A Complete Guide to Grouper Fishing
Grouper are quite a popular fish. They live in the reefs. When the grouper is hooked, it rushes to the favorite hole. This fish does not have a lot of stamina, but you still need to remain focused when you are grouper fishing. Heavy amount of tackle is required because of the great amount of drag needed to keep the grouper away from the reef. Grouper tend to feed on other reef fish. There are various species of grouper present all around the world. Grouper fishing needs a significant amount of skill and strategy so we will just look into some guidelines that can help you in this regard.
Understanding the grouper tackle
Now the tackle primarily depends on the size of the grouper that you plan to fish. Equivalent sized fish do not require a heavy tackle, but if your objective is to catch heavy fish then you would require a heavier tackle. Let us assume that you plan to catch the grouper that is heavier than 50 lbs and there are many rocks in the area as well. For this scenario, no tackle can be considered as being too heavy. Braided line works well in this scenario because of its prime quality that is no stretch. For such a situation you would need a very powerful reel as well that has immense stopping power.
Approaches to grouper fishing
There are three main approaches when you are planning to fish grouper.
- Straight bottom fishing
- Freelining live bait
- Slow trolling
Straight Bottom fishing
For this method, you would need a good rod and a good reel as well. You would also require a fifty-pound test monofilament line. The advantage of such a line is that you can easily catch any grouper with ease. The terminal tackle would be consisting of a hook, leader, and sinker. You can arrange the hook by the fish finder method as it is the most popular method amongst anglers. Freelining live bait is also a popular method and is discussed in detail in grouper fishing techniques.
Slow trolling has about two variations to it. The angler can opt for magnum diving plugs. They can easily go deep into the water. The second variation is to make use of Monel wireline having the trolling weight and the trolling feather as well. Strip baits can easily be attached to the trolling feather having a double hook. A 6 foot leader can be tied easily to trolling weight weighing about one pound. The weight is eventually tied to wire line. This technique requires a rod that has case hardened roller guides, and the roller tip is needed when fishing with the wire line. Heavy tackle is required as well. Anglers tend to move around the reef edges and wait for the strike. The moment the strike occurs the boat has to be moved away from the reef for dragging the fish out of the hole.
Grouper Fishing techniques
The technique is also a very important aspect when you are catching grouper. There are various ways to catch the grouper. You can make use of lures, dead bait and even live bait. The best way to fish grouper is by making use of large live bait.
Catching grouper on lures
When you have decided to fish in the shallower reefs, then the best approach would be to cast jerk baits and retrieve the jerk baits in an erratic way pausing frequently. When you are grouper fishing in deeper waters, they can be caught with ease on the metal jigs.
Baits for grouper
As suggested above you can make use of big live bait when you are catching grouper, but you can also make use of other reef fish provided it is legal. You can just place a hook in the reef fish and drop it in the water.
How to fish the bait
Following tips to be followed:
- There is a technique in the fishing bait as well. You need to make sure that you fish the bait to the bottom.
- Your line should remain straight, but make it a point to leave weight on the line at the bottom.
- You should follow this approach regardless of the fact whether you are fishing dead or live bait.
- Grouper resides in the bottom water so when you will be able to keep your bait right at the bottom it would be right in front of the grouper’s face and the fish would be able to eat the bait.
- Once the fish starts to take the bait make sure that you do not jerk your rod.
- You need to reel fast so that you can easily be able to set the hook and can start taking up the slack.
- Once grouper hooks up successfully and the rod also appears to be bowed at this point, you should make use of the rod for lifting the fish out from the hole.
- When the fish is about 20 feet out of the water, you should make it a point not to lift the grouper using the rod.
- You need to switch to steady reeling rather than lifting.
- The reason is that when you are catching a big grouper it will make a lot of attempts to set itself free and go back to the bottom.
- If you lift the rod, there is a possibility that you might end up tearing the fish.
Gaff the grouper
It is always preferable to gaff the grouper in the mouth. This can be considered as the best place to gaff the grouper. This way you would not lose the fish, and you would not end up damaging the meat as well.
An understanding of the basic concepts mentioned above would make grouper fishing a better experience. You would be able to refine yourself as an angler with the passage of time once you have the basic concept and understanding about grouper related fishing. Make sure that you make good use of the guidelines mentioned above to take your fishing skills to another level.