Disclosure: We may earn commissions if you purchase products after clicking on a link from our site.

Do you want to catch grouper? Would you like to learn how to catch grouper? Grouper fishing can be challenging if you don’t have the knowledge, skills, and right equipment to fish for this fish. They are bottom feeders and can be found around structures like reefs, wrecks, ledges, bridges, and navigational markers. In this article, we discuss the skills, techniques, tips, and equipment needed to catch more groupers.

How To Catch Grouper
How To Catch Grouper

How To Catch Grouper

There are a number of techniques that can be used to catch grouper from the boat. They are bottom fishing and trolling.

1. Bottom Fishing

Groupers are bottom feeders and when you are fishing for them in a boat, you must get your bait down to the bottom. First, you have to locate structures like coral reefs, jetties, wrecks, ledges, bridges, docks, rocks, and markers.

One technique anglers use to attract groupers to the area they are in is chumming. They drop the bait into the water to get the attention of fish and they send it down their line. When fishing from a boat, set the boat up the tide of the area you will fish for grouper. When the bait is dropped, it will naturally float back to the structure and the fish.

Let your line hit the bottom of the ocean floor using a weight or sinker. Then get your bait off the ocean floor so it is suspended by cranking the reel. When the grouper bites, keep the line tight and reel in quickly. Don’t yank the rod as it will pull the bait out of the mouth of the grouper. Instead, reel quickly to drive the hook in.

Sometimes when you have the grouper hooked, it will make a run for rock, hole, or reef to break the line. Don’t break the line or let it break the line. Instead, give it a loose line for a period of time like 30 minutes to let it relax and maybe swim out from under the structure. Groupers don’t have a lot of stamina. Just be patient and give it some time with a slackline.

2. Trolling

Trolling is another method for grouper fishing. With trolling you move the boat at a steady speed in the range of 3 to 7 knots. As you move, you can find structures that groupers are sitting in waiting to ambush baitfish like reefs, underwater cliffs, jetties, rocks, wrecks, and ledges. Drop your bait into the structures to bite. When you get bites, keep the line tight and reel in quickly.

Tricks For Grouper Fishing
Tricks For Grouper Fishing

How To Catch Grouper From Shore

When fishing for grouper from the shore, look for structures like docks, bridges, wrecks, rocks, navigational markers, etc. Groupers like structures and there is a good chance that they will be around these structures. Attach your bait to your line and try to get bites.

You can match the hatch for the shoreline and use bait that is commonly used in that area. Shrimps, pinfish, herring, squid, sardines, and mullet are some of the bait you can use. When you get a bite, don’t yank the rod. Keep the line tight and quickly reel it in.

How To Catch Grouper In The Gulf

You can fish for grouper in the gulf by using bottom fishing or trolling.

1. Bottom Fishing

With bottom fishing, you drop your bait to the bottom and then get it off the bottom so it is suspended by cranking the reel. When a fish bites the line, keep it tight and reel in quickly. Don’t yank the fishing rod the way it is done when fishing for bass. This will pull the bait out of the fish’s mouth.

You will encounter a scenario when the grouper is hooked that it will run for its favorite hole or wreck to break the line. Loosen the line and give the fish some time. Groupers don’t have a lot of stamina. After calming down and with a slack line, it might just swim from the hole or wreck.

Tips For Grouper Fishing
Tips For Grouper Fishing

2. Trolling

Trolling is another method of fishing for grouper with a boat. Move the boat at a steady speed of around 3 to 7 knots. When you locate structures like coral reefs, rocks, jetties, and ledges, drop your line in or around the structures with the bait. When a fish bites, maintain a tight line and reel it in quickly. Diving plugs are often used when trolling.

Grouper Tackle

Groupers grow to be very large and are hard-fighting fish when it is hooked. You need heavy tackle to pull them from the structure and turn them very early in the battle. Heavy conventional rods and reels as well as heavy spinning tackle will get the job done. Conventional rods provide more cranking power and allow you to put more pressure on it. A rod that is about 6 to 7 feet and can carry a 50-100 pound test line will work.

Tips For Fishing Grouper
Tips For Fishing Grouper

How To Catch Grouper In Florida

Grouper can be found near reefs, wrecks, bridges, docks, mangroves, rocky areas, flat bottoms, and other underwater structures. They feed on crabs, squid, bridge pilings, octopus, mullet, bonito, and baitfish such as pinfish, threadfins, and sardines.

Lures such as scented jigs also work well when fishing for grouper. Bottom fishing, trolling, chumming, drift fishing, vertical jigging, and trolling are fishing methods used to catch grouper

Once you find an area you want to fish for grouper, anchor up current to drift a live bait near their holes with the tide. If you are using lures, anchor down current to cast lures. If you use jigs, get it to the bottom or bounce it off the bottom.

Best Bait For Grouper

1. Squirrel Fish

Squirrel fish or Sand perch is a good bait for grouper.

2. Grunts

Grunts, shrimp, crab, pinfish, squid, and pilchards are all excellent baits for catching grouper. You can’t go wrong with them.

3. Sardines

Sardines or pilchards is a very good bait for catching grouper.

4. Ballyhoo

Ballyhoo is a good bait for grouper and snapper.

5. Blue Runners

Blue Runner is a good bait for grouper, amberjack, and sailfish.

6. Herring

Threadfin and pinfish are good baits for grouper.

7. Shrimp

Shrimps, crabs, and squid are good bait anglers usually use to catch grouper.

8. Pinfish

Pinfish is one of the best baits to catch grouper.

9. Mullet

Anglers use cut mullet as bait when fishing for grouper.

10. Squid

Squid is one of the popular baits used by anglers to catch fish including grouper. It is usually cut into pieces and used as bait.

11. Mackerel

Mackerel, squid, and sardines are some of the best baits used to catch grouper.

12. Cigar Minnows

Cigar minnows, pogies, and threadfin herring are bait anglers use to catch grouper.

Ideas For Grouper Fishing
Ideas For Grouper Fishing

Best Lures For Grouper

1. Jigs

Jigs can be effective in attracting grouper, especially those designed for grouper fishing.

2. Plugs

Plugs are used when trolling for grouper.

3. Rigs

RIgs are also used to catch grouper.

Grouper Fishing
Grouper Fishing

Grouper Fishing Tips

1. Groupers are bottom feeders.

2. Look for groupers around structures like wrecks, coral reefs, ledges, bridges, docks, jetties, and markers.

3. Groupes can also be caught in the inshore waters.

4. Lures can be used to catch grouper.

5. When using circle hooks to set the hook, keep the rod tip low and wait for a steady pull then quickly reel while slowly raising the rod tip.

Grouper Fishing Tricks
Grouper Fishing Tricks

6. You can also catch groupers with jigs.

7. You can vertically jig butterfly jigs to catch groupers in deeper waters.

8. You can use both spinning and conventional tackle when fishing for grouper.

9. The Carolina rig is the choice of many anglers when grouper fishing.

10. A grouper is often hesitant to chase live bait in cold water.

Grouper Fishing Tips
Grouper Fishing Tips

11. Grouper can be found closer to the shore in cold water. They will move out to deeper waters in warm and very cold weather.

12. Grouper must be turned very early in the battle when it is hooked as it will dive into holes and other areas, cutting the angler off.

13. Use the lightest sinker and smallest hook that will get the job done.

14. Circle hooks are the choice of many anglers fishing for groupers.

15. Trolling can help you find structures that hold groupers.

Grouper Fishing Ideas
Grouper Fishing Ideas

16. When fishing for grouper in a boat, position the boat up tide of the structure you will fish for grouper. So, when the bait is lowered, it will float back to the structure and fish.

17. You can also use chumming to fish for groupers when in a boat.

18. The deeper the water, the farther up-current the boat should be positioned.

19. Most of the groupers are caught on natural bait.

20. You can use metal jigs to fish for grouper in deeper waters.

21. Go 30 to 85 miles offshore for the best groupers.

Grouper Fishing For Beginners
Grouper Fishing For Beginners

22. Grouper will swim with the current towards your bait.

23. Ask the local fishing shop folks about the best chum for groupers in that area.

24. Set the hook through the baitfish’s throat when bottom fishing for groupers.

25. Let your bait be suspended off the ocean floor by cranking the reel.

26. When a grouper bites, keep the line tight and reel in.

Fishing Grouper
Fishing Grouper

27. When trolling for grouper, move the boat at a steady speed like 3 to 7 knots.

28. Frozen bait, like sardines or squid, can be used to catch grouper when the water is cold.

29. Bottom fishing with a heavy rod and reel is one of the most popular ways of catching grouper.

30. A heavy-duty rod that will give you more cranking power will work for catching groupers.

Fishing Grouper Tips
Fishing Grouper Tips

What is the best bait to catch grouper?
Some of the best bait for grouper are shrimps, herring, pinfish, mullet, squid, squirrel fish, and sardines.
How deep do you fish for grouper?
Groupers are bottom feeders and you can find them to depths more than 170 feet.
Are grouper easy to catch?
It is not very difficult to catch groupers although it is not a walk in the park. Groupers grow to be very large and are hard<br /> fighting when hooked. With the knowledge, skills, techniques, and equipment, you can be successful in catching groupers.
How do you target a grouper?
Use pinfish, shrimps, grunts, mullets, and squid to target groupers.
What kind of rod do you use for grouper?
You can use a heavy conventional rod or a heavy spinning tackle to catch groupers.
Where is the best place to catch grouper?
Groupers like structures and fishing for them around structures like coral reefs, jetties, rocks, docks, bridges, wrecks, ledges, and navigational markers are the best places to catch grouper.
How far offshore do you have to go to catch grouper?
You can go 30 to 85 miles offshore to catch the grouper.

The Bottom Line

Groupers are a favorite for many anglers that can be found in tropical and subtropical waters. There are many types of groupers such as the black grouper, the gag grouper, the scamp, the yellowmouth, and the Nassau grouper. Groupers grow very large and are hard fighting when hooked.

In this article, we discussed the fishing techniques and tips you can use to increase your chances of catching for groupers. If you are interested in catching other fish like surfperch, tarpon, rock hind, gag grouper, black grouper, and halibut, then read how to catch surfperch, how to catch tarpon, how to catch rock hind, how to catch gag grouper, how to catch black grouper, and how to catch halibut.