3 grouper fishing tips to remember

“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 Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb

Andy Whitcomb is a columnist, outdoor humorist, and stressed-out Dad. He says there are “people who fish”… and there are “fishermen”.  One of the few things he knows is that he is a “fisherman”...  To the point it could be classified as borderline illness.  Sharing this obsession is rewarding, therapeutic. He likes to encourage people to “stop and smell the crappie."  Enjoys catching fish, but gets a greater thrill out of helping someone else hook up.
Born in Florida, but raised on the banks of Oklahoma farm ponds. Now relocated to western Pennsylvania. He has fished, worked, lived all around the US.  He has a B.S. in Zoology from Oklahoma State as well...
And he met his wife while electrofishing. He has been contributing weekly to www.takemefishing.org since 2011.