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.
If you are looking for a great fight and even better table fare, when in season, grouper bottom fishing can fit the bill and then some. 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 grouper bottom fishing 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. 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.
Call your chiropractor and get ready for a spine adjustment because we are going to give you some sweet tips on how to get the box full. There are three main ways to double over your rod on these hard pulling bottom dwellers.
Five pound boxes of Spanish Sardines and Cigar Minnows are a great way to get the ball rolling when bottom fishing for grouper. The most common live baits are pinkish, grass grunts, and squirrel fish.
Leader material ranges from 50lbs to 100lbs depending on the depth and the size of fish that you are targeting. And listen, unless you’re trying to be the little drummer boy, patient don’t bounce the lead on the bottom.
Over the last five years, vertical jigs have made their way to many of the top grouper anglers' arsenals. Braided line is the key component to making this system work.
The good old trusty stand by Buck tail jigs can also be fished on these rod and reel combos. When fishing this bait, you want to let line out about 75ft and engage the reel causing the plug to dive.
Just so you know, Track Fishing may earn an affiliate commission from the links on this page, at no extra cost to you. Often considered a classic bottom fish, grouper is one of the most popular species to go after for beginners and experienced anglers alike.
Although heavy reels are not required for inshore fishing with live bait rigs, they don’t hurt. This will allow you to exert more strength and precision when it comes to extracting the grouper from its hiding places.
Shaman TLD 2-Speed Conventional Reel is durable, sturdy, and remarkably powerful. It offers exceptional lever drag, a unique feature that should be praised for numerous reasons.
The Shaman TLD has a unique design that includes a solid graphite frame as well as a side plate with an aluminum spool. Shift gears easily with the two-speed effect of this reel and know that it has a maximum drag of 42 lbs.
A slight upgrade to the Penn Squall series, this reel is not only robust but it’s also durable. The Penn Squall Level Wind is corrosion resistant as it is designed for saltwater.
Corrosion-resistant and perfect for saltwater use Has a large spool capacity A versatile and strong reel You aren’t limited just to grouper when you use this reel, however, as it can also be used for other bottom fish or large species, too.
Built with a solid aluminum frame, this reel is strong, and resists rust and corrosion. The Penn US Senator also has the HT 100 drag system, providing you with all the fishing power you might need.
It can easily land fish past 50 lbs, offering power and user-friendly design. It has a power handle that is comfortable to use and easy to hold along with reversible harness lugs.
It has a durable gear train and is machine framed, making it more resilient and perfectly aligned. You can add a backlight side plate, for instance, to make it perfect for commercial use.
Great for hobby or commercial use Excellent for saltwater use Has six stainless steel bearings Known as the Saliva Lever Saltwater Reel, this product has six separate corrosion-resistant ball bearings.
It performs well on fresh and saltwater, offering greater versatility and strength than some smaller models. A highly capable reel, it can hold a ton of monofilament or braided line.
Looked on google but cant come up with nothing recent and I know there's gotta be some better rods over time. On the budget: shaman short game, or deep game..... dream rod : shaman thermal..... hope this help.....
I don't think there is a better rod than the ugly sticks.... cheap and indestructible, you have no need of refined guides. Most party boats are loaded with them and have them for years and 100's of 50+ groupers are caught with them if you ask me, I love my cal star transfer 6'6” 40-100... I fish a lot of party boats and having a longer rod really helps.
I also use my 400g JM power spell for bottom fishing. My wife recently purchased a tier 6'6” 65-200 that was on sale at bass pro.
Dogfish Stick model 15H is popular in the Tampa Bay area for grouper. I don't think there is a better rod than the ugly sticks.... cheap and indestructible, you have no need of refined guides.
Most party boats are loaded with them and have them for years and 100's of 50+ groupers are caught with them if you ask me, I love my cal star transfer 6'6” 40-100... I fish a lot of party boats and having a longer rod really helps. I also use my 400g JM power spell for bottom fishing.
Dogfish Stick model 15H is popular in the Tampa Bay area for grouper. I wonder if they could cut it down maybe 6-9 inches off the butt. I'm thinking about giving them a call.
I traveled many parts in the US for grouper fishing, and they use different methods. Dogfish Stick model 15H is popular in the Tampa Bay area for grouper.
One thing to consider with a grouper rod for bait, you will probably be using a leader with a C-rigged weight. The other is a slide rig with a weight traveling up and down the leader about 3 feet and stopped with another swivel.
The C-rig has the sliding weight on the main line with a swivel connecting to the leader; it's the simplest way to accomplish having a sliding weight not in contact with the hook. Your method requires a longer rod which in a broomstick diameter means a lot of weight.
If you wish to also be able to jig with it, keep the diameter to that of an inland spinning rod so you can have a parabolic action. In the South Atlantic, you have to use circle hooks for grouper if you are using bait at all...live or dead.
The Gag Grouper, Mycteroperca microbes Gray or light brown with wavy markings on the side that generally do not form boxes or circles.
Color deepens to dark brown shortly after removal from water. SIZE: Can reach 50 pounds on deep offshore wrecks and ledges, and has been recorded to 80 pounds, but 20-30 is the usual maximum range, and most catches now fall between 2 and 12 pounds.
Many juveniles are caught from inshore grass flats. World record 80 pounds, 6 ounces; Florida record 80 pounds, 6 ounces.
FOOD VALUE: Excellent; firm white flesh; little red. GAME QUALITIES: An aggressive striker and hard fighter at all depths.
Offshore bottom fishermen tend toward stout rods with 50- and 80-pound-test lines, but such grouper digging” rigs are strictly necessary only in very deep water. Up to about 50 feet, lines in the 20-30-pound range are adequate and allow much more sport.
Many anglers catch lots of Gags on spinning and plug tackle. This is also the best of the Groupers for fly fishermen, since they are frequently found in fairly shallow water and will eagerly take a large streamer fly. Hard- lure casters use Deadhead jigs, mostly, while rollers rely on large deep-diving plugs.
RANGE: Found throughout Florida and Bahamas. HABITAT: Both juveniles and adults frequent inshore holes and ledges, often on deeper grass flats.
Florida Grouper fishing usually takes place in deeper water, over structure and reefs, but is also highly popular as an inshore species. Grouper are very fun to catch, can offer a battle on a rod, and are one of the best-tasting fish in the ocean.
For example, while they put up an epic battle, Goliath and Nassau Grouper are illegal to harvest at any time. With epic battles and general year-round availability, Florida Grouper fishing is without a doubt one of the most popular activities for fishermen in the state.
One of the greatest aspects is that you can target these offshore quality fish within the state coastal (shallower inshore waters) with ease. Our season dates for targeting inshore grouper generally run from June 1st to December 31st.
This shallow water targeting is a unique aspect of the Crystal River area. For shallow water bottom fishing, you would look to focus on holes, springs, and reef formations.
What this means is that once they hit your choice of bait, they turn right around for a powerful deep dive back to cover. Here in Crystal River for instance we utilize 6000-8000 size spinning reels loaded with 60-80lb braided line.
These are mounted to heavy action rods with a final leader composed of 80 to 1300lb fluorocarbon. In this, a strong reaction is necessary to keep this species from making it back to its rocky cover- and possibly snap the line across a sharp edge.
Characteristic features: a large head with a huge mouth, the lower jaw is advanced, a massive, laterally compressed body. A giant grouper (Red Sea and Indian Ocean) grows over 400 kg.
All groupers, from an early age, active predators, food addictions do not exist. The fish sucks in its victims, creating a vacuum around the object of the hunt, widely opening a huge mouth of a rounded shape.
They do not form large groups, they can come close to the shore, although they often live at great depths, about 100 m or more. For representatives of the serranidae family, to which belong groupers, a certain feature in the method of reproduction is characteristic.
In the Gulf of Mexico, during the spawning period, there is a massive production of groupers with nets and hook gear, which greatly affects the number of these fish. In general, fishing occurs at sufficiently large depths at the bottom or at a complex rocky terrain.
With any method of fishing, they use either heavy baits or special deep-wellings, as in the case of trolling. Spinning fishing from a boat may differ in lure feeding principles.
Many types of marine fishing techniques require very fast wiring, which means a high gear ratio of the winding mechanism. In order to select the correct wiring, consult with experienced local fishermen or guides.
Groupers, due to their size and temperament, are considered a very interesting opponent for trolling. For fishing on ocean and sea open spaces, specialized vessels equipped with numerous devices are used.
There are a lot of auxiliary devices that are used depending on the fishing conditions: for deepening equipment, for placing lures in the fishing area, for attaching bait, etc., including numerous elements of equipment. In the case of fishing for groupers, an important element of equipment are various sinkers (deepened).
Trolling, especially when hunting for marine giants, is a group type of fishing. In most cases, fishing is carried out by professional guides who are fully responsible for the event.
It is worth noting that the search for a trophy at sea or in the ocean can be associated with many hours of bite waiting, sometimes unsuccessful. It is worth considering that the size of trophies can be very significant, which requires special training from the fishing organizers.
In most cases, fishing is carried out with the lure of predators by various bites of animal composition. Among the natural ones, it is worth noting small live fish, for example, juvenile barracudas, sardines.
For fishing on a spinning rod, “kickback” or trolling, various cobblers and artificial silicone imitations are used. Groupers are distributed practically in all the warm waters of the World Ocean and its constituent seas.
It’s up to YOU, the angler, to make sure that each time you hit the water you’ve got the best fishing gear in tow. Let me be your guide in helping your bros choose the best saltwater fishing rods for every occasion because I’ve spent my entire life on the water learning what works and what doesn’t, I’ve made the mistakes so you don’t have to.
You can buy them robust enough to hold up to tarpon and light enough to haul in speckled trout and flounder all day. This is a rod that’s going to stand up to the test of time, won’t corrode from the saltwater as long as you treat it well, and you’ll catch more fish by being able to feel more strikes.
Each of the rods features ‘Batson Forecast hard aluminum-oxide guides with 316 stainless-steel frames for dramatically improved corrosion resistance compared to 304 stainless-steel frames’ as well as Fuji® DPS reel seats and black hoods on the spinning models (slightly different on the bait casting models). Croix Superstar Service’, so it’s a very safe purchase, as any potential defects (rare as they may be) will be covered by the warranty.
If you’re going for a quality set up, one that’s sturdy enough to hold up to monster grouper and snapper, then you’ll want to spend a few bucks on the PENN Carnage II Jigging/Spinning rod. So it was only a matter of time before he made his foray into the world of saltwater fishing rods, and in no time at all the Dozens Fury Series is being heralded by the entire industry as some of the finest inshore fishing rods around.
Whether you’re targeting bull redfish in Louisiana or the Chesapeake Bay, or you’re going after Bluefish in the Northeast, or Shook in Florida, the Dozens Fury Series is a rod you’ll want to have with you in the boat (or in the truck, whatever). This rod -reel combo is said to have been designed with the avid high school/college angler in mind, so if that doesn’t speak to your soul then I don’t know what does.
Some of my fondest childhood fishing memories were surf casting for sharks on the Gulf Coast here in Florida. Either way you’re going to need a very tall and robust rod to hurl your bait super far out into the water, because chances are you’ll be standing on the sand when doing this.
The Longitude Graphite series from Obama are the highest rated surf casting rods around, which is great because they’re also VERY affordable, starting at just $43. Tarpon, aka the ‘Silver King’, are probably the most lusted after inshore game fish in the state of Florida.
If you’re looking to shell out more $$$ though I’d point you in the direction of the Envy Green Tarpon H Spinning Rod from 13 Fishing, because although it’s expensive as hell it’s an exquisite fishing rod. Basically anywhere that has a coast you’ll find a nearby pier or jetty, and these structures offer total cornucopias of fish species, you never know what you’re going to catch.
My suggestion here is the Shakespeare/Ugly Stick One-Piece Heavy Action Big Water, because this diesel rod won’t fail you when you’re hauling up countless species on the pier. But I’m telling you bros, you simply will not find a better travel fishing rod in the world than the products G. Loomis makes.
I’ve had an ugly stick in my arsenal nearly my entire life, and if I ever have kids one day this will be the first gear I get them when they graduate from those little click button rods. It’s a light tackle setup that uses a string of tiny hooks, all designed to look like fingerling bait fish.
When catching live bait to use for larger pelagic and game fish you drop these Sabik Rigs into large schools of bait offshore, jig them up or down a few times, and those stupid bait fish get hooked six at a time. Occasionally, we write about items that are a part of one of our affiliate partnerships, and we will get a percentage of the revenue from sales.