this has been and will continue to be a top target this summer. Throwing shrimp and crabs will yield the most success but targeting these large fish on fly will surely get the blood boiling.
Shrimp and Crab patterns are a must and flies tied with naturally swimming materials will help add to an angler's success. My personal selection consists of dark-colored flies (black, olive, purple, burnt oranges) tied with marabou, rabbit, arctic fox, or craft fur.
The best presentation when targeting Backdrop on fly is to literally hit them on the head and begin a slow methodical strip at their eye level. Kyle Messier is a professional, full time captain who specializes in inshore light tackle and fly-fishing adventures.
1 At Big Pier 60 in Clearwater, silver trout, sleepyhead, bonnet head sharks and a few mangrove snapper were caught over the weekend. Sleepyhead are also biting around the pilings, reports Big Pier 60 Bait & Tackle (727-462-6466).
2 At Madeira Beach, the nearshore dogfish bite is very good in water 30- to 80-feet deep. Black fin tuna numbers are increasing past 110 feet for the pelagic anglers, reports Capt.
4 At Fort De Soto Park, sleepyhead are thick at the marina and the bridge. Whiting, silver trout and some pompano are biting in Ounces Pass, reports Capt.
Free lined pinkish over shallow structure and the reefs have been producing fish in the 25- to 30-inch range, reports Capt. The gag grouper bite remains strong around the rock piles and ledges in the 14 to 25-foot range and also deeper along the shipping channel.
Both live bait and trolling have been putting keeper gag grouper in the box. Some docks are holding redfish along with the occasional flounder, reports Crawford.
The pompano bite has been very good around Terra Can and Anna Maria Sound, reports Hunter. 7 At St. Petersburg, gag grouper are biting along the shipping channel from Port Manatee to the Skyway and on the artificial reefs in the bay.
Pinellas Point is good for trout on the deeper grass flats and cuts. Weldon Island is still holding some shook and good numbers of redfish, trout and sleepyhead, reports Mastery’s Tackle (727-896-8889).
8 In the north end of Tampa Bay, sleepyhead have moved in thick on most structure, the reefs and around the bridges. A few redfish are biting around the Andy and Weldon Island area, but there’s better numbers in the upper bay.
Some cobias is biting around the markers and areas with warm water runoff, reports Andy Bait & Tackle (813-839-5551). Fresh dead or live shrimp are the best bait and if the grass porgies starting biting, it's time to move to a new spot, reports Capt.
• At Fort Pierce, the offshore bottom bite at 80 feet is steady for lane snapper with a few buttons and mangroves mixed in. Spanish mackerel are biting in 30 feet of water to the north around the Very Cove.
Sleepyhead, black drum and sand perch are active inside the inlet and around the bridges, reports Clint Walker at the Fishing Center of St. Lucie (772-465-7637). The black drum is distinguished from similar species by the unusually large spine in the anal fin and numerous barbels on the chin.
Unlike the red drum, the black drum has no dark spot on the tail base. An inshore, schooling fish, the black drum is known to inhabit areas near breakwaters, jetties, bridge and pier pilings, clam and oyster beds, channels, estuaries, bays, high marsh areas, and the shorelines over sandy bottoms.
The black drum is sluggish and does not strike quickly or with force, but when hooked, it puts up an exceedingly tough fight. Baits and lures include shrimp, clams, crabs, squid, cut fish, metal jigs, spoons, and weighted buck tails.
Choose another fish African PompanoAlbacoreAlligator Aramco Jack American Eel American Shad Apache Trout Arctic Char Arctic GraylingAtlantic Bonito Atlantic Cod Atlantic CroakerAtlantic Halibut Atlantic Salmon Atlantic SpadefishBigeye TrevallyBigeye TunaBigmouth Buffalo Black Bullhead Black Crappie BlackDrumBlackGrouperBlack Marlin Black Sea Bass Black SkipjackBlackfin TunaBlacktip Sharable CatfishBlue Martinique SharkBluefin TrevallyBluefin TunaBluefishBluegillBonefishBonnethead SharkBowfinBrook TroutBroomtail Grouper Brown Bullhead Brown Trumbull TroutBurbotButterfly Peacock Bass California CorbinaCalifornia Halibut California YellowtailCero MackerelChain PickerelChannel CatfishChum SalmonCobiaCoho SalmonCommon CarpCongerCrevalle JackCubera SnapperCutthroat TroutDogtooth Tuna Dolly VardenDolphinfishFlathead Catfish Florida GarFlounderFreshwater Drum Gag Grouper Giant TrevallyGolden Trout Grass Carpet BarracudaGreater AmberjackGreen SunfishHammerhead SharkHogfishHorse-eye JackInconnuKelp Basking Mackerel King SalmonLadyfishLake Trouble WhitefishLargemouth BassLingcodLittle TunnyLongbill SpearfishLongnose Bamako SharkMangrove SnapperMountain WhitefishMuskellungeMutton SnapperNorthern PikeNorthern PikeminnowOscarPacific Bonito Pacific Cod Pacific Crevasse Jack Pacific Halibut Pacific Sierra MackerelPaddlefishPermitPink SalmonPollockPompanoPorbeagle SharkPumpkinseed SunfishRainbow RunnerRainbow Toured Drum Red Grouper Red SnapperRedbreast SunfishRedear SunfishRedeye Bass Rock Around WhitefishSailfishSaugerSaugeyeScamp Grouper Sea TroutSheepsheadShoal BassShortbill SpearfishShorthead RedhorseShortnose Silver RedhorseSkipjack TunaSmallmouth BassSmallmouth BuffaloSnookSockeye Salmon Spanish MackerelSpeckled Peacock BassSplakeSpotSpotted BassSpotted GarS potted SeatroutSteelheadStriped BassStriped MarlinSturgeonSwordfishTarponTautogThresher Shakier MuskellungeTiger Shakier Troupe SharkTripletailWahooWalleyeWarmouthWeakfishWhalers Shark White Bass White Catfish White Marlin White Perch White SeabassWhite SharkWhiterock BassWiperYellow BassYellow BullheadYellow PerchYelloweye RockfishYellowfin TunaYellowtail Snapper The trio, who were fishing a catch-and-release trip using live shrimp, landed ten would-be-keeper black drum : a 21-inch, 24-inch, 25-inch, 26-inch, 28-inch, three 30-inch and two 31-inch.
With winds predicted to howl again by the following day, it was a short window of opportunity for Dick Wilson and John Vest, who fished with me 22 miles west of New Pass. Brothers, Joe and Mark Shamrock fished south Estero Bay's backwaters with me Monday morning, 11/7.
Friday, 11/11, I headed offshore 27 miles from New Pass with brothers, Mike and Patrick Connelly. They released ten large grunts and a 15-inch trigger fish, along with lots of red grouper shorts.
Ronald and Audrey Secret, their son and daughter-in-law, Craig and Sue, and their two grandsons, T.J. and Parker, fished 17 miles offshore with me Saturday morning, using squid for bait. A Goliath grouper that was in excess of 200 pounds provided an exhausting and fun battle, when it bit on a pinkish.
By Tuesday morning, 11/22, seas had begun to calm down, and I was able to get offshore 20 miles to fish with Donald Rojas and his son-in-law, Jeff Rawson. Wednesday morning, 11/23, I headed back out to 20 miles offshore with Jerry Farina and his family, including two young children.
But the group got to box plenty of fish, including half a dozen lane snapper keepers and ten grunts. After a day off for Thanksgiving, I headed offshore on Friday morning, 11/25 to fish 19 miles west of New Pass with Jake Winner and his dad, Mike.
Using squid, the guys caught and released seven red grouper shorts to 19 ½ inches. They boxed four keeper lane snapper, fifteen of the twenty-five grunts they caught to 13 inches, a 12-inch porgy, and a 13-inch pork fish.
Saturday morning, 11/26, I fished 22 miles west of New Pass with Jim Jensen, and his son and daughter, Eric and Stephanie. Monday morning, 11/28, was windy, but I had an inshore trip planned, so we managed okay fishing in south Estero Bay, using live shrimp.
Dave and Wendy Böhm caught four keeper sheepsheads to 14 inches, and released nine short ones. Long-time winter customers, Ernie and Millie Messiah, fished south Estero Bay with me on Tuesday morning, 11/29, where they used live shrimp to box five keeper sleepyhead to 14 inches.
The photo shown is of Joe Shamrock with a 34-inch black drum, one of many drums caught on shrimp in Estero Bay this month. 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).