Most grouper have open seasons in the fall, this may be due to relative inactivity or migration post spawn. An already finicky fish the cooler water makes them more lethargic. Being in the correct position on a reef or rock can mean the difference between fish and an empty cooler. Good electronics can help identify the proper location and help see fish on these structure. These fish are less likely to hit trolled lures or even chase live bait. More wounded or less lively baits tend to get more bites in these circumstances. Deeper water seems to be the preferred technique for these fish, but they are still being caught in some great habitat in swhallower water.
Good hard bottom is imperative to catching good numbers of grouper. Your electronics will be paramount in determining structure and hard spots to fish. Grouper are structure oriented fish so stock up on circle hooks and other tackle before your trip. A good tip is to not break your line as soon as you feel no movement because the fish may be laying under a rock or in a hole, so if you give it line or tap the rod he may swim out of his hiding place. As with any fishing, don’t spend too much time hooked to a rock but give it a chance. The best advice is to get the fish away from the structure as quick as possible, so good strong line and leader is imperative. Weather free lining or true weighted bottom fishing always use fluorocarbon leader due to visibility of these fish. Fluorocarbon just disappears and baits look more natural. Grouper don’t have large sharp teeth to cut line so steel leaders are not recommended. You do want to feel your leader for abrasion’s as they do have multiple rows of grinding teeth.
As you can see, weather going 50 miles out or just a couple depends on your location. So do some research and find your best option to battle these tasty fish, and stock up on tackle. Try these specials.
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