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Fishfinder or knocker rig for grouper?

Muskee50Muskee50 Posts: 290 Deckhand
I just picked up my new rod today and I am at the point where I must decide which rig to put on it for grouper bottom fishing. I will be fishing this rig off a party boat. When I went out last time I used the rods that were on the boat and they were set up with fish finder rigs. I have been reading a lot about bottom rigs for grouper and found that the knocker rigs seem to be very popular. What rig works better and why? If I decide to go with the knocker rig, do I use a swivel to attach the floro leader to the mono main line or should I use a double uni or some other knot to join the leader to the mono main line? Thanks for your thoughts.



  • farside88farside88 Posts: 495 Deckhand
    Personally I like the fishfinder better. I think the weight messes with the fish on a knocker rig. I also want the fish to have a second to eat the bait without feeling the weight, a fishfinder rig allows for this. Although, you can do this with a knocker rig if you know how.
    How I just rigged by bottom rods: 40lb mainline (multi purpose rods, but I've never had a problem in most situations). Uni to Uni knot to connect the 60lb leader. 4" under the knot I put my weight on, then wrap the line through the weight 3 more times to lock it into place. Tie on the hook about 5' away from the weight. I prefer floro but sometimes I use mono.
    Some tips.
    1) Go with 60lb test leader. Everyone using boat rods will have 80lb test. The 60lb is a little stealthier and I've found produces more bites.
    2) If you have a spinning rod or a lighter rod, bring it. Rig up a double hook rig with smaller hooks, with just a light weight as a knocker rig (maybe 1/2-1oz of weight) A small jighead works too. Get the back of the boat, or get the spot on the corner next to the back of the boat. Flip the bait out and let it fall on a slack line. Open the bail and raise the rod quickly and lower it quickly so it causes slack, do that about 6-7 times, then grab the slack with your free hand and feel the bait as it falls. You never want tension on the line. As you hold the line, you'll feel the fish start to tap it, reel in the slack and set the hook. Best way to get some snapper. You can use your grouper rig without the weight to do this too. Lots of time the biggest grouper on the boat, and the most on the boat are caught this way. It takes forever for the bait to reach bottom sometimes, but its definitely worth a try.
    3) If you can bring a bait to catch live bait, that helps too. A spanish sardine with a snipped tail is always a good bait, or a small butterflied grunt.
  • Turner River TerrorTurner River Terror Posts: 9,028 Admiral
    Get to keep your Sinker with a fish Finder rig if you get a break off too....
    Killin and Grillin :grin
  • mdiaczykmdiaczyk Posts: 135 Officer
    circle hook jighead to put shrimp or pilchirds on when fishing a lighter spinning rod. Otherwise I like a fish finder rig. When you are offshore fishing keep a flatline out too for extra fun may a piece of wire.
  • XafXaf Posts: 1,116 Officer
    Muskee50, I prefer the fish finder rig over the knocker in most cases, weight sliding on main line above the swivel, 60 lb leader in most cases. If I do use a knocker it is usually with lighter line, 30 - 40 lb test. I tie the fluoro leader directly to the main line without a swivel. Uni-to-uni works, I prefer a surgeons or FG knot.

    Farside88, why lock the sinker in place? Defeats the purpose of a fish finder rig or knocker. I would also be concerned about the strain put on the line at the sinker if you hook into a big grouper.
  • farside88farside88 Posts: 495 Deckhand
    In many instances haveing a locked sinker is a benefit, and keeps the lead from rubbing the line.
    I have never had a problem with looping the line on big fish. I use the same rig on Goliath Grouper on occasion.
  • reel stamasreel stamas Posts: 6,153 Admiral
    I tried a knocker rig once for ~30 min. on a RS trip... Everyone on my boat caught RS but me... I never got a bite until I changed to FF... Learned my lesson...
    There should be NO Commercial Fishing for any fish species considered 'Over-fished' , 'Undergoing Overfishing' or Subject to Recreational Seasons, Limits, or Closures... Game Fish Status IS the Answer !!!
  • Reel TealReel Teal Posts: 3,963 Captain
    I've used both. I like a hybrid of the too. I use a knot or swivel to stop the sliding egg sinkers and then 3-5ft of leader to a hook. The fish can pick it up and run without feeling tension if in freespool

    Being able to detect the strikes in freespool will help the effectiveness of both. Keeping the sinker still is the key.

    Sent from my SM-G930V using Tapatalk
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