“Grouper” is a common name given to several popular fish species. Although grouper may not belong in the same genus with their scientific names, they all belong in the sea bass family, Serranidae. While colorations vary greatly, with the relatively oversized mouth, grouper fishing somewhat resembles largemouth bass fishing.
In a few ways, fishing for grouper is similar to largemouth bass fishing. In general, these fish species relate to structure. Anglers who are grouper fishing will seek rocks, reefs, pilings, wrecks and such. They prefer to be near the bottom and although many grouper may be found in one of these areas, a grouper is more of a loner than a schooling fish so to catch them you need to master your grouper fishing tips.
1. Choose the Right Grouper Rig
A standard grouper rig usually involves grouper bait such as crabs, squid, shrimp, or fish which varies by size of the targeted fish species. Anything that can fit in that big mouth is fair game as grouper bait. For example, Red Grouper may only reach 28” but a Broomtail or Black Grouper may reach 4 feet and weigh over 100 pounds. And then there is the aptly named Goliath Grouper that can grow to over 7 feet long and weigh more than 600 pounds! I’ve watched fishing shows where anglers share grouper fishing tips and use whole, live sting rays as bait and seen video of a big brute inhaling a 3-foot shark that an angler was trying to reel in near his boat.
2. Find the Best Lures for Grouper
Grouper Fishing can also be done with lures. The best lures for grouper fishing are heavy like a large standard jig with a soft plastic trailer or a jigging spoon that drops to the bottom quickly. Again, like bass fishing that action of bottom bouncing, or jigging can trigger a reaction bite. They are also caught by trolling plugs or spinners.
3. Don't Be Afraid of Supersizing Your Tackle
When fishing in the ocean, you just never know what may be tugging on the end of your line. Grouper aren’t the hardest fighting fish but if you supersize your grouper fishing tackle and bait, some species can reach unbelievable sizes and put you and your line to the test. Saltwater fishing licenses and regulations vary in the wide range of grouper species so be sure to be prepared and enjoy the catch!
Andy is an outdoor writer (http://www.justkeepreeling.com/) and stressed-out Dad has contributed over 380 blogs to takemefishing.org since 2011. Born in Florida, but raised on banks of Oklahoma farm ponds, he now chases pike, smallmouth bass, and steelhead in Pennsylvania. After earning a B.S. in Zoology from OSU, he worked in fish hatcheries and as a fisheries research technician at OSU, Iowa State, and Michigan State.