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.
Penn is THE name in saltwater tackle and makes some excellent equipment at reasonable prices. This can handle most the bottom fishing situations as well as some light tackle trolling.
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.
While the initial cost is higher, braided line last much longer than monofilament. This is very important when grouper fishing as it allows anglers to feel the take as well is get the grouper away from the structure.
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.
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.
This is because grouper like to live near the bottom close to underwater structures like rocks and wrecks. The Your Crystal 3D Minnow Deep Diver Trolling Lure is a great option when trolling for grouper (and other saltwater fish like Spanish mackerel) as it’s realistic 3D eyes mimic an actual bait fish’s eyes.
The X-Rap has been a trolling favorite for years and works well for many species (like halibut, lake trout, and more) of fish besides just grouper. These lures look and feel more like the fish grouper are used to eating, and are an excellent choice for trolling.
The rubber tail’s action imitates a frantic bait fish trying to escape a hungry grouper. The rubber tail flutters in the water at all speeds and mimics a scared shrimp or shad.
Grouper love feeding on both small crustaceans/bait fish and find the Each Fat Swing Impact Rubber Shad irresistible. If you aren’t getting any bites on your soft plastic lures or the diving plugs, we recommend trying out a fishing classic: metal spoons.
Metal spoons imitate sardines, mackerel, and other small shiny fish that grouper like to eat. These chrome-covered spoons have been catching many types of fish for years, including grouper.
They have a simple action that when trolled with a down rigger looks like a small bait fish that has been separated from its school. It has a more aggressive action than the Clark spoon which can entice reclusive grouper from where their hiding in underwater structure.
The Huntington Stainless Steel Drone Spoon works for many saltwater species (such as smaller yellow fin tuna and bonito) along with grouper, so it’s a solid addition to any tackle box. Keep in mind that we typically fish for grouper in the southern Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico, so these are the species common to those areas.
They are gray and brown and love living close to coastal rock piles and underwater wreckage. Gag groupers will even hang in water only a few feet deep if there is structure and bait fish nearby.
You usually won’t catch Goliath groupers while trolling because they live in deeper waters and go after larger bait. While this can make figuring out where to fish for them easy, you need to be extra aware of your lure depth and how fast you’re trolling.
This might seem counter-intuitive when trolling, but you don’t want to give a hooked grouper any chance to swim back into the cover it darted out from. If it gets back to the hole it lives in, chances are your line will scrape against the rocks and snap.
A tight drag will not only prevent this but also act to set the hook with the movement of the boat. If jigging and using grouper bait aren’t working for you or you want to cover a lot of water, trolling is the ultimate grouper fishing weapon.
Description Made of high-quality ABS and iron material, this fishing lure is lifelike and durable. It can be widely used to catch bass, yellow perch, walleye, pike, muskie, roach, trout in both saltwater and freshwater.
13.50×2.00X1.50cm/5.31×0.79X0.59in.- Made of high-quality ABS and iron material, lifelike and durable.- Brilliantly replicates color and patterns of actual bait fish for easily baiting fishes.- The multi-segmented grouper fish bait, enjoys realistic swimming posture, making it easier to lure fish into the bait.- Can be widely used to catch bass, yellow perch, walleye, pike, muskie, roach, trout in both saltwater and freshwater.- Small size, more convenient for you to store, effectively protect the bait from damage. We only accept PayPal, payment system supports Mastercard, Visa, Discover, American Express and check.
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The PayPal Credit account is issued by Synchrony Bank. This method works best because it taps into the instincts of the fish to chase prey and bite fast (without thinking about it too much).
Because they don’t like to stray far from their homes in the reefs and ledges, this behavior makes artificial lures just as effective as natural baits when trolled in the right places. These lures can easily be fished down to 30 feet using a modest slow troll, but can go even deeper using a simple down rigger.
Soft plastics are best for mimicking actual bait fish because they not only have the look, but also the texture and movements of a natural fish as well. If the grouper are inshore under the docks and bridges, flip a soft-plastic mullet or pinkish down there with some weight and slowly retrieve.
A butterfly jig is a heavy, thin lure that creates spontaneous and erratic movement that is attractive to a grouper because it mimics a live fish. The bright shine of a slowly passed spoon will certainly bring a grouper out of its hole or hiding place.
Spoons can be used by flipping under inshore structures in the cooler months, or trolled over shallow reefs using a down-rigging system to bring groupers out. Spoons mimic shiny fish better than anything else, and will surely bring a grouper out of its hole if it catches its eye.
While coloration vary greatly, with the relatively oversized mouth, grouper fishing somewhat resembles large mouth bass fishing. Anglers who are grouper fishing will seek rocks, reefs, pilings, wrecks and such.
And then there is the aptly named Goliath Grouper that can grow to over 7 feet long and weigh more than 600 pounds! I’ve watched fishing shows where anglers share grouper fishing tips and use whole, live sting rays as bait and seen video of a big brute inhaling a 3-foot shark that an angler was trying to reel in near his boat.
Again, like bass fishing that action of bottom bouncing, or jigging can trigger a reaction bite. Grouper aren’t the hardest fighting fish but if you supersize your grouper fishing tackle and bait, some species can reach unbelievable sizes and put you and your line to the test.
Saltwater fishing licenses and regulations vary in the wide range of grouper species so be sure to be prepared and enjoy the catch! Born in Florida, but raised on banks of Oklahoma farm ponds, he now chases pike, small mouth bass, and steel head in Pennsylvania.
Obviously, when it comes to a successful fishing day, there is a good amount of technique and skill involved, but a great lure that attracts bites is important as well. The top spot on our list goes to the Johnson Sliver Minnow Fishing Bait.
This is a spoon lure made with 24K gold that is designed to flash in the water to attract fish. The lure wobbles through the water back and forth and at a 35-degree angle to get the attention of inshore fish species.
The number two spot belongs to the Bomber Badonk-A-Donk High Pitch Saltwater Grade Lure. The lure features two sharp treble hooks with saltwater grade hardware.
It also features a high-pitched rattle and color patterns specifically designed for inshore fishing. The lures are designed with a 3D prism color finish to stand out in the waters and attract fish.
This set includes 9 crank baits, 5 shrimp baits, 5 carbon steel lures, and 4 soft worms, making it all you need to get started. It also includes a waterproof soft carrying case to easily store and organize the tackle set.
The lure is designed with two sharp saltwater grade treble hooks and features internal holographic foil and eyes to that attract fish as it travels through water. It is made to be able to be cast long distances and features a darting action that causes the fish to bite.
A good weedless spoon is a classic lure that many anglers love for inshore fishing. These lures move erratically through the water and imitate an injured bait fish to attract strikes.
Match the hatch is always relevant, so for inshore saltwater fishing, a good shrimp lure can be very effective. If you want to greatly increase your chance of catching fish on a pier, you need a good saltwater friendly lure.
This lure measures 4 and features holographic colors and lifelike eyes and an internal rattle that is designed to attract fish. It is made to be cast long distances and features a lifelike darting action that makes it irresistible to fish.
The Berkley Johnson Silver Minnow Spoon is a great option for ocean fishing. It is designed to be weedless and can be cast trolled, jigged, or twitched to catch fish.
This one wobbles back and forth at a 35-degree angle and flashes light through the water, which makes it stand out to any fish in the area. Spoon lures are a favorite of my anglers, and this is a great one to add to your bait collection.
Pros 35 Degree wobble attracts fish Available in a variety of sizes and colors Flashes in the water to stand out This is a top water popper lure that wiggles and splashes through the water as you move your rod tip up and down.
Pros Pops and splashes through the water to attract bites Two sharp treble hooks Eight color options IN this set you get three lures, each with a holographic body, lifelike eyes, and vibrant fish-attracting colors.
They are made to glide through the water with a realistic swim action to get the attention of any inshore fish species. The lures are available in two different color packs, and four different sizes, making them excellent for all types of fish species.
If you’re a fan of buck tail jigs, this is a great option to consider adding to your saltwater tackle collection. The final spot on the list belongs to the Visitor Saltwater Inshore Fishing Lure Set.
In this set, you get 5 hard bait minnow lures that each measure 5.5 and weigh approximately .8 ounces. The lures each have internal balls that improve casting distance and feature three sharp treble hooks.
Just make sure the hooks and hardware are saltwater friendly, and that it dives shallow enough for the waters you are fishing.