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. For over 50 years, Your has been making quality lures in Japan and shipping all over the world.
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.
With one of the above grouper lures, you will be sure to catch a great tasting fish on your next outdoor adventure. 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.
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. They are found in the warmer waters of the Atlantic Ocean, Gulf of Mexico, Caribbean, and points south.
While they are a powerful fish that puts up a strong battle, grouper are prized by many anglers for their flaky white fillets! There are quite a few other species of grouper that are found in deeper waters and throughout the Bahamas and other locations.
For the most part, their habits are very similar and will be treated all the same when it comes to tackle and techniques. 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. Reefs, wrecks, artificial reefs, areas of rocky bottom, and ledges are the top spots where anglers catch grouper in open water.
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 using conventional tackle for grouper fishing can choose a reel with a level wind or one without. Level winds are nice in that the line is spooled up evenly as it is retrieved.
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.
With this outfit, anglers can cast lures and live baits towards structure as well as have a decent chance of landing a big fish that might be hooked when bottom fishing. In water much deeper than 50 feet, conventional outfits are simply a better choice.
While the initial cost is higher, braided line last much longer than monofilament. 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. Many anglers fishing in deep water use a very long leader, up to 20 feet and even longer.
Anglers grouper fishing in the Gulf of Mexico are required to use circle hooks. The hook may look huge, but the important part is the distance between the tip and the shank.
Standard short shank live bait hooks are also popular for grouper fishing as well. 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. However, there is another rig that works very well for grouper fishing, particularly in water shallower than 100 feet.
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.
Many a large Goliath grouper has surprised an angler casting to the mangroves for shook or redfish. They can be found in Europe, Russia, Canada, and the US, basically everywhere in the Northern Hemisphere where it gets cold enough for lakes to ice over.
They hit your bait hard, and are extremely strong and fast, making for a long fight against an animal that’s quite capable of throwing the hook or snapping a line. The best pike lures have big, sharp hooks and durable bodies that can handle a fight.
When they’re not on the hook, pike are sluggish fish that like to hide out in cover and ambush their prey as it swims by. For this reason, lures that simulate injured fish make excellent pike bait.
Features Super Tough Abaci Wood Construction Floating Model Anti-Broach Design Rugged Rust Resistant Hardware Natural and Stimulator Patterns The three treble hooks are very sharp and have big enough barbs to hang on through a tough fight.
They’re over an inch in length, big enough not just for the heaviest northern pike, but also for monster catfish. The body is crafted from durable abaci wood and is hand-painted in Papal’s Minneapolis shop.
Pros 7 inches long Hand-painted wood body Large nickel treble hooks Realistic wounded minnow action Made in the USA It’s big enough for pike, but still small enough for other lake fish like bass and walleye.
Pros Classic design Hand-painted in the USA Available in 13 colors Available in 5 sizes Sharp nickel hooks Why It’s Recommended The Papal Original Floater has been among the most popular pike fish lures since it made its debut in 1936.
Features All Bill Lewis Rat-L-Traps are made in the USA Rat-L-Traps Have interior rattles that make plenty or sound as you reel them in. It’s available in 11 different colors, but almost all of them leave a large portion of the shiny steel body exposed.
This lure also has a loud internal rattle, to give pikes the extra nudge they need when it’s hard to see. The nickel treble hooks are large and sharp, and the lure itself is fairly dense, at a full ounce and only 3 ½ inches in length.
The Musky Innovations Bull Dawg is a soft plastic lure with a long, rubbery tail. Both of the large, treble hooks are situated in the fatter front half of the body and are engineered from sharp, high-quality nickel.
Like all soft plastic baits, the Bull Dawg has a limited life span. Pike, in particular, have very sharp teeth, and repeated strikes will eventually wear out the lure.
Features 2010 Cast “Best of Show” Winner Amazing detail fools even the most wary fish Soft body construction compresses to reveal ultra sharp hooks The hooks are positioned tightly against the sides of the lure, so they won’t snag while you’re retrieving it through the weeds.
Pros Extremely realistic Two sharp, concealed hooks Weedless design Available in 11 colors Great for game fish like bass, walleye, musket and pike.
The Original Danielle Spoon is a 1-ounce, metal lure that’s only 2 ½ inches long. Reel it in at a medium pace, and it will spin around, the red and white flashing in the water.
Pros Dense and easy to cast Flashy and loud Very sharp hooks The Live Target Glass Minnow is perfect for catching pike who are already feeding on a school of bait fish.
It travels at 3 to 6 feet of depth, and moves erratically during the retrieve, simulating a row of fleeing minnows. The treble hooks are extremely sharp, but they’re stainless steel, so they’re not good for saltwater use.
Features Made with ultra tough Libra Fly wire frame to withstand the mouths of pikes and muskies Comes with a 12-inch steel leader Full featured spinner bait Can stand up to powerful jaws and mouths filled with teeth Sport type: Outdoor Lifestyle It comes with a 12-inch wire leader, which you’ll need with any pike lure in order to stand up to its sharp teeth.
We prefer gold and silver because the most important thing with a spinner bait is to have a lot of flash. It’s inexpensive, and the steel frame is strong enough to stand up to the fiercest biters.
The Hidden Rattle Spook is a tough, stainless steel lure that can take a lot of abuse. It’s specifically designed for walking the dog and gives you a nice, horizontal zigzag motion when you reel it in at medium speed.
Feature Comes in Super-Glow Chub Provided by Northland Lure specially made for ice fishing Still, you can catch a pike with the right jig, and the Northland Buck Shot Rattle Spoon fits the bill nicely.
Features Bomber Fishing Lures Convincing Crank baits Minnows and More Diving Depth: 4 – 8 Feet Species: All Freshwater Game Fish Technique: Cast and retrieve with erratic action simulating a wounded bait fish. This baby has a stainless steel body that can stand up to a strike from the biggest, meanest pike mother nature can throw at you.
The Blue Fox Vibrant Super BOU is made to simulate a distressed fish near the surface. It has a free-spinning brass gear near the nose that creates noise and vibrations as you reel it in.
Unlike a lot of lures, speed is key here; the faster you reel this puppy in, the louder it gets. The feather skirt isn’t terribly durable and will freeze and fall apart if it’s stored in below-freezing temperatures.
This wouldn’t be a major complaint, except that the Super BOU is one of the more expensive lures on the market. The Means Magnum Musky Killer is a handcrafted, heavy-duty lure that’s made for bringing in prize bunkers.
The blade alone weighs almost half an ounce and bangs hard against the lure as you’re retrieving it. The Musky Killer is on the expensive side, but good lord is it worth every penny.
Pros Sharp 5/0 hook Great for casting Heavy blade for more vibration Big enough for any freshwater fish Features 9" Long Solid Wood Construction Hand Painted 2 – 1/4 oz.
The Quick Weighted Muskie Thriller is a 9-inch lure that’s made for diving to 20 feet. The body is carved from solid wood, making it more durable than most lures on the market.
Features Regular 5oz Super Length (Tail To End Of Lip): 14 Inches with tail out Musky Swim bait Lure Pike Swim bait Bodywork internal coil harness Durable Internal Coil Harness to keep the Rubber Body on Great for Inshore fishing too The Tackle Industries Super is a 14-inch soft plastic lure that’s made for catching big pike or muskie.
It has three treble hooks that are big and sharp enough to catch and hold even the feistiest fighter. Like any soft plastic lure, it’s going to fail sooner rather than later, but the price reflects this.
The Means Cyclops is a shiny spoon lure with a textured finish and a realistic, painted eye. It’s heavy and streamlined enough for good casting, and the twisted shape makes it flail erratically in the water, which is perfect for trolling pike near cover.
The bright color and twisting jigging motion make it perfect for ice fishing. It’s a bit small for saltwater fish, although it’s hefty enough to haul in almost any pike.
This makes it a great all-season pike lure since you can vary your technique based on conditions. The hinge is made from durable stainless steel, not fabric, and the three treble hooks are sharp and manufactured from corrosion-resistant nickel.
Features Lethal trailing “sting'r hook” Hand-tied, breathes, & pulsates The ultimate weapon for active Northern Pike & Muskie Weight: 1 oz The Northland Tackle Bionic Buck Tail is a one-trick pony, but it’s good enough at that trick to earn a spot on our list.
This jig has a large Mustard hook concealed in the skirt at the base of the head. To catch those nibblers, Northland included a small trailing treble hook that sticks out of the end of the skirt.
Pros Tough Mustard hooks Good for long casts Snags short-strikers Features Effective for a variety of freshwater and saltwater species 4" length 1-1/4 oz.
The Quick Cisco Kid Topper was designed specifically for murky water fishing. It’s shiny and metallic, but Quick knows that’s not enough to catch a pike’s attention when the water is as clear as a latte.
As you reel it in, these propellers spin, creating noise and vibrations to catch predators’ attention. The dual treble hooks are sharp and have generous barbs, and the body is engineered from durable stainless steel.
Pros Jointed design Realistic paint job 3D eye Two sharp treble hooks While this guide covered a lot of lures, we didn’t talk much about live bait.
Chubs or Suckers This is the most challenging live bait rig, but it’s the best for catching a very large pike. With a large bait like a chub or a sucker, it’s best to put your main hook in the fish’s back, just behind the dorsal fin.
This rig needs a sturdy bomber or a balloon to avoid it falling right to the bottom and staying there. You’re equally likely to catch a bass with this setup, which increases your chances of taking something home.
The best time to find them in the shallows is during the spawning season, which begins as soon as the ice clears and lasts until whenever the water temperature rises above 40 degrees, usually around mid-May. These are excellent depths for trolling or using a jig, preferably near weeds or a structure.
This makes them much bonier than most fish, and they have to be specially filleted in order to completely deb one them. The tips of the Y-bones should now be visible as a dotted white line that runs down the length of the filet.
When you’ve cut deeply enough, you’ll feel it drag along the bottom part of the Y-bones where they turn towards the spine. A filleting knife is helpful here since it will be narrow enough not to mangle the rest of the fish while you’re slicing.
They should pull right out in one piece, although you’ll want to double-check to make sure you didn’t leave any inside the fish. In this case, the best method is to remove the head, then to slice the back of the fish off just above the spine.
When cooked in this fashion, the tiny pieces of bone get soft, and you don’t even notice them. Beyond that, you’ll need to have a good understanding of the water, and the lifecycle and preferences of pike.
If you plan on turning your fish into a delicious meal, you’ll also have to deb one them properly. This makes them a great choice for early spring when other fish are still too sluggish to bite.
They love shallow bays and inlets near creeks, especially where there’s lots of vegetation for them to use for cover. Use this to your advantage by rigging up a lure that looks like a wounded fish, and they’ll eventually bite.
You can waste a little meat by only using the outer two-thirds of the filet, or just leave the bones in and deal with them when you’re eating. They generally live in reefs and, when hooked, will make a powerful run to their favorite hole and break you off on the rocks if they can.
They don’t have a lot of stamina, but that initial surge can permanently embed the butt of the rod deep in your gut if you aren’t paying attention. For this reason, even relatively small Grouper often require fairly heavy tackle because of the amount of drag necessary to keep them from their reef.
There are many species of Grouper found all around the world and you could easily write a whole book about them. I will just stick to some general tips based on the types of Grouper fishing I have done.
If you are targeting Grouper larger than 50lbs or so and there are a lot of rocks in the area there is almost no tackle that is too heavy. For the biggest Grouper I would go with an Accurate 2-speed reel with a heavy duty, short Cal star rod with all roller guides.
I have added links for some good Grouper tackle for both large and small fish for a variety of budget ranges: My favorite way to catch them if they are shallow is casting jerk baits in shallow reef areas but a large live bait sent down to the bottom and then lifted a crank or two is probably the most effective way to catch them day in and day out.
Many people have success trolling deep diving plugs so that they go just above the reef where the fish are. If you are fishing a shallower reef it can be great fun to cast jerk baits like a Your Crystal Minnow and retrieving them erratically with frequent pauses.
Two Groupers caught at the same time on a Hidden Zara Spook on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia Rock fish are caught in the Pacific Ocean and are found in large numbers from southern California to northern Alaska.
Rock fish are frequently caught when fishing for halibut, long cod, and salmon. In Alaska, these fish are placed into two categories, pelagic and non-pelagic rock fish.
Pelagic rock fish are often caught in water ranging from 40-200 feet deep and swim in large schools around rock-piles and reef structures. Rock fish are relatively easy to target and are a great eating fish.
It is important to locate rock fish with a fish finder before dropping baits. Depending on the current rock fish will move around rock piles and humps.
Typically, the schools of rock fish are suspended 10 to 40 feet off the bottom. The large non-pelagic rock fish are usually right on the bottom in water deeper than 100 feet.
It then comes around to the other side of the fish and is placed through the center of the head securing it in some meat. Having the trailing hooks helps with the bite to catch ratio.
When you get a bite while mooching you need to reel up any slack quickly. This red 1-1/2 inch slider is where the lead weight is attached.
A gum lucky can be placed in front of the slider but this is optional. The swivel makes it so mooching weights can be quickly put on and off the rig.
The swivel helps minimize the line from getting twisted as the bait spins. The swivel on the slider rig is placed through the metal ring on the weight.
This rig also lets you fish deep and in strong currents. Typical bait includes herring, Pollock, pink salmon, squid, and octopus.
If you are targeting halibut and ling cod the bait should be about 15-feet off the bottom which should reduce the number of non-pelagic rock fish that will be caught. Rock fish show up good on the fish finder right on the bottom.
If the bottom is varying in-depth and not flat chances are there will be rock fish in that spot. Typically, I use a size 16 hook because I am mostly halibut fishing and then also catch rock fish.
The exact line I was using was in the video was Ash away tuna leader, green. This tuna line had a solid braided nylon core with a strength of 150 pounds.
Rock fish and halibut are not leader shy and many people including commercial fishermen just tie the hook directly to garden or twine. I have had the 100-pound line break a few times when leading large halibut that I was trying to release.
In the video above I show how to tie the best bottom rigs for big rock fish and halibut. The most common way to bottom fish all over the world is to use a chicken rig.
This rig has a weight on the bottom and two hooks that are tied about two feet apart using dropper loop knots. The weight on the bottom can be tied to or wrapped around a perfection loot not.
Cut herring is a great bait to use for all types of rock fish. If the bait fish in the area are sardines, anchovy, or smelt that would be a good option as well.
When targeting bigger fish put the whole bait fish on the hook. A circle hook works well because it is hard to feel the bite of small rock fish to properly set the hook because of the large weights typically needed.
Eventually, a big fish will bite though, so I like using a 50-pound line for bottom rigs. The AFW mighty crane swivels in 310-pound strength are good for making chicken rigs.
If the rock fish are small it might be hard to feel a bite with a two-pound weight on the line. In the video above I show how to tie the best dropper loop for chicken rigs.
If you do not need large weights to fight the current a jig with a teaser would be my number one rock fish rig. Four of the color patterns are glow in the dark which helps attract fish in deep water.
The two hooks on then bait help the bite to catch ratio. These jigs are perfect for catching rock fish in under 100 feet of water.
These jigs look similar to herring a common fish for rock fish to eat. Pieces of cut bait such as squid can be placed on the hooks to add scent to the jig.
Tsunami swim jigs are a great way to catch rock fish in less than 100 feet of water. These can be fished on halibut rods but work better on salmon reels.
Sand lance live in these areas and look very similar to this jig. Color options are black-back and olive-back both of which have a reflective green holographic appearance.
The best way to add scent to this jig is with a Gulp curly tail grub. Gulp Grub is a great curly tail bait to use with Pro buck tail jigs.
For smaller buck tails use Gulp Swimming Mullet in the 4-inch size. This gold star Mother of Pearl Twinkle Skirt is a must-have beneath all hoodies.
When added to a hoodie it gives thickness and flash to the bait. The plastic dome at the front also spaces the hoodie further forward on the hook.
This could also be placed on a single open eye hook using a barrel swivel and bead for spacing. These 4 1/4 inch squid baits work great to catch both rock fish and salmon.
Flue ball jigs are a good way to fish for rock fish. The jig consists of a chrome weighted head connected to a hoodie with two hooks.
Each set comes with six jigs in colors of gold-orange, root beer, orange, black-purple, and bright pink. Color options are white, yellow, purple, orange, brown, and black.
The larger baits just have j-hook but have a loop on the bottom of the jig to attach additional hooks. Good color options for rock fish include blue-gold, green nickel, and green-yellow.
This dart jig sinks fast and the 6-ounce version can fish up to 250 feet deep in most currents. When reeling fish up from deep depths rock fish suffer from barotrauma.
This is when the swim bladder expands and even the eyes of the fish can pop out of their sockets due to the pressure change. People are also encouraged to practice fishing techniques to reduce the number of unwanted rock fish to be caught.
Also, when fishing for halibut and ling cod the bait should be kept 10-15 feet off the bottom. It has been shown that fewer rock fish will be caught and will not affect the catch rates of halibut or ling cod.
The depth it opens at varies depending on the selected setting. In the video above I show the many types of rock fish release devices.
This simple fish descender works well for releasing small rock fish with a one-pound weight. This is when the equalizer needs to be hooked to the down rigger to descend the rock fish.
This works by placing the needle under a scale of the fish to release or vent the air from the swim bladder. Female yellow eye rock fish have over two million eggs and give live birth.
It has sharp venomous quills on its dorsal fin and also gives live birth. Female dusky rock fish have over 100,000 eggs and give live birth.
Black rock fish get the highest yield percentage at 56 percent. Recreational anglers can keep three of these per day in Alaska and black rock fish are often targeted when salmon or halibut fishing is slow.
This is because these fish have a slow growth rate and long life. The basic strategy for catching rock fish is to first mark them on the fish finder.
When targeting rock fish it is common to fish in less than 100 feet of water. When trolling for salmon with down riggers it is common to catch rock fish on hoodies and spoons.
Yellow eye rock fish are commonly caught when halibut fishing in water deeper than 200 feet. Make sure to have a rock fish release device on the boat to properly send fish caught deep back to depth.
Frequently asked Questions Is rock fish the same as red snapper? Yellow eye rock fish are sometimes called the pacific red snapper.
In my option, they look more like a bright orange grouper than red snapper from the Gulf of Mexico. Red Snapper and yellow rock fish are to different species and are not the same fish.
Another common name mistake is that people on the east coast call striped bass, rock fish. Yes, rock fish is a healthy fish to eat as it is high in protein and omega-3 fatty acids.
Rock fish are commonly served in restaurants and are a popular fish to eat. The amount of weight needed to catch rock fish varies depending on the water depth.
In strong currents and deep water 1-2 pounds of weight is needed to get the bait near the bottom where the fish are typically located. Using heavy weighs can make feeling the bite and setting the hook difficult.
Most rock fish are in 20-400 feet of water along rocky bottom structures. Pacific rock fish are found from northern Alaska all the way to southern California.
In Site Alaska, I know a good spot with lots of vermilion rock fish in about 100 feet of water. For yellow eye rock fish, the world record is 39 pound 4 ounces caught in Whalers Cove Alaska.
And when you do go, these 7 tips will help you know where to go, what gear to bring, and the know-how to catch big grouper. Grouper are found in abundance in the Gulf of Mexico, along the Atlantic Coast, and throughout the Caribbean, providing anglers with a wealth of opportunities to catch one of the tastiest fish in the sea.
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.
Trailer for Targeting gag grouper in shallow water is really fun. Learn how to bottom fish, troll and cast plugs for grouper.
There is a guy in Crystal River, Florida that is an absolute grouper fishing wizard. He is one of those fishermen that has a deep understanding of the fishery and how any given atmospheric or tidal condition drives fish behavior.
Dan is not going to blur the lines as he lays out how to catch grouper with dead bait on the bottom and how to use lures to trigger bites on the troll and casting. Know the gear rules and saltwater fishing regulations in your state before you set out.
Bottom fishing is a great way hit rocks in shallow water where the grouper like to hang out. Dan will talk about how he positions his boat relative to the target zone and how he drifts baits into the lions' den.
In Florida, circle hooks are required when targeting reef fish. Since you are trying to stop a powerful fish close to his house, you will need some stout tackle and high speed reels.
Dan will explain everything about the tackle, tactics and the grouper rig. See what kind of monofilament he uses, how much weight, the swivels, leader material and hooks.
Circle are required when targeting reef fish, in Florida. As the cooler water starts to move in during fall, bait scatters and grouper become really responsive to a lure vibrating over their house.
In 15 feet or fewer trolling for grouper is a very productive way to cover water with lures. Dan will tell you how far back he's trolling lures and the speed he finds gets the most bites.
Grouper will key in on a specific cooler at times, so you need to be prepared. Learn how Dan quickly dials in which color is the flavor du jour.
Plus, he will share his stealthy tactic of getting extra action out of the plug to produce more strikes. The act of casting a big plug and cranking it back only to have it get smashed by a powerful fish with the sole intention of getting into the rocks is the thrill.
All along Florida's Gulf coast, there are rock piles in 6-8 foot range that offer excellent gag grouper action. See which plugs Dan likes to fish and why, the size/class of rod and reel he prefers for casting long distances, the line he spools his reels with and how much drag he prefers.