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Do you have catching gag grouper on your bucket list as an angler? Do you want to learn how to catch gag grouper? Gag groupers are some of the most sought-after fish in the Gulf of Mexico. They are big, put up a serious fight when hooked, and are delicious. They can be found around rocks, reefs, and wrecks.
In this article, we discuss how to catch gag grouper and share information on the fishing methods often used to catch them. As well as the best baits and lures for gag grouper fishing and some tips and tricks to get them in the boat.
Table of Contents
- 1 How To Catch Gag Grouper
- 2 Gag Grouper Fishing Tackle
- 3 Best Baits For Gag Grouper
- 4 Best Lures For Gag Grouper
- 5 How To Catch Gag Grouper In The Gulf
- 6 How To Catch Gag Grouper In Tampa Bay
- 7 Gag Grouper Fishing Tips
- 8 The Bottom Line
How To Catch Gag Grouper
1. Bottom Fishing
Bottom fishing is one of the popular fishing methods to catch gag grouper. Drop your line with the bait at the bottom and wait for the gag grouper to bite. When they strike, set the hook, and reel it in very fast. be prepared for the fight that will ensue. Gag groupers are aggressive and hard fighters.
Some anglers chum using live bait to bring gag groupers from the bottom closer to the top. This is done to entice them to feed. Chumming is a fishing technique in which pieces of bait are dropped into the water to get fish into a feeding frenzy.
The key is that the baits are tiny pieces that will not fill the fish. When they are closer to you and expecting more, you then send your bait on the hook to get them.
3. Drift Fishing
Drift fishing is another method anglers use when fishing for gag grouper. Anglers use live and dead bait when drifting for gag groupers. When drifting fishing, anglers let the boat move with the water current and your bait drifts in the water. When you get a bite, take control of the line, set in the hook, and wrestle the gag grouper until you get it into the boat.
4. Night Fishing
Night fishing is another fishing method used when fishing for gag groupers. Fishing at night is more productive as fish are more active during the night. They are less cautious as there are not many predators and the hunting pressure is reduced. They feed during the night and this is one of the reasons they are more active.
Jigging is also used by anglers when fishing for gag groupers. When gag groupers are deep in the water column, anglers pull out the jigs and get the attention of groupers by jigging deep in the water column.
Trolling is also used when fishing for gag groupers. Anglers move the boat at a slow speed with the bait moving in the water at the back of the boat. When fish bites, anglers take control of the fishing line and reel in the fish.
Baitcasting is also used when fishing for gag groupers. Anglers will cast their baits into the water, usually into shallow waters from the shore, or from a boat, and retrieve the line. The cast and retrieve process is done repeatedly until you get a bite and reel in the fish.
Gag Grouper Fishing Tackle
When fishing for gag groupers, the heavy tackle will work well as they are powerful, grow to be large, aggressive, and is a hard fighter. Additionally, a reel with a drag system to handle the strength of the grouper will make fishing for gag grouper more successful. The line capacity of the reel should be about 300-400 yards of 80 lb braid.
Best Baits For Gag Grouper
Squid is one of the best baits used by anglers when fishing for gag groupers. It is a good bait for beginners to use when learning how to catch gag grouper.
Sardines is also good bait when fishing for gag grouper. It can be used frozen or unfrozen as bait when fishing for gag grouper.
Pinfish is one of the best bait used when fishing for gag grouper.
Best Lures For Gag Grouper
- Trolling Plugs
Trolling plugs such as Rapala work well fishing for gag grouper in the fall.
How To Catch Gag Grouper In The Gulf
Gag grouper is one of the most popular saltwater gamefish in the Gulf of Mexico. With large and robust fish, the Gulf of Mexico is one of the popular fishing areas for anglers. Bottom fishing, trolling, and using jigs or artificial lures are some of the fishing methods used by anglers to catch gag groupers in the Gulf of Mexico.
How To Catch Gag Grouper In Tampa Bay
Gag Grouper likes to hide near structures. Look for wrecks, ledges, or a vertical wall of a shipping channel. One of the best ways to catch gag grouper in Tampa Bay is by trolling. When trolling for gag grouper in Tampa Bay, slowly move the boat as you let the bait move at the back of the boat. Move near the structures that gag groupers hang around with your bait or lures moving around those structures.
Gag Grouper Fishing Tips
- Live bait is the best bait to get bites when fishing for gag grouper.
2. One of the popular fishing methods used by anglers when fishing for gag grouper is bottom fishing.
3. When the grouper is hooked, crank it; don’t yank as yanking will rip the hook right out of its mouth.
4. Gag grouper is often found around structures such as drop-offs, rocks, wrecks, and steep walls that are 50-60 feet deep.
5. Gag grouper is regulated by the state. Make sure that you are aware of the regulations concerning gag grouper fishing before setting out on a fishing trip for gag grouper.
6. Circle hooks are required in Florida when fishing reef fish.
7. Bottom fishing, chumming, night fishing, drift fishing, jigging, trolling, and baitcasting are some of the fishing methods used when fishing for gag grouper.
The Bottom Line
Gag grouper is a hard-fighting and aggressive fish. It is found around rocks, wrecks, ledges, drop-offs, and other structures. It is a favorite gamefish for many anglers for all of the reasons stated above and the fact that they are delicious.
In this article, we discussed how to catch gag grouper, the bait and lures anglers use, as well as the fishing methods often used. You can also read how to catch grouper, how to catch black grouper, and how to catch rock hind.