Skip to main content
Home Northeast General Fishing & The Outdoors

Finally, A Legal Gag Grouper

Sea-SquatchSea-Squatch Senior MemberNeptune BeachPosts: 2,109 Captain
A buddy asked me and my son to go offshore sheepshead fishing w/ him. We did find some, but small legal sheeps. While sheepshead fishing, we kept talking about grouper. My buddy felt he had an area that might hold some grouper, so we ran a little farther offshore. We had a well full of live pogies that we netted that morning. My son dropped down first and got rocked up. While he and my buddy were trying to get him unsnagged, I quietly dropped down, got insta bit, and pulled up this 24.5" fish...



We were all pumped. My son caught a barely short gag, and we had numerous other break offs too. We ended up putting 3 nice seabass on ice, played around w/ nice sized snaps, and some spanish macks. The ride in was nice.

Here's our cleaning table at the end of the day...



We've had some great Fall fishing so far!

Replies

  • Crkr23Crkr23 MelrosePosts: 725 Officer
    That's quite an accomplishment for the east coast, congratulations.
  • BottomBumpinBottomBumpin Senior Member Jax BeachPosts: 1,927 Captain
    Very Cool! and good eats too!
  • chronicbreakchronicbreak Senior Member Posts: 1,371 Officer
    Nice fish.  Finally some cool weather…looking forward to some sheepshead fishing.
    National Marine Fisheries Service
    DESTROYING FISHERMEN AND THEIR COMMUNITIES SINCE 1976
  • Crkr23Crkr23 MelrosePosts: 725 Officer
    Have y'all tried the sheepshead ball jigs or hogball jigs for sheepshead on the east coast, I know they work well on the west coast.
  • Sea-SquatchSea-Squatch Senior Member Neptune BeachPosts: 2,109 Captain
    Crkr23 said:
    Have y'all tried the sheepshead ball jigs or hogball jigs for sheepshead on the east coast, I know they work well on the west coast.

    Yep. I bought some a few years a go, and I can't remember if we ever caught anything on them. 
  • minnowsnmonstersminnowsnmonsters Senior Member Posts: 392 Deckhand
  • cftsmokecftsmoke JacksonvillePosts: 378 Deckhand
    Very nice.  Still trying to figure out the groupers around here.
    2016 Everglades 325.
  • MtgMamaMtgMama HoweyPosts: 129 Deckhand
    edited October 2022 #9
    When you see the fuzzy caterpillars the Grouper spawn on the reefs..
  • capciofficapcioffi Senior Member Fleming IslandPosts: 846 Officer
    We used to have a great fall run of grouper here 10-12 years ago. Ben or any one else that dives may remember. We had a grouper die off (if I can say that). There was video and I had some friends that dive tell me that there were dead grouper laying around on the bottom. Some speculated that it may be a bad water mass from the BP oil rig clean up chemicals, others speculated that it may have been a body of water with no oxygen (hypoxic zone "Dead Zones"), and some said it was a cargo ship that dumped crap overboard. Whatever it was, we have not had inshore grouper fishing like we used too. You used to be able and go out and target grouper in the fall on ledges in 70-100 foot off water and get fish. They come in to spawn during the fall and early winter. If anyone has any other ideas, I would love to hear them. 
  • Sea-SquatchSea-Squatch Senior Member Neptune BeachPosts: 2,109 Captain
    capcioffi said:
    We used to have a great fall run of grouper here 10-12 years ago. Ben or any one else that dives may remember. We had a grouper die off (if I can say that). There was video and I had some friends that dive tell me that there were dead grouper laying around on the bottom. Some speculated that it may be a bad water mass from the BP oil rig clean up chemicals, others speculated that it may have been a body of water with no oxygen (hypoxic zone "Dead Zones"), and some said it was a cargo ship that dumped crap overboard. Whatever it was, we have not had inshore grouper fishing like we used too. You used to be able and go out and target grouper in the fall on ledges in 70-100 foot off water and get fish. They come in to spawn during the fall and early winter. If anyone has any other ideas, I would love to hear them. 

    Yep, I remember those days. If the FS Forum archive went back that far, I'd have a lot of posts w/ pics of me and crew holding nearshore gags. I also remember hearing those same stories from divers about the grouper die off. I was talking about those days on the trip above, and that's what made us switch to grouper fishing.
  • dontezumadontezuma Member Posts: 341 Deckhand
    @Sea-Squatch - I went out of Vilano and dove the Dorothy Louise last weekend and was surprised to see a few gags and a lot of sheeps.  I guess it's a good time of year.  I'm interested to get back out there on some of the nice ledges out of Mayport and see what's happening.  

Sign In or Register to comment.
Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

Preview This Month's Issue

Buy Digital Single Issues

Don't miss an issue.
Buy single digital issue for your phone or tablet.

Buy Single Digital Issue on the Florida Sportsman App

Other Magazines

See All Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Get the top Florida Sportsman stories delivered right to your inbox.

Advertisement

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Florida Sportsman subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now