What Does Grouper Fishing Involve?

January 25, 2020

Grouper are one of the most common game fish off the coast of Florida, present in both deep and shallow waters. Fishers love grouper because they not only taste good, but they put up just enough fight to make the catch exciting. Are you interested in learning how to fish for grouper in Sarasota, FL? Read on, and then book a grouper fishing expedition with Charter Boat Shark.

Where to find grouper

Grouper typically live close to the bottom of the ocean, usually around some sort of structure like a coral reef or a shipwreck—so if you’re looking for them, it’s smart to map out locations of reefs and wrecks first. Typically, adult grouper will live at depths of 60 feet or more, while younger grouper will live in shallower waters. When fishing for grouper from a boat, you’ll use a line that can reach near the bottom of the water.

How to catch grouper

To catch grouper, you’ll use a bottom tackle rig. Typically, this will be heavier than you might use for other fish, because grouper are quite large—they regularly reach weights of hundreds of pounds. While they don’t have a lot of stamina, they will dive back into their shelter or hole, which often results in snapped lines. The heavier the grouper you’re targeting, the stronger your tackle will need to be. We suggest braided line (it has no stretch) and a reel with quality drag and stopping power.

When choosing lures, you might choose jerkbaits to wave erratically, or, in deeper water, metal jigs or deep diving plugs.

Grouper bait includes lures, live bait and dead bait. Live fish, squid and crustaceans work best, but you can use cut dead bait or simply a lure if you wish. It’s often easiest to catch smaller fish, hook them on a line with a lure and send them down to the ocean floor. Since their mouths are quite large, there’s no need to worry about whether the fish you choose will be too big. They will, however, engulf the fish rather than biting it, so it’s important to bridle your bait. That will help the hook set into the grouper mouth and reduce the risk of it pulling out when the fish starts to put up a fight.

Don’t be surprised or give up if your grouper snaps the line—these fish are big and strong, and will attempt to get back inside their shelter for safety. Many fishers come across dead grouper still attached to snapped lines. Just bait your hook and try again.

Grouper fishing in Sarasota, FL

Charter Boat Shark provides fishers of all ages and skill levels a one-of-a-kind fishing experience. We’ll take you out on one of our twin 41-foot charter boats with our Coast Guard-licensed captains, so you’ll have a fish story to tell for years to come. Sail out into the Gulf of Mexico and take advantage of our boats’ advanced fish-finding technology—call us today to schedule your fishing trip.

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