FLCoyote wrote: »
The only grouper that are open season before 1 July are Red Grouper and Scamp. Scamp are usually an incidental catch and aren't usually specifically targeted. My experience and humble opinion are that Red Grouper are much more prevelant on natural bottom in at least 80 feet of water. Again in my experience you need to go about 12 miles due west or Southwest out of the Panama city pass to start hitting natural bottom. My best luck has been heading Southwest about 14 miles and starting to run slowly looking for structure and fish on my bottom machine. I've also had some luck about 20 miles due West out the pass. Live bait (pinfish or grunts) seems to be best, however I've caught them on squid, cut bait, cigar minnows and artificials. The good thing about large live bait is that the snapper, triggers and bait steelers tend to leave them alone. If you use squid or cigar minnows you will be killing snapper all day. Most of the artificial reefs hold Gags and they don't open until 1 July. Summary is look for hard bottom in at least 80 feet of water and use larger live bait. This is just my advice and lots of forum member will have different and maybe better opinions. Structure doesn't have to be much, just bumps and holes often hold Red Grouper.
FLCoyote wrote: »
Scamp are usually an incidental catch and aren't usually specifically targeted.
upinthewater wrote: »
that minimal structure he mentions is something I call "fuzz" fishing and I actually use it to target primarily just SOGs. as you get off shore, and you are taking a look around, any little piece of "yellow" strokey (like straw) pieces of fuzz will surprising produce RG. Obviously not all will, but it breaks up the action and is more like a grind it out type of fishing you could try for targeting RGs. If you do try this method, the key is to is to not fish it for long. you may only catch one or two and that's it (on the small small stuff)...move on and find more fuzzz.. Good luck.
Panhandler80 wrote: »
I don't get it.
You mean fish red grouper bait on what reads as bait? Interesting.