In the summer, as nearshore water temperatures rise, grouper relocate to deeper dwellings offshore. Shipwrecks, oil rigs, and offshore reefs are where you'll want to focus your efforts when fishing for grouper in the summer.
They are classic ambush predators, spending most of their time holed up in heavy structure waiting for smaller fish to swim by. To have the most success when fishing for grouper, your boat electronics need to be powerful enough to key into the structure you seek.
Shipwrecks are the most notorious grouper hideouts, and fishing these tangled-up messes of debris requires accurate depth readings, patience, and the understanding that you'll probably lose some tackle. To catch big, heavy, powerful fish, your gear better be up to the task.
There are times when artificial lures work great for catching grouper, but you'll have more success if you show up prepared with the freshest live bait you can find. Goggle-eyes, pilchards, blue runners, and grunts all make excellent live bait for grouper.
Try to bring as many varieties of bait as you can so you can zero in on what the grouper are biting that day. Grouper spend most of their time on the bottom, so that's where you'll want to send your baited hook.
Vertical jigging with live bait is a very popular technique for catching big grouper, simply because it works. A struggling bait fish bouncing up and down at the bottom of a shipwreck is irresistible to an opportunistic grouper.
Slide the hook point underneath the twisted rubber band. No matter what kind of rig you're using to catch grouper, you'll have the most success with circle hooks.
How you handle the first few seconds of a grouper fight often determines whether you land the fish or get cut off by structure. When a grouper takes your bait, as soon as it feels the pressure of your line, it will run straight back to the safety of structure as fast as possible.
And if you hook into a huge fish, it'll do whatever it pleases unless you take charge of the fight. Load up your conventional reels with heavy line, bridle rig your live baits, and don't forget to use circle hooks.
Every fisherman and fisher woman on these shores know… groupers are fun to catch and make for even better eating! Just think of the fun and sun you’ll experience as you make your latest catches.
However, grouper can be a bit tricky to handle, so you’ll want to make sure you know what you’re doing before you head out to the water. Head online and getting a fisherman’s forecast to save yourself some potential heartbreak.
Make sure you’ve got a tackle and rod capable of supporting a grouper ’s weight. You’ll stand a significantly better chance if you travel at least a few miles offshore.
A general rule of thumb when focusing on how to catch grouper is the deeper the better, so head on out for adventure. You’ll want the water to be around 50-70 feet deep before you cast your anchor and prepare to make your catch.
There are a few tried-and-true methods, but a lot of it will come down to some good ole’ fashioned trial and error. Groupers tend to eat fish, so your best bet is either squid or sardines.
And since grouper can get massive, make sure your line is capable of supporting up to 100 pounds or more. We don’t suggest using a monofilament line as they tend to snap quite easily if you’re dealing with a heavier fish.
Instead, we recommend circle hooks and braided lines to make the experience easier. Grouper are well known for putting up a good fight, while also being one of the better tasting fish you can catch.
Usually they have a large body and mouth and can come in a variety of different colors depending on the specific kind of grouper. In terms of size grouper can commonly be well over 3 feet in length and weigh upwards of 200lbs.
Grouper are a saltwater fish that are commonly targeted in the southern regions of the United States and parts of South America. If you’re fishing for grouper inshore or nearshore, look for them in shallow reef areas, bridges, or near docks.
Grouper commonly eat other fish, crustaceans, and octopuses. In the autumn grouper tend to stay in deeper waters until the weather starts to cool down in the late season.
When the weather cools they will move to waters ranging from 50 to 100 feet deep. In the winter months, grouper will move close inshore or just offshore.
In the summer grouper continue their migration into deeper cooler waters. The colder winter months are a good time to catch them because they are closer to shore, however, feeding activity can be high during spring, which makes that a good opportunity to catch them as well.
When the grouper are closer to shore, spinning rods are a good choice. Stick with a heavy fast action rod around 6 to 7 feet in length.
The best ones for catching grouper are made specifically for deep trolling over shallow reefs. These kinds of lures are versatile and can be fished in a wide variety of different settings.
Though you can also use chunks of dead bait productively when targeting grouper. Sardines are considered most effective by many anglers, but you can also use squid, pinkish, mullet, and other small fish.
This is why you need to fish near coral ledges, rock piles, and other structure where they will likely be hiding in. Many anglers often use squid or sardines to get the fish into a feeding frenzy.
They prefer to be able to seek shelter and hide, and although their name implies that they stay together, they can also be very solitary fish. Their coloration and ability to change hues and shades to identify with their surroundings give them that ambush capability.
Anglers find that medium heavy bottom fishing tackle is the best way to approach the grouper. Conventional reels in the thirty- to fifty-pound class teamed with a medium heavy boat rod will do the trick.
Grouper feed on other small fish, crustaceans like crabs or crawfish, and squid. When an easy opportunity swims buy they rush out, inhale their prey, and quickly return to their lair.
A good rod and reel, with fifty-pound test monofilament line, can handle almost all the grouper you may encounter. The terminal tackle consists of a sinker, leader, and hook arranged one of two ways.
Even when the rig is dropped right into the bottom structure, it seldom hangs up, something charter captains love. More serious grouper anglers will opt for the second approach, called a live bait rig.
Advertised as virtually invisible to fish, it does seem to draw more strikes than regular monofilament. Grouper run out, grab a bait, and head back for cover.
Serious grouper anglers will crank the drag down on their reel as hard as they can, often using a pair of pliers to lock it down. The idea is to stop the grouper from taking the line and returning to his structure home.
When a grouper strikes, anglers will lay their rod on the rail and start winding as hard as they can. When a grouper makes it into a rock or reef, many anglers will simply break off the line and try again.
In the Gulf of Mexico, grouper anglers use magnum diving plugs that will go as deep as thirty feet or more. Strip baits are cut and attached to a double hooked trolling feather.
The wire line method is popular in and around south Florida in the winter when big black grouper move into the shallower reefs. Sometimes thirty yards in diameter, they are an ideal habitat for black grouper.
When one occurs, the boat moves directly away from the reef to drag the fish away from its hole. A head boat that provides the bait and tackle is an ideal way to bring some home to eat.