One key, besides a huge helping of luck, is to hook the fish while drifting, instead of at anchor. The drift of the boat adds to the power of the tackle and just might help drag the big fish far enough away from his rocky “hole” that he cannot get back.
Pinkish and pilchards are good too, as are mullet heads and other large cut baits. Best casting lures are Deadhead jigs, weighing from 1-4 ounces, depending on depth.
Trolling over the reefs with rigged, swimming mullet, feather and strip combos, and large plugs also takes many. RANGE: Sometimes encountered in the deep Gulf and upper Atlantic, but common only in South Florida, the Keys and the Bahamas.
HABITAT: Blacks of many sizes are commonly found around the edges of coral reefs, from about 30 feet of water out to the deepest drop offs. Even big fish, however, may roam to much shallower patch reefs, especially in cooler seasons.
BONITA SPRINGS, Fla. -- A Florida man may have just set a new world record while fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. Alex Newman took part in the annual Ronald McDonald House Charities Rodeo Fishing Tournament this past weekend, the News Press reports. On top of the massive weight, the fish was 57 inches long with a 48-inch girth.
The International Game Fish Association says the current world record for a black grouper is 124 pounds. That fish was caught by Tim Ostrich in the Gulf of Mexico off Texas back in 2003.
“Right now, Texas holds the world record, so it'd be good to put Fort Myers on the map,” he told WBAL-TV. The FCC (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission) manages the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean differently, and it’s important to know what’s in season and what you can harvest from each shoreline.
The Gulf of Mexico is a unique body of water that provides commercial and recreational anglers plenty of fishing opportunities. The Gulf covers most of Florida’s west coast, from Pensacola in the Panhandle to the start of the Everglades at the tip of the peninsula.
This is important to keep in mind as there are different regulations for what’s in season and what you can harvest depending on if you’re in state or federal waters. For counties of Franklin, Weibull, Taylor and Jefferson (in the Panhandle area from Apalachicola to Steinhatchee) there is open season in state waters from April 1 to June 30, and again from September 1 to December 31.
Black, Red, Scamp, Yellow fin and Yellow mouth Grouper all have similar regulations in the Gulf. It’s open season in both state and federal waters for Rock Hind, Coney, Yellow edge and Snowy Groupers.
You can ask your charter captain if the size you have is a keeper or not; or refer to the FCC regulations to make sure you’re staying compliant. Now moving east to the beautiful Atlantic Ocean where there are excellent opportunities for grouper fishing.
Keep in mind, the FCC considers the Everglades and Florida Keys as part of the Atlantic Ocean waters, and all fishing done in these areas must stay within Atlantic-specific regulations. From the Florida Keys to Jacksonville, anglers have hundreds of cities to choose from to launch your grouper expedition.
The real question is, what subspecies of grouper you’ll find at the end of your line. East Coast anglers should mark your calendars for May 1, this is when Gag Grouper and Backgrounder season opens from the Keys to Duval County (Jacksonville area).
The season runs until December 31, and each angler can collect one or the other each trip within the 3 grouper aggregate. Honestly, that’s why there are regulations in place, so that this incredible species is not overfished and the population stays healthy.
Now is the time to book your Grouper fishing charter, the season is just a few short weeks away and you’ll want to be sure to get in on the action! If you want to learn how to make a bottom fishing rig you have come to the right place.
We compiled some of the best videos on the web on making bottom fishing rigs. Check out this video put together by the IFA and featuring CPT.
Captive Fishing Report, Saturday, January 13: Grouper, Near Offshore Structure, Warmer, Catch & Release; Red Tide Report (Caloosahatchee freshwater runoff impact continuing to lessen a bit; some Red Tide but it is broken up and largely dispersed); more fishing reports from other areas and Captains below. The gag grouper is a bottom feeder and is often caught by fishermen seeking bottom-dwelling species, such as snappers.
Catch & Release, Daniel Fishing & Captive Fishing, Daniel Island, Thursday,December 20, 2017, . Members of this species are known to be protogynous hermaphrodites, schooling in harems with the most aggressive and largest females shifting sex to male, probably as a result of behavioral triggers, when no male is available. Commercial and sport fishing have created tremendous selective pressures against the largest animals, typically male, restricting the reproductive capacity of the entire breeding population.
Grouper, Catch & Release, Daniel Fishing & Captive Fishing, Daniel Island, Thursday, November 16, 2017, . After a fierce storm, Turner Beach, the beach adjoining the Pass, is frequently covered with a bounty of shells from Olives to Fighting Whelks to the more common Conchs. The fishing is also renowned for sharks in the summer, tailing redfish on the Bayside flats and shook under and off the Blind Pass bridge.
Because Turner Beach faces Westward, the sunsets are spectacular and a popular viewing point for residents and visitors alike. Captain Joey Burned ~ please click calendar at the upper left or call 239-472-8658 to book a Daniel & Captive Islands, Coca Grande or Fort Myers fishing guide trip or shelling charter.
Anthony Palo Pinto with a 347-pound Warsaw grouper he hooked and was caught by team Jumbo Shrimp during the annual Crosshair Memorial Fishing Tournament. The afternoon weather was perfect, allowing the heavy hitters to run to the depths of the Gulf of Mexico.
Paul Christie, knew what his team wanted to do: Catch big fish. Their value in the tournament would max out at 100 points regardless of weight, so Christie was going to be happy with one around 70 pounds.
Christie’s brother-in-law, Anthony Palo Pinto, lowered a line more than 600 feet into the Gulf of Mexico where it would be inhaled by a monster. The line was slowly coming in and it took a little while to realized it was hooked, that’s when I knew it was a fish.
After 30 minutes of back and forth, the gigantic Warsaw on the other end surfaced, allowing Christie to see just how big it truly was. Team Jumbo Shrimp kept fishing, and Christie’s plan continued to come together.
By Saturday morning, the crew added a 27-pound tuna, 29-pound kitty Mitchell grouper and two swordfish. At 2 p.m. Saturday, they landed a 40-pound Yahoo, the sixth and final fish needed for the multispecies weigh-in.
For Sunday afternoon’s weigh-in, the crowd at the Bradenton Yacht Club was already at fever pitch with big fish coming to the scales. The Yacht Club’s crane was called into action in order to lift the Warsaw out of the boat.
When the weigh-in crew finally brought the beast to the scales, cameras and phones were hoisted high as everyone wanted a picture. Jumbo Shrimp’s catch brought home 537 points and the title for a repeat victory worth $10,000.
“The weather was absolutely perfect, and this is always our favorite tournament to fish,” Seaveeche’s Jay Travis said. Third place went to team Sea Saw/Blender Boat works, which also joined the big Warsaw grouper club by weighing in a 167 founder.
“We caught giants last August and September but most likely they were still down near the Dry Tortugas for their spawn, so we ended up with a pair of smaller fish. The FCC approved new Florida grouper regulations on February 10, 2016.
The new rules apply to black and gag grouper in the Gulf waters of Florida. The minimum size limit for recreational harvest has been set at 24 inches.
Check out MWC for the complete list of regulations. The minimum size is the same for both black and gag grouper, because anglers often confused the two species for each other.
The FCC will officially announce these rules in the near future. This will allow our kids to enjoy the great feeling of catching their meal as well.