GROUPER fishing techniques  
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                       HOW TO CATCH GROUPER

 
 
 
   

                      How To Catch Big Grouper

Grouper Tackle -  Use a heavy spinning reel and rod. A 4000/5000 series reels and medium heavy 7 ft rods loaded with 65 lb power pro line and a 50 to 80 lb mono leader will work for shallow water or offshore bottom grouper fishing. Fluoro carbon will work in larger lines like 100 lb but does not handle the cuts and abrasions from rocks.  Big baits normally catch bigger fish.

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         Grouper Fishing Strategies That Work

  Grouper Techniques - Grouper will hit Topwater, Jigs, Rubber Baits, Rubber Worms, live shinners, pinfish, deep diving plugs and jumbo shrimp. Try free lining an artificial shrimp up current of a structure, a bridge pylon or other shallow water cover. Grouper expect to see the lure or bait approaching them from up stream and moving with the current just a real live bait would do. Feeding aggressive grouper will come from 30 feet deep or more to take a topwater plug. When trolling a deep plug it is not necessary to have the plug on the bottom. As long as you can get a trolling plug within 10 -15 feet of the bottom they will usually attack the plug from below it.

 

                Trolling Big Lip Diving Plugs For Grouper

    When trolling big lip diving plugs for shallow water grouper or in 40 feet or less offshore, beware of the big hooks required for grouper fishing. As in the photo below once you get one of these hooks lodged in your hand it will usually require an emergency room visit to get it removed. Big 40 inch grouper will appear tame when landed and laying on your boat floor, but when you each to remove the plug and hooks the grouper may suddenly jerk and flop around catching your hand in the big fish hooks. It is recommended to remove the barbs on your hooks when using these big diving plugs. Removing the barbs will not result in losing fish as long as you keep a tight line on the fish. When trolling you will have a tight line on the fish most of the time anyway. Removing the barbs also allows you to remove the hook quicker and easier after you have landed the fish. If you get a strike and your rod doubles down to the water, pull back on the engine throttle. If not you will drag the fish to the surface and will end up dragging it across the top of the water. This is not a very sportsman way to catch grouper and will harm short grouper that must be returned to the water unharmed. Dragging grouper on the surface will result in more restrictions and regulations on grouper fishing for everyone. It is best to bring the engine to an idle speed or even out the boat in neutral after a hook up. This will allow you to enjoy the real battle with a grouper. Just make sure you move the boat a few yards away from where you hooked the grouper before slowing down or it may run back to the bottom for cover and hand you up.

                                      GROUPER

   When trolling for grouper, you will have better success if you follow a few grouper basics. Troll your lures with the tide, not against the tide. This will look more natural and will allow your lure to go deeper to the bottom. If you are trolling inshore or in the passes, the bottom is full of barnacles and rocks that will hand up your lures. You don't have to have the lure on the bottom to catch grouper and you will definitely lose many lures at $20 a pop if you stay on the bottom too long. The best technique is to jerk the rod smartly while trolling a lure to get a stuttering effect similar to a spinnerbait running into an underwater rock or tree branch. The bait will stop spinning and then start again. This is usually when the fish will take the lure.

  When trolling offshore you can use a down rigger, planning device or lead weights on the line in front of the lure to get the lure deeper. The deepest commercial lures are designed to go to 30 -40 feet deep and most offshore fishing will be in deeper water than this.

  During the fall and winter months the grouper will come in closer to shore. You will be able to locate grouper in 10 to15 feet of water at times. The grouper make a migration from offshore to the passes, then into the bays and eventually back through the passes to their offshore middle grounds. You can fish for grouper all along this migration path. It is much less expensive and safer to wait until the grouper to come in closer to shore rather than going 40 miles offshore to catch them.

  Gag grouper prefer lure colors like Blue, Green, Silver and Pink. The reds seem to prefer lures with a root beer or brown coloring.

       GROUPER FISHING LURES AND TECHNIQUES

       Rubber Baits Also Work For Grouper

 Rubber Baits Fishing -   Many different rubber baits will work for catching big grouper. Artificial sardines and pinfish lures catch their share of grouper. Shrimp imitations lures are probably the best for catching grouper inshore in shallow waters, next to actual live baits. Try free lining artificial shrimp baits up tide and letting them drift past likely grouper holding structure.

          

                          Big Grouper Tips

   Grouper Tips -  When you get a big grouper strike it's very important to turn the fish around as quickly as possible especially if there are rocks or a dock nearby. Grouper will put their heads in the bottom structure and break your line off. Try holding your rod tip as close to the water as you can while fishing. This will provide you more leverage setting the hook on a big grouper. Try to apply as much upward force as possible immediately after the strike to get the fish's head turned to the surface and away from the rocky bottom or structure. Tighten up your fishing reel drag as tight as possible so the drag will not be going off during the initial fishing period. Once you get the grouper's head turned to the surface he will usually not fish as hard.

  When bottom digging offshore for grouper start out with a chum bag and chuck of frozen sardines until you locate the fish. Then you can switch off to big lead head jigs to work the bottom. Adding some flavoring or a piece of sardine or shrimp to the jug will increase your chances.

   Always check on the latest fishing regulations when targeting Grouper. Grouper is highly protected in some areas. go the fishing regulations for the latest information.

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