Grouper take up residence in these holes and generally respond aggressively when a jig comes bouncing by their dwelling. Randy advises dropping the jig/bait to the bottom and letting the boat’s drift move it along the structure.
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.
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.
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.
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. 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. 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. They’re often caught using down riggers and keeping your trolling lure 10 to 15 feet off the bottom.
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. If your lure bounces off the bottom when you’re trolling over underwater structure, you’ll most likely snag and end up losing equipment.
While most groupers won’t be larger than 40 lbs, some grow to enormous sizes! 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.
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.
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.
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. I've tried lots of jigs from shaman butterflies to Williamson, no hits.
If the Grouper are there, I found they will hit about anything as they are not picky but you cannot speed jig them. If the Grouper are there, I found they will hit about anything as they are not picky but you cannot speed jig them.
That is not always true, last spring when hunting AJS we were speed jigging and had to move four times because we couldn't keep the gags and red snapper off our jigs speed jigging for AJS....(season was closed) I like the Bubble Parade V jigs for grouper and one of my favorite grouper jigs is the Hots Drift Tune in 80-200 g depending on the current and depth...in red and gold. These jigs fished slow styled will out fish live bait a lot of times, I have done it numerous times when everyone else is using bait.
The sharpies in that part of the world called them “gum drops” they have a different name officially. But, its what some pin hooking comes used, probably kept it secret from most at the time.
I think it all depends on how you work the jig iv bought Groupers with many tips of jigs. Also putting a small skirt on the assist hook helps a lot!! People have been doing well with Grouper on our Striker Tackle Flat Fall jigs.
My go to vertical jig is a Flat Side and on that I’ve caught them on glow, pink, blue and purple. Hammered and non-hammered Diamond jigs catch them as well.
They live on the reef surrounded by colorful fish and are opportunist feeders. Only reason I prefer glow is because it provides contrast when it stops glowing by providing a white Pinochet against dark water and structure.
It will dart around and change angle aggressively when twitched and jigged. In deeper water Yellowtail, Amber jack and Tuna are within the capability of the Gypsy.
The lighter jigs work very well when just “jiggled” near the bottom for a range of reef species. The Nomad Gypsy Jig can be fished effectively on both the fall and the retrieve.
One of my favorite groupers is the leather bass, which I’ve caught from Baa (this one came from the Revillagigedos Islands far to the south of the peninsula) to Panama. The IFA lists them all as “coral grouper” species; the largest all-tackle record tops 50 pounds caught off Japan.
Another species with fins edged in yellow is appropriately named the yellow edge (world record about 46 pounds from Virginia). Hunter Cole with Penn (left) jigged up this bad boy from deep water off Venice with Capt.
Inshore-size Malabar grouper taken on a very windy day near Lizard Island off northeastern Australia, where the species is generally known as an estuary cod. A leather bass comes aboard for Seward, Alaska, skipper Andy Mexico, near Socorro Island south of Cab San Lucas.
He caught this massive dusky grouper off Isabela, Brazil, where I fished with him years ago (though he provided this particular photo).