Sunday, January 11, 2009

Grouper Fishing In Florida

The famous grouper fish, they are tough fish that can be found all around Florida, from inshore to offshore there are plenty. They are great to eat, in many restaurants you will see them on the menu, the most popular is the grouper sandwich. If you are a bottom fisherman than you know that is where mostly all of the big grouper are. Grouper fishing in Florida is very popular, they can be found around rocks, ship wrecks, any type of obstruction, very similar to the snapper fish family. There are many types of grouper fish out there, I will go over the well known types of grouper that records are kept for.

Gag Grouper – The biggest one ever caught is 80 pounds, they can be found all around Florida in 30 feet of water or more.

Black Grouper – The all tackle record for these are 114 pounds, they can be found in the same places as the gag grouper can be found.

Red Hind – These are a smaller type of grouper, the biggest one caught is only 6 pounds, and they can also be found in deep waters from 70 feet and deeper, you can find them in all parts of Florida except the Northern gulf coast of Florida.

Nassau Grouper – The record for the Nassau grouper is 38 pounds, and they can be found in shallow waters that are under 100 foot deep all around Florida.

Yellowfin Grouper – Yellow fin grouper can be found in southern Florida all year round, the biggest catch is at 41 pounds.

Jewfish – these are the monsters of the bottom fish, you will have to be in pretty deep waters to nail one of these. The all tackle record for the jewfish is 680 pounds.

Grouper can be found just about everywhere in Florida, as I said they love obstructions, and they can be fished for to about 60 miles out. If you have a fish finder then this will greatly increase your chances of catching some grouper. Once you locate the fishing hole, shipwreck, or reef where you think there might be some grouper, put some frozen chum in the water. You must first anchor the boat though of course. This will get the grouper out of there hole and moving around looking for some food. You will want to use some heavy tackle when bottom fishing for grouper, it will mainly depend on how deep the water is you are in. For instance, if you are fishing for grouper in 200 feet of water, you might want to use and electric fishing reel, it could get very tiring reeling up a bunch of heavy grouper at this depth manually. Grouper are not the pickiest eaters, there are many types of bait you can use for them whether it be frozen or live. Bluerunners, pinfish, small snapper, bonito, ladyfish, ballyhoo, shrimp, all make great bait for catching grouper fish. Make sure that you have enough weight on the leader to make it to the bottom where the grouper are, be patient and wait until you feel a strong continuous tug on the line, then you must set the hook hard. If you do not set the hook in time, the fish will get you caught up in either his hole, or break off the line in some rocks. When you have one hooked, lift the rod up high, then lower the rod while reeling in, repeat this process until you have landed the grouper fish.

There is no closed season for grouper with the exception of jewfish and Nassau grouper. The daily bag limit per boat for grouper is 5, and they must be a minimum size of 20 inches, there is no maximum size regulation for them.

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