Do you have any tips for catching grouper in Florida?

Grouper are a relatively easy fish to catch if you know where to fish and have the proper equipment. The many different varieties of grouper can grow very large. Goliath Grouper, also called Jewfish, are commonly caught in excess of one hundred pounds and as large as three hundred pounds. You need therefore to use heavy equipment to handle this species. The best place to find Grouper is near a wreck or near a coral reef if fishing in the Southern Florida Keys. Shipwrecks bring the entire food chain into a small area. Small organisms attach themselves to the wrecks; small fish feed on the organisms, larger fish feed off the smaller fish and so on. Groupers are right at the top of the food chain near these wrecks. Once you find a wreck you want to get your bait near the bottom. If you are targeting Grouper only you want to use a large enough bait to keep Snappers and other smaller fish away. You can use live bait, frozen bait or even freshly cut fish for bait. It is not unreasonable to use a piece of bait that is six to ten inches long in search of Grouper. Once it reaches the bottom the fun begins. When a Grouper grabs your bait you will quickly learn that a heavy action rod comes in handy. The first thing this fish will do when hooked is to try and break your line on the wreck itself. You need a heavy rod to horse the fish away from the wreck where it can be fought safely.

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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