grouper fishing techniques

Discussion in 'Fish Species and Techniques' started by gideon, Feb 15, 2007.

  1. gideon

    gideon Guest

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    So what is the best way to catch more grouper? My guess is bigger bait and deeper water, a lot like AJ. If so, specifically, which baits do you prefer and how deep, typically? What type of rigging?
     
  2. bpitcher

    bpitcher Senior Member

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    Deeper water is definatly the ticket. 200 or more feet. In my experience grouper will hang much closer to the bottom, as opposed to AJ's which suspend a lot. Lots of them around the deeper rigs, though as with the reef donkeys, getting them out is a different story.
     

  3. AJ hunter

    AJ hunter Guest

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    What type of grouper are you after? Gag, red grouper, and Goliath grouper (jewfish) are common from about 30 ft and deeper. Bigger is deeper for the most part in the Gulf of Mexico, however. A Carolina rig with a pinfish or a sand perch is a standard for these tasty girls (They all start out as females and later some change sex to males if there is a shortage). We get a pile on jigs such as Kalin twin tails (6") with a 6 or 8 oz leadhead. Many people also find grouper on reefs by trolling a red and white Mann's stretch 30 at less than 6 knots. Hope this helps. The weather has been keeping me out of the Gulf the past week so I am getting anxious now grouper is open again.
     
  4. I live and fish in Naples, Florida and we are blessed with shallow water all the way out to the "Middle Grounds". 30 miles off and you are in 60 to 70 feet of water. My theory is bigger bait, bigger fish. I used to use a 8 to 10 oz white bucktail jigs with a red and white head tipped with a threadfin. Now you can no longer tip the J hook jigs with live or cut bait. These would catch Grouper even as small as 10 inches or so and in 60 feet of water, there are plenty of small Grouper.

    Last week I whent fishing about 25 miles WSW of Naples with some "Jigs" I made out of a 12 inch Squid Skirt and a 8/0 circle hook. I rigged a 6 oz egg lead in the skirt head and had the circle hook about 4 or 5 inches below that. I worked it off bottom just like a jig with a threadfin and even a Gulp sardine on the hook and the Grouper where tearing them up. Best part...smallest grouper to hit the jig was 16 inches. I caught a bunch of 18 and 19 inch grouper and two keepers at 20 and 26 inches. That's pretty good for only 60 feet of water...

    [​IMG]
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  5. rparham82

    rparham82 Member

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    Kristal 651, five pounds of lead, and a big bait.:D
     

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  6. BretABaker

    BretABaker Guest

    jigs work well too.

    to be honest aside from size i have no desire to catch warsaw. theyre gonna be dead and dont taste very good IMO, esp compared to a gag or scamp.
     
  7. lordhell

    lordhell Moderator

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    I live and fish in Naples, Florida and we are blessed with shallow water all the way out to the "Middle Grounds". 30 miles off and you are in 60 to 70 feet of water. My theory is bigger bait, bigger fish. I used to use a 8 to 10 oz white bucktail jigs with a red and white head tipped with a threadfin. Now you can no longer tip the J hook jigs with live or cut bait. These would catch Grouper even as small as 10 inches or so and in 60 feet of water, there are plenty of small Grouper.

    Last week I whent fishing about 25 miles WSW of Naples with some "Jigs" I made out of a 12 inch Squid Skirt and a 8/0 circle hook. I rigged a 6 oz egg lead in the skirt head and had the circle hook about 4 or 5 inches below that. I worked it off bottom just like a jig with a threadfin and even a Gulp sardine on the hook and the Grouper where tearing them up. Best part...smallest grouper to hit the jig was 16 inches. I caught a bunch of 18 and 19 inch grouper and two keepers at 20 and 26 inches. That's pretty good for only 60 feet of water...

    Homemade cheap lucanus jigs! I like it :)
     
  8. Kristal 651, five pounds of lead, and a big bait.:D

    Yeah, you guys in LA are lucky with your fishing. Deep ass water and lots of rigs and structure. Apples and Oranges. We can catch grouper that big, but it's going to be a goliath and protected. If you get a chance to look at a topo chart...check out Naples...flat bearin sand all the way out to 120 or so miles offshore and your only in 100ft of water! Keeper Grouper are prizes down our way. You can catch 25 shorts before you get a keeper, IF you ever get one. In fact, that's what I used to do, but that bigger jig seems to have cut that ratio way down. Time will tell. They also have cut my cost for jigs way, way down...they are cheap to make for sure!! Cheap and Effective...
     
  9. ksong

    ksong SPONSOR

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    Yeah, you guys in LA are lucky with your fishing. Deep ass water and lots of rigs and structure. Apples and Oranges. We can catch grouper that big, but it's going to be a goliath and protected. If you get a chance to look at a topo chart...check out Naples...flat bearin sand all the way out to 120 or so miles offshore and your only in 100ft of water! Keeper Grouper are prizes down our way. You can catch 25 shorts before you get a keeper, IF you ever get one. In fact, that's what I used to do, but that bigger jig seems to have cut that ratio way down. Time will tell. They also have cut my cost for jigs way, way down...they are cheap to make for sure!! Cheap and Effective...
    I know it takes long run for deeper water out of Naples, but you are rewarded with nice gag/red grouper once you fish in deeper water.

    nice gag grouper on a jig on the Sea Trek out of Ft Myers, FL.

    [​IMG]

    I am going down to NC to jig grouper on Friday.
    Jigs to be tested ( hooks will be replaced with single hooks)

    [​IMG]
     
  10. d-a

    d-a Senior Member

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    Yeah, you guys in LA are lucky with your fishing. Deep ass water and lots of rigs and structure. Apples and Oranges. We can catch grouper that big, but it's going to be a goliath and protected. If you get a chance to look at a topo chart...check out Naples...flat bearin sand all the way out to 120 or so miles offshore and your only in 100ft of water! Keeper Grouper are prizes down our way. You can catch 25 shorts before you get a keeper, IF you ever get one. In fact, that's what I used to do, but that bigger jig seems to have cut that ratio way down. Time will tell. They also have cut my cost for jigs way, way down...they are cheap to make for sure!! Cheap and Effective...


    Yea but the visual structure of oil rigs allow everyone to find them therefore they get a lot more fishing pressure than the middle grounds recieve. I've fished both and prefer the middle grounds over the rigs for grouper and bottom fish.

    d-a
     
  11. I know it takes long run for deeper water out of Naples, but you are rewarded with nice gag/red grouper once you fish in deeper water.

    nice gag grouper on a jig on the Sea Trek out of Ft Myers, FL.

    [​IMG]

    I am going down to NC to jig grouper on Friday.
    Jigs to be tested ( hooks will be replaced with single hooks)

    [​IMG]


    How far out did you go, do you know?? Currently I have been limited to 20 to 25 miles or so do to fuel costs, but as I am experiancing more and more success with my fishing ( I am realitively new), more people are willing to go with me and help out with the fuel. That top Jig looks like a winner...Nice Gag. I am offshore of the West Coast of Africa and I will be working and going to school until the end of November. Then I am back at it and will concentrate going further out and getting larger grouper and snapper. My boat can handle the rougher winter weather...I can't wait to get out again.
     
  12. Yea but the visual structure of oil rigs allow everyone to find them therefore they get a lot more fishing pressure than the middle grounds recieve. I've fished both and prefer the middle grounds over the rigs for grouper and bottom fish.

    d-a
    Oh, I can immagine that. 120 plus miles for us...not for all boats...or wallets. Would love to fish it though. Probably have to do a charter for that, then again...most of those will run down to the Dry Tortugas. For us, it's actually a little closer than the middle grounds and those boats come back with some very nice fish. One of these years I am going to run my boat down to Key West to fish for a week or so. That will be awsome!!
     
  13. BretABaker

    BretABaker Guest

    fyi the top jig in the pic is a hammered diamond jig (last pic) with a CM squid on it
     
  14. d-a

    d-a Senior Member

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    Oh, I can immagine that. 120 plus miles for us...not for all boats...or wallets. Would love to fish it though. Probably have to do a charter for that, then again...most of those will run down to the Dry Tortugas. For us, it's actually a little closer than the middle grounds and those boats come back with some very nice fish. One of these years I am going to run my boat down to Key West to fish for a week or so. That will be awsome!!

    The middle grounds is not as far for me, only 75 miles to the northern end. I actually run past a lot of good fishing to get there. We can catch 30 inch gags in 30 feet of water most of the year in the panhandle.

    d-a
     
  15. The middle grounds is not as far for me, only 75 miles to the northern end. I actually run past a lot of good fishing to get there. We can catch 30 inch gags in 30 feet of water most of the year in the panhandle.

    d-a

    They do get some nice size gags and blacks down in the 10,000 islands area, actually in shore. That is a whole different world, one I have not yet explored. My boat is relegated to the offshore fishery, for the most part. That is where I have been focusing my fishing efforts to date. I think this winter I am going to try to explore more of the inshore stuff with my Brother-n-law and other friends I am making that have the smaller CC boats. Reds are heating up...Where is Keith? Off the West Coast of Africa...blows
     
  16. ksong

    ksong SPONSOR

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    good gag grouper fishing in NC today

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  17. d-a

    d-a Senior Member

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    good gag grouper fishing in NC today

    [​IMG]

    Kil you should mention that it was a commercial trip or that you had 15 guys so some guy doesnt report you to the SAFMC:eek: .

    Oh yea nice haul, all on Jigs?

    d-a
     
  18. ksong

    ksong SPONSOR

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    Yes, it was commercial fishing with 3 guys and they were mostly caught on bait. I caught three gag on jigs, but I must dropped 6 - 7 nice gag.:confused:
     
  19. Enoch

    Enoch Senior Member

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    Kil.

    Nice job. i was hauling tautog and blues while u were aced up on gags. Next time, I will do it, but I was committed to 2 other friends already.
     
  20. ksong

    ksong SPONSOR

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    I was planning to fish Cape Cod this week, but I didn't see good weather there. So instead I decided to drive down to NC for grouper as wheaher forecast was good there and it's been long time since I fished grouper in NC. I called Capt Joe and he told me to come down on Friday and he has a charter on Thursday.
    As I had to finish some work before the trip, I could leave my office after 8:00 PM on Thursday and I barely arrives at Sneads Ferry, NC just before scheduled time at 6:00 am without any rest.
    Lee, who is a professional guide for redfish, joined the trip.
    When I checked my tackles, I found I didn't bring my reels. :?
    I borrowed 80 lbs mono lines from Capt Joe and put it in a spare reel.

    The first spot is only 8 miles from the inlet in 65 feet and I was surprised pretty decent size gag grouper 8 - 15 lbs were caught there. I tried jigs for a while, but I couldn't get any hit at all though there were lots of nice groupers under the boat. I switched to bait and I landed immediately 5 nice groupers. I couldn't understand why they didn't hit my jigs though there were lots of groupers.
    But, this was not the first time that groupers ignored my jigs.:)
    Joe worked slowly toward deeper water by checking many spots he stored in his machine. You got to see how many spots he stored from almost 30 years commercial grouper fishing
    After some slow fishing around noon, we started to catch again in deeper water in 80 f - 85 ft. For some reason I don't know, grouper hit my jigs this time. But I kept losing them as mono stretched too much. I don't know how I jigged cod in 300ft - 400ft before braid line era. @( If I had my reel with braided line, I could have landed at least 6 - 8 nice groupers on jigs on the trip.
    The trip was cut short due to severe thunderstorm warning and it was a quite scary running through lightening thunder storm :)

    The grouper regulations are changed to the worse. The current regulation is 3 grouper per day per person with only one gag is allowed. And the recreational/commercial grouper fishing is closed from Jan. 1st. It is another rediculous regulations as there are so many groupers in NC and there are very few fishing pressures.