Or the anglers’ battle trying to pull the grouper up before it gets to the structure puts more pressure on the line than the weakest point can handle (typically the very top not), leaving the anglers with just a bare end of the main line and the grouper with an entire leader stuck to them… And since grouper are structure oriented, the odds of them getting stuck to the bottom due to the weight getting snagged are high which will make them easy targets to the next shark that cruises by.
Knowing that grouper and most other bottom fish seek comfort in structure when the feel threatened, we need to account for the fact that there will be break-offs in our decision for how we make our leader assemblies. When targeting strong fish that live in and around heavy cover, the likelihood of getting snagged on the bottom is high.
The Orris knot is my preferred choice to tie to the Perfection loop because it’s extremely fast to tie and is very strong (not quite as strong as the Palomar, but it’s stronger than any Loop knot I’ve tested so it’ll not be the weakest link). Note: Different line brands/types of course have different breaking points, so these values are just to serve as a rough estimate.
Grouper fishing is a fantastic way for a group of friends or a family to get out on the water and enjoy nature together… And given their popularity, we need to pay extra attention to take the best possible care of them so our future generations can continue to enjoy this great game fish as well as other structure oriented species that also be harmed by poorly designed leader rigs.
“Sometimes it’s hard to grouper fish with Mali swimming around your boat, but our stretch of offshore reefs can give up some really quality gags and scamps this time of year, particularly on spots deeper than 120 feet,” he said. The rig consists of an egg sinker sliding on an 18-inch piece of 100-pound mono between two swivels.
A 6-foot piece of 100-pound mono leads to a circle hook, with the size depending on the bait. “If I’m fishing for gags, my favorite bait is a live golden spot or a pinkish,” said Johnson.
Johnson prefers the slip sinker rig, because fooling big grouper is all about presentation. Keep the sinker pinned against the bottom swivel and at the first sign of panic in the bait, let him swim away from the weight unencumbered.
Johnson says he’d always prefer to hook his live spots, grunts, and pinkish behind the anal fin, but cautions that you have to consider the current. Both conventional and spinning gear can be used, however conventional tackle is the norm for straight up bottom fishing with live or dead bait, while spinning tackle tends to be the go to when jigging for grouper. When looking for the best grouperbottomfishing reels, you will want to prioritize drag, line capacity, and most importantly gear ratio.
A gear ratio in the range of 4-5.5:1 is generally where you will want to be, providing the best blend of speed and torque to break the will of a bruising grouper. A narrow spooled reel will remain truer, resulting in a more consistent and powerful retrieve.
Some of the best options on the market currently are the Tali ca 12 and 16 single and two speed reels, Avert Ex and Haj G2 or Raptor Models, Accurate Boss Valiant 500 PN and 600 PN. The Penn 113H2 4/0 has also been a solid option for decades that does not have any of the modern features found in the reels above but continues to get the job done.
The only downside to braid will be its lack of abrasion resistance when compared to monofilament line, however a long fluorocarbon or mono leader will easily help you avoid that from becoming an issue. How to build three proven rigs for taking grouper, snapper and other bottom species.
Consistent success demands precise anchoring or drifting tactics, specialized rigs, a strong back and plenty of elbow grease, not to mention a little of luck. Should all of these elements fall into place, you'll find yourself muscling big fish out of the depths and into your cooler.
For many fishermen, the main selling point of fluorocarbon is that the material is simply less visible than traditional nylon monofilament. Fluorocarbon is also much stiffer and more abrasion resistant than nylon mono of the same breaking strength.
Therefore, in murky water, where leader visibility isn't a concern, fluorocarbon still offers an advantage that justifies its expense. If you're hunting monsters, make sure your entire terminal system can handle the strain.
For groupers and amber jack, I'll use a large, double-strength, short-shank hook in a size ranging from 8/0 to 11/0, one with a relatively wide gap if I'm dropping big live baits. Although there are numerous variations when it comes to bottom rigs, outlined on the following pages are three highly effective versions that will fool more big snappers, groupers, amber jack and cobra around reefs, wrecks and other structure.
The weight, usually a bank sinker, is connected to the third eye of the swivel via several inches of lighter line. This rig boasts many of the same advantages as the in-line version when using a long leader, plus the heavy sinker won't chafe the fishing line.
Furthermore, should the rig snag on the bottom, it can usually be freed by locking down the drag and winding tight until the lighter line holding the sinker parts. However, the short leader provides hardly any slack for a fish to dive back into the structure before or at the moment the hook is set.
Then I tie on six feet of 40- or 50-pound fluorocarbon and a 5/0 to 8/0 circle hook, based on the bait I'm using and size of the fish. It's also productive when fishing the bottom well up current of a wreck or reef. The long leader allows a live bait to swim relatively unrestricted, or a dead one to float more naturally in the current.
As the in-line egg sinker rests on bottom, the bait flutters enticingly above it some 15 to 25 feet back. Should a suspicious fish peck at the bait, the play in the long leader usually prevents it from detecting any resistance.
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It also includes a metal strap for securing against the side rail. Top half can easily be removed to store reel inside boat when away.
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Modify this for flounder fishing with a Rocky Brook Sinker (www.rockybrooksinkers.com) made of actual limestone that’s cut, sanded smooth and fitted with a swivel. These are highly effective for walking, dragging or hopping across uneven bottom that ensnare jigs of more slender profile.
From jetty perimeters, to limestone outcroppings, to the underside of piers, football heads allow for more targeted casting and controlled movement in shaggy habitat. Slip a soft-plastic stick bait or a light finesse worm on the hook and the rig looks like an eel or small fish rummaging across the bottom.
But don’t stop your retrieve at the rocks’ edge; let your swim bait fall to the sandy perimeter and hop it around to imitate a wounded bait fish. ›› The “Right” Angle: The Flounder Fanatic (34- and 1 ½-ounce, www.bettstackle.net) comprises a lead disc molded with a specialized hook that protrudes nearly perpendicularly from one of the flat sides and then turns backward so the bend and the point lay parallel to the weight, and by extension, the bottom.
Made for drifting, trolling or casting, this rig keeps everything tight and compact, but the real sweet point is that paralleling the bottom practically spoon-feeds the flounder with just the right angle for its sideways mouth. A monofilament hook guard keeps the rig weedless, while a thin metal pin attached to the eye holds artificial in place.
Beats also makes a Flounder Fanatic Jig that takes a standard Deadhead design and gives the head/eye a quarter turn. 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 bottomfishingrigs. Knocker rigs are one of the simplest and most effective bottomfishingrigs out there.
Check out this video put together by the IFA and featuring CPT. When using this rig make sure to let your line out slowly to prevent tangles.
It would be faster to list the type of species you won’t catch. If by chance you catch one, it’s time to panic because the world’s just turned inside out.
Your location will determine the type of species you’ll encounter. The species you see will differ depending on the state where your pier fishing.
White Perch Red Fish Black Fish Blue Fish GT’s Yellowtail King Mackerel (Highly sought) Bonito Pacific Mackerel Spanish Mackerel Giant Jack Crevasse (Too awesome for words) Atlantic Croaked We still haven’t addressed the fantastic table fish like whiting.
Natural structures on the water including rocks and reefs, weed beds and wrecks, deep holes and the tiniest depressions in the sand on the seabed. Tide, wave action and currents interact with the structure.
This creates the eddies that shape the seabed, carving troughs, and holes that these sea creatures call home or haven. They’re also a popular meeting place for hordes of feeding sea predators that will chew their way through a swimming smorgasbord.
Pulling a Sailfish up to the pier with just your rod is more than tricky, it’s impossible Secondly, the first thing a fish will do when hooked is to make a beeline for the pylons.
However, if you want access to everything that’s weaving in and out of the pylons, aside from your regular tackle, you’re going to need a few things that you might not have. First, let’s take a look at the critical peripherals, that is, the things you’ll need aside from rods and reels.
Then we’ll look at several common rod/reel combos that will provide anglers access to the full gamut of pier dwelling species. It’s easy to lose even the most securely hooked fish when landing it from a pier.
These nets are available from tackle and bait shops or online, and they’re brilliant. They may be a little tricky to use when the wind and waves are up, but they’re pretty simple to master.
Simply lower the net down to the surface and work your played fish over it. Extra Pair of Hands You may need help from other people to lift it.
Pulling up an 80 pound Goliath Grouper up 25 feet of the pier is hard work. They’re safe, and offer an acceptable level of protection for fish you intend to release…unlike a gaff.
While there are long handle gaffs, few reach 20-plus feet, even those with multiple extension pieces. This one is more similar to a grappling hook, or a set of trebles on steroids.
When in the hands of an experienced user, this type of gaff is excellent. OK, you don’t need a fancy trolley to lug your gear out onto the pier.
By the time you have your tackle box, cooler, live bait tank (high tech custom setup), several rods and reels, a cast net, your regular fishing equipment including terminal tackle, lure, a chair, wet weather gear, etc, etc… Short of a mule, or other such beasts of burden, a cart, while technically not essential, using it saves a really long onerous walk.
If you want to catch a huge fish from a pier, collect live baits. As we highlighted earlier, piers hold bait fish, and we know they’re there in abundance.
While you can fish for baits, a lot of time is saved by tossing a cast net… Agreed, casting nets from a pier will take a little practice, and sometimes could be difficult if the wind and surf are up.
We’re going to make an assumption that you’re heading to the pier and hedging your bets. So for the pier, we recommend taking 3 rod and reel combos.
It’s also important to note that there are literally countless options and combinations you can go with. The shorter rod makes casting a breeze on a busy pier.
However, you have enough rod length to keep a smaller class of fish out of the pylons. Setting up The Easy Fishing Combo Mount a 5000 spin reel to an 8-foot medium light rod.
Although you could lift your fish to the pier with this outfit, we would always recommend you to use a drop net. And at the same time, you would have all the stick you need to bait for a larger class of pelagic.
Strap an 8000 spin reel to a 12-foot medium heavy surf rod. It’s important to remember that leaders should be as long as possible without affecting casting performance.
Strap an overhead like the Saliva 50 to an extra heavy 12-foot rod. It’s got oceans of power and will cast a huge bait a reasonable distance.
The main reason we recommend the long rod length is so you have a little more chance to keep them out of the pylons in the first place. In all honesty, there are any number of effective pier fishing rigs you can deploy.
Instead, we’ve outlined 4 absolute pier winners for different conditions along with helpful fishing tips. There are master rigs on any pier in any state, or country for that matter.
This is also an ideal bottom fishing rig for chasing huge bottom dwellers such as Goliath Grouper. Remember that casting this rig will be a challenge, don’t worry too much about distance, usually they’re feeding closer to the pier than you think.
Tie your favorite jig to rod/reel combo number two. Cast the life out of it, or release it straight down in front of you. Working lures from the height of a pier kill their action and their position in the water.
Tie a twin hook paternoster rig to either rod/reel combo one or two. This will be ideal to attract game fish like jacks and big redfish.
You may use smaller hooks or, you may lose the sinker all together on the live bait rig. You can have a casual fish to catch some dinner or rip out massive live baits for a chance to break a record.
Interestingly, the equipment and rig required are reasonably minimal. Remember, you don’t always have to take out the full complement of rods and kit.