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Grouper Jigging

author
Maria Garcia
• Friday, 16 October, 2020
• 12 min read

Randy fishes 8-ounce Mission Fishing jig heads with pink, chartreuse or glow curly tails. Randy targets “Swiss cheese” bottom, which is simply limestone rock formations with frequent sandy holes that give the appearance of a submerged dairy product.

jigging vertical cancun grouper jigs fishing jig isla mujeres butterfly charter sport speed
(Source: www.deepseafishingcancun.com)

Contents

Grouper take up residence in these holes and generally respond aggressively when a jig comes bouncing by their dwelling. Randy idles across the structure until he spots a show of fish on his bottom machine.

Randy advises dropping the jig/bait to the bottom and letting the boat’s drift move it along the structure. As the lure hops and drops into and out of the cheese holes, its buck tail skirt dances and pulsates to give the illusion of a living creature.

Swiss cheese bottom also attracts swarms of mangroves, lane and vermilion snapper. Keepers are a tasty bonus to the grouper routine, but mortar undersized bait steamers that often chew the tails off jigs.

This healthy red grouper couldn’t resist the tempting buck tail dropped to the bottom Randy is Vance Time, owner of Tight Lines Tackle in Tampa and founder of Brother Jigs.

Although specializing in Tampa Bay trolling, Vance is equally adept at offshore jigging. Very often, he said, jigs will outperform live bait and the fish you get are generally quality size.

grouper bait flounder jigging fishing
(Source: www.thehulltruth.com)

Vance figures the size of a jig and bait combination weeds out the little guys and appeals to grouper worth keeping. When you know your favorite spot is holding them, but they are being finicky on baits, jigging can often be the ticket producing a reaction based strike that triggers their predatory instinct.

Best places to jig for black, gag, red, and scamp grouper include hard bottom outcroppings, reefs, wrecks, oil rigs, and other structures that hold bait fish and provide hiding spots for ambushing their prey. The Shaman Saragossa 8000 and 10000, Died Saltiest 5000, and Penn Slammer SLAIII6500 are all more than capable if you are just getting started.

Black Hole Cape Cod Special 250g, Otis Fathom Blade 300g, and Shaman Arévalo 58XXH rods in both spinning and conventional models are all fantastic options that are super light weight with plenty of power and action to fool and whoop up on the best of them. If you are using a buck tail, you can simply attach directly to the jig and avoid the rest of the terminal tackle.

Otherwise, keep your jig at the bottom and reel in about 20-30’ towards the surface and then drop back down to stay in the strike zone longer. The higher you get in the water column also increases the probability of hooking amber jack aka Reef Donkeys, king mackerel, and more.

Grouper are reef-dwelling aggressive fish that are large and make a great addition to any outdoor grill. Many lures on the market are developed to trick an aggressive predator like grouper.

(Source: www.youtube.com)

The most effective method is trolling slowly over their prime habitat or reef area, because their instincts naturally tell them to chase their prey and make a quick bite. Grouper lures are more effective than bait because the fish like to stay close to their reef home.

That is because they are predators that love the chase and catch the action of a fish in the water. This ideal grouper lure for deep trolling whether you are inland or way offshore can reach depths up to 30 feet and speeds of 13 knots.

The transparent design with an internal cast system means that you will throw it a good distance. Corrosion resistant parts mean it will endure through lots of fishing trips and use.

Since early 1952, Salas jigs have been helping fisherman catch albacore, perch, and grouper. This jig is a popular seller, because it really works to hook those big grouper fish.

With 7 times the light and a 3/0 hook size, you are sure to land some big grouper with this great lure from Salas. Their advanced technology means they lead the industry in products that are among the best in artificial baits in the country.

grouper jigging nc trip fishing offshore ksong edited 2008 pm last
(Source: www.thebassbarn.com)

Your Crystal Minnows have a bright holographic finish that reflects light and attracts big game fish even in murky or unclear waters. Whether you are using a stop and go or steady retrieval, these minnow lures from Your get the job done when it comes to catching big grouper.

Whether you are using a stop and go or steady retrieval, these minnow lures from Your get the job done when it comes to catching big grouper. These are 3 of the best grouper lures which will make a great accessory for any tackle box.

With one of the above grouper lures, you will be sure to catch a great tasting fish on your next outdoor adventure. Featured ItemsNewest ItemsBestsellingAlphabetical: A to Alphabetical: Z to Avg.

Customer Review Price: Low to High Price: High to Consort by: 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.

jigging grouper nc line
(Source: www.thehulltruth.com)

If you find grouper that are close to shore or in shallow water, your best bet for a trolling lure is the Papal Shadow Rap Shad Shallow Trolling Lure. 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.

grouper jigging
(Source: www.youtube.com)

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. Looked on google but cant come up with nothing recent and I know there's gotta be some better rods over time.

grouper jigging florida surftalk
(Source: www.stripersonline.com)

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. Ditto above; the rods we use for grouper fishing with bait are pretty many broomsticks.

They are made by a local tackle shop and I think I paid like $130.00 each for 4 of them. 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.

grouper jigging tomorrow nov nc
(Source: www.thebassbarn.com)

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.

The only problem I see grouper fishing with a 5' jigging rod would be not enough leverage or backbone for a good hook set. 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. The only problem I see grouper fishing with a 5' jigging rod would be not enough leverage or backbone for a good hook set.

And fighting a fish with a shorter rod is lot easier. The only problem I see grouper fishing with a 5' jigging rod would be not enough leverage or backbone for a good hook set.

Daniel, I saw you set the hook lifting rod fast to the sky. But most grouper fishermen don't set the hook with the rod.

jig goober grouper jigs gag h4l pitch slow
(Source: www.thehulltruth.com)

Many grouper fishermen use circle hooks for that purpose. 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. We use ~80lb braid w/~50' of 100lb mono top-shot/~10-12oz weight (in ~150-250') 200lb swivel/100lb flour leader (for abrasion resistance, not b/c it's invisible) & ~12/0 circle hook.

(Source: www.youtube.com)

That said I just ordered a Custom Splatter Paint Spiral Wrapped Rod from Boomerang Fishing (see THT) w/80-150lb American Tackle blank for <$150 shipped Find a good spot, get your bait down to the bottom and wait for the bite.

Drifting works well for covering water to find more active fish. Set out your favorite live baits and drift until you find some grouper.

Grouper are part of the Mycteroperca family, which means these bottom dwelling predators enjoy anatomical features which are perfectly suited for strength and endurance in a fight to the finish. Groupers make their home under coral ledges, within rock piles, and particularly wreckage for sunken ships and debris.

Rock piles and coral ledges are ideal habitat and grounds of that nature are widely available in the Miami area. I was intrigued by the giant fish half poking out of the hole, stiff as a board, and pulled him out of the wreckage for a closer inspection.

Make sure you’re using a strong shock leader of approximately 25 connected by crimps to 100lb ball bearing swivels (use the same outfit you would use when trolling for bull dolphin offshore). Some of the most popular lures for grouper trolling in Miami, FL include Mann’s stretch 20s, Papal Magnums, and Your’s in pretty much the largest size available.

(Source: www.youtube.com)

It’s best to use one rod when trolling for grouper, unless you’re feeling somewhat adventurous and are confident you can keep the plugs far enough apart as to avoid snagging and wrapping up the lines. We typically troll between 20 and 30 of water along the patch reefs, working the sand immediately next to the reefs/rocks which are widely scattered from Iowa Rocks south.

If we’re targeting groupers specifically on a trip, we will bring a selection of baits to make sure we can offer a wide menu. We find that pinkish, goggle eyes, and big pilchards work best for grouper in the summer months, but grunts and blue runners are a close second.

If you’re anchored up on an area and the grouper bite is consistent, you might consider tossing a few chunks into the water to get fish fired up while vertical jigging. Often they will drop baits to the bottom and keep the line completely slack, so they can feel the bite, then wind tight and hold on with all their might.

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Sources
1 www.huffpost.com - https://www.huffpost.com/entry/goliath-grouper-attack_n_5632612
2 www.pouted.com - https://www.pouted.com/atlantic-goliath-grouper-endangered/
3 en.wikipedia.org - https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Atlantic_goliath_grouper
4 www.theinertia.com - https://www.theinertia.com/video/dont-mess-with-a-goliath-grouper/
5 sportfishinglures.com - https://sportfishinglures.com/goliath-grouper-where-and-how-to-catch-them/