Max limit for 2 from 17 ft skiff using the leader rig shown below. But a problem with grouper fishing (and targeting other species when bottom fishing) is that many anglers don’t put much thought into making their leaders… They simply get a weight, a hook, some line, and perhaps a swivel or two and start tying their favorite knot for all the connections.
And a majority of the time, that lack of thinking about all aspects of what they’re targeting leaves the following two problems: The weakest point in the overall system (most often at the knot that connects the lighter main line to the top of the heavier leader assembly) is up above the weight.
And since grouper are structure oriented, the odds of them getting stuck to the bottom due to the weight getting snagged are high which will make them easy targets to the next shark that cruises by. Knowing that grouper and most other bottom fish seek comfort in structure when the feel threatened, we need to account for the fact that there will be break-offs in our decision for how we make our leader assemblies.
When targeting strong fish that live in and around heavy cover, the likelihood of getting snagged on the bottom is high. So my preference is to set up the overall line system to have the weakest point be the knot that goes directly to the hook while also beefing up the line most exposed to getting weakened from bumping rough patches on the bottom (directly above the weight).
The Orris knot is my preferred choice to tie to the Perfection loop because it’s extremely fast to tie and is very strong (not quite as strong as the Palomar, but it’s stronger than any Loop knot I’ve tested so it’ll not be the weakest link). Note: Different line brands/types of course have different breaking points, so these values are just to serve as a rough estimate.
Grouper fishing is a fantastic way for a group of friends or a family to get out on the water and enjoy nature together… And given their popularity, we need to pay extra attention to take the best possible care of them so our future generations can continue to enjoy this great game fish as well as other structure oriented species that also be harmed by poorly designed leader rigs.
My grouper rig is simple; it consists of a 6 to an 8-foot-long leader of 300-pound-test monofilament with a 9/0 to 11/0 circle hook. All swivels and the hooks are attached to the line using 1.9 mm crimp sleeves.
Slide your weight onto the line, and then attach the opposite end to the swivel on the long leader. A fighting rod of 5’8” or longer, rated for line up to 200-pound test will do in most cases.
My reel of choice is the Shaman Thorium 30HG spooled with 65-pound-test braided line. The 6.2:1 gear ratio makes it fast and powerful enough to move big grouper in a hurry.
The goal is to keep them out of the reef, but if they do get back to their hole, you’re prepared with a leader that can survive the fight. When I hooked the gag grouper in this picture, he immediately ran back into his hole in the reef.
Randy Not is the co-publisher of Coastal Angler/The Angler Magazine’s Panama City/Forgotten Coast edition. Bait Rigging & Knot Tying techniques for Inshore Freshwater Bass, Catfish & Crappie.
Both Novices and Pro's all over the world find something interesting in any one of the charts. International Game Fish Association Museum and Library in Dania Beach, Florida.
All charts are 3 mm Laminated to ensure 100% percent Waterproofing, and can be rolled up to fit into any tackle box. Tight lines Publications is proud to announce that they are the Leader in Fishing, Marine, Bait Rigging, and Navigation Charts.
Stick with proven name brands like Trident, and Stern, both of which have an actual breaking strength in excess of the rated line test. Any heavier, especially in current, and the extra drag the line causes off-sets any strength advantages.
The next thing to consider is what type of knot to use when joining your terminal tackle. It is a proven fact that more fish are lost due to poor knots, than from any other reason.
When tying knots, be sure to wet them with saliva before tightening them, because monofilament is very sensitive to heat, even friction-generated. And with a very few exceptions, any knot will have a lower breaking point that the rated line test.
It can be used casting from shore, but really works best when tight lining straight down, from a boat, pier or drop-off. Start by attaching an appropriate weight of bell, pyramid or Lindy sinker to the end of the line.
You can attach two hooks, about 18 above the sinker, and the next 12 above that, either with 3-way swivels, or just use dropper loops. Dropper loops are much faster to re- rig if you lose the terminal tackle to underwater obstacles.
To use the rig, just cast it out gently, or drop it straight down. Then, take the slack out of the line until the rod tip just starts to bend.
Now, set you rod in a holder, and just wait for a catfish to bite. If fishing in heavy cover, rocky bottoms of if you want to drift it with the current, swap the bell sinker for several split-shots just pinched directly on the line.
Keep the slack out of your line during the drift, and if a sinker gets hung, just pull it off and keep fishing. Now, thread a slip (egg) sinker on your line, and attach a swivel to the end.
This rig allows for very precise depth control, and is great for fishing heavy cover. Your depth is set by placing a bomber stop, which can be a plastic bead and rubber band, or anything that ‘stops’ the line from slipping through the float, on a section of line that will suspend the bait at your desired depth.
You can fish as deep as you need with this rig, up to around 30-40 feet, comfortably. Now, just keep most of the slack out of your line, and be ready to set the hook when the float goes under.
:) He's been providing solid advice on catfish fishing since 2004. The Gulf has fairly calm water most of the year (except for our new 11-month recent hurricane season).
I like to use live bait for grouper fishing but some prefer jigs, spoons, and even heavy grade trolling lures. Blue runners, sand perch, lizard fish, etc… Grouper are not real picky eaters when it comes to live bait.
I start my day with a piece of a large squid, about the size of you open hand is usually enough. The bait we are looking for is holding on the bottom most of the time unless you can find some sardines in the area, then try a Kabuki rig or something similar.
Unless you have a favorite area to catch bait, you might have to move around till you start getting bites. After you get a couple dozen bait fish in the live well head on out to your fishing area.
Cookie information is stored in your browser and performs functions such as recognizing you when you return to our website and helping our team to understand which sections of the website you find most interesting and useful. You can adjust all of your cookie settings by navigating the tabs on the left-hand side.
This means that every time you visit this website you will need to enable or disable cookies again. The equipment involved makes use of either a manual or electric winch that drops and retrieves a heavy weight.
These weights drop over the side or stern of a vessel as it slowly trolls hopeful waters. The main attraction anglers have with down riggers reflects in their ability to target fish that would otherwise remain unreachable.
Fishermen put down riggers to work on large commercial boats or small narrow kayaks. Saltwater down riggers tend to be built bigger considering the great variation in ocean depths.
Freshwater down riggers do have a place in deep water applications though the concern over elements isn’t as big. Lakes and reservoirs can get enormous and also feature great depths where down riggers come in handy.
Remember that the most important aspect of any down rigger ball will be its weight with shape coming in a close second. Start with the heaviest ball you’ll need and add some lighter choices for shallower waters.
Down riggers keep the line from rod and reel down deep in a desired position otherwise unattainable. The ball is immediately brought up to prevent tangles and the fisherman can freely fight the fish.
These days more adventuresome fishermen will even attach a light and go pro to the down rigger, then sit back later and watch the hook up. They can be dropped from the sides or the stern, but not typically off the bow because the craft will be traveling forward and the line would hit.
The line leads back to either an electric or manual winch which is attached firmly to the boat or vessel. The fisherman uses the down rigger to keep the line of his rod and reel deep, and directly under the boat (or as close as possible).
He can also opt to drop the down rigger first, then let the release clip slide down the line using a smaller weight. Down rigger fishermen must understand the forces of pressure water applies to their rig while it’s underwater.
Down rigger fishing should be done as close to straight up and down as possible which isn’t easy with all that water pressure. Nick Biebighauser of Minneapolis holds a lake trout he estimated to weigh 45 pounds.
Whether seasonal patterns or feeding habits bear the responsibility for driving fish down, a down rigger will place your set up in front of them.