Smugness is a naturally occurring emotion when you catch a monster like this species can be found in the western Atlantic Ocean, from as far north as Massachusetts (only juveniles), down to southern Brazil, but is especially present in the southern Gulf waters of Florida and from Stuart down to the Keys on the Atlantic side, but also in the Caribbean Sea and the Bahamas waters. They're not as abundant in these depths, but are larger and can even be caught on lighter tackle, on account of the deep bottom not being as rich in hiding holes.
If those are unavailable, yellowtail snapper, blue runner, grunt, or reef fish of similar size will be good. Trolling with diving plugs has been shown to yield good results on the edges of shallower reef bottoms.
The Backgrounder is one of the most popular Key West game fish because it gives a hard fight and is delicious. The Backgrounder has an oblong body shape and a large head with a protruding lower jaw and prominent canine teeth.
The body is olive or gray-colored, with dark rectangular blotches and small hexagonal bronze spots on the head and lower side. Black Groupers mainly live near the surface at depths ranging from 19 to 108 feet, and juveniles can be found in seagrass beds off of the coast of Florida.
Backgrounder are plentiful around such structure, and they bite readily when large baits are lowered. All Groupers are known for their strength when hooked, and the Black is no exception, so fairly heavy tackle will be needed to bring one to the surface.
Since Backgrounder always live near structure, when hooked they will try to run for their shelter, and a fish of 20 pounds or more will usually be able to get into its hole unless the angler is ready to keep it out with heavy tackle and plenty of strength. Larger fish frequent deeper waters, and hooking one of these brutes will result in a serious battle.
Upper Hand Pensacola Fishing Charters with Captain Brandy Wallace Black, Red, Warsaw and Snowy Grouper typically are in season year round.
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