Five grouper fishing techniques

When you want to fish for an exciting species that’s not picky about what they eat, the grouper may be the fish for you. This species is mostly found along the coast of Florida and the Bahamas but they can be found as far north as New England and in the Gulf of Mexico too. This species has a firm, white meat that tastes fantastic, which is one of the reasons why they’re such a popular game fish.

They can grow to some rather impressive sizes, which is another reason why they’re so popular. This species can reach 100 pounds or more. They’re such a strong species that when you hook one, you’re going to be in for one heck of a fight. Therefore, you need gear that is strong enough to handle a fish this size and the strain it’ll put on your equipment.

Experienced anglers will usually recommend using a medium-heavy rod combined with a 30 to 50 pound conventional reel. Add this to a size 8 fishing hook and a shock leader of 100 pounds and you’ll be all set to go fishing for grouper.

You will need to invest in a gaff so you can get the fish from the water into the boat. This species is too big to try and pull it into the boat without one. Normally, anglers seeking out this species will travel in groups because it would be impossible for one person to reel in one of these fish (especially the larger ones) alone.

Grouper Fishing Techniques

Fishing for grouper is not much different from other species as long as you allow for their size. Of course, you do need to buy equipment based on the type of technique you plan to use. Some rod and reels can be used for multiple techniques but it’s still better to decide which technique you want to use before you go fishing to ensure you get the right items.

Here are five grouper fishing techniques that can be used successfully in a variety of situations:
1. Bottom fishing
2. Slow trolling
3. Flat lining
4. Drift fishing
5. Rigging

Always take extra tackle with you when you’re fishing for this species. You don’t want to be on the water and have your line break or have to cut your line and then not have anything to replace it with on hand. If the fish gets into the structures after taking your bait, there is a good chance you’ll eventually have to cut your line so be prepared for this in advance and it’ll save you a lot of trouble.

Grouper Fishing Tips

Some fisherman will tell you that live bait is the best to use for this species but many anglers prefer artificial bait. You’ll need to experiment with both until you decide which one works the best for you and you can always switch around and use both. Perch is an excellent live bait to use and cut bait is also a popular choice but this species is not very picky when it comes to eating.

You’ll need to travel offshore until you reach water about 40 feet deep to find this species but the larger ones will be father out. If you can find an area where there is a sunken ship, this is an excellent place to find groupers. Otherwise, search around rocks, deep holes and other underwater structures where they can hide and wait for food.

This is an aggressive species so you’ll need to be ready for the fight when you get one hooked. They have a tendency of inhaling the bait and swimming into the closest structures nearby where they can hide and enjoy their meal. However, this means that it can be very difficult getting them from the bottom of the water to the surface. If you don’t react fast when you feel that bite, you may lose your catch and your tackle too.

When you get one hooked, don’t let your line get slack in it or you’ll make it easy for the grouper to get away. You need to pay close attention and work hard to get one of these fish to shore. What it all comes down to is when you get one hooked, who is the strongest, you or the fish? This means that you have to be in good physical shape or the fish will probably win the battle.

This species has also been known to chase bait from time to time if it looks tasty enough. However, they usually hide out around structures and ambush the baitfish as it swims by. This species is mainly a solitary fish and the older they get the more they prefer to be alone. However, you can still often find several in the same area if the structure is big enough. Use these techniques and tips to help you improve the odds of catching and reeling in a grouper each time you go fishing.

Daniel Eggertsen
Dan Eggertsen is a fellow saltwater fishing enthusiast to the point of obsession. :) He's been providing solid advice on saltwater fishing since 2004.

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