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Grouper Bite Picking up in my Area

Got a chance to get out there yesterday and try my new reels out. It was foggy as heck and the waves were pushing me off my spot but the bite has definitely picked up a little out there with the warmer weather moving in.

Pulled up yesterday and dropped down and within 10 minutes had this nice 25 inch red on the rod. He fought like hell, I think cause the water is cooler they are a little more spunky than usual. He is the biggest one I have got in about month.

If it wasn't for the waves blowing me off the spot all day I think we could have got a lot more big ones. We were only out there for about 4 hours and got 3 keepers, a 4th which probably would have made it, I got him to barely bump 20 inches but I let him go cause the FWC are **** about how they measure them :blowkiss

Thanks for reading just wanted to share.



  • Jim311Jim311 Posts: 4,961 Captain
    Nice fish. About how deep did you find him?
  • NaplesOffshoreNaplesOffshore Posts: 284 Officer
    He was in about 51.5 ft. Which is a little different than the last month they have been in 54-58 ft.

    He was roaming off the structure about 50-70 yards this is why I think they are moving back in a little. Its better for me when they come in a little shallower cause the structure is tighter and it is easier to get right on top of them. When they are out a little deeper it seems like they are spread out more so it takes more time.

    It was still a strange bite yesterday though, they would not hit my jig unless i jerked it off the bottom. I would let it down, jerk real hard once and usually they were there after that.

    Im looking for that 30 incher :) My biggest so far is about 27.5 inches.
  • jcanracerjcanracer Posts: 4,343 Moderator
    Did you get it on one of the new Penn spinners? If so, take a picture with the reel in the frame next time!
    Hobie Kayak angler for life!
  • NaplesOffshoreNaplesOffshore Posts: 284 Officer
    Yes sir! :) Got him on the conflict 5k spinner with 40# power pro and 60# pink yozuri fluorocarbon leader. All artificial too no live bait :) Which I was happy about cause when I got home and put it next to my V 6500 and battle 6k it looked a little small. I am glad it handled it well cause I would much rather have the lighter reel if it will do the work.

    I didn't even think about getting the reel in there but I think thats a great idea. I will start getting the reel in the picture for sure.

    Thanks for the heads up!
  • Jim311Jim311 Posts: 4,961 Captain
    What kind of jigs do you like? I just bought some butterfly jigs to hopefully find some grouper on soon.
  • NaplesOffshoreNaplesOffshore Posts: 284 Officer
    I just use something like this, its the cheapest 2 ox jig they have at bass pro :)


    A Captain I know out of Marco Joe Cacaro with Unreel swears by buck tail jigs, I would use them more if it wasn't for cost. He makes his own so its a little less pricey for him, these work great by making the bait look bigger than it is to the fish, here is a sample of his:


    Like I said he swears by those and he is a really good grouper fisherman, I don't think I've ever seen him go out and not come back with 9-12 keepers.

    Honestly though with grouper I think its more about getting over top of them than anything else. That and most people don't know when they have a big one on. The big ones barely bite, and if you don't set the hook on them right away they will spit it out. That may be because I use mostly artificial though. When you put your jig down there you have to check right away to see if you have line tension, if you feel anything at all you have to set the hook right away or they will spit it and run. 9/10 they will hit it on the fall or after a jerk off the bottom. So they almost always bite when you have slack in your line. This is the biggest key I think when it comes to catching keepers, knowing they are on there is half the battle. Its not like bass fishing where you wait for them to take it, if you feel anything set the hook right away. Its just a short fast stroke to pop the hook through their hard mouth. Then raise your rod tip as high as you can while cranking as hard as you can.

    So biggest thing is finding them, next is trying to stay on top of them and last is knowing when you have a bite. Also if you let one get in the hole and puff up and you can't get him out of there it usually ruins that spot for a little bit, all the other big ones will get lockjaw. So if this happens its best to check out nearby close spot and then come back to the hole your on.

    Another good trick is when you get one on and you know he is a decent size but maybe not quite a keeper, you usually know right away if its a keeper or not cause you can't turn your reel :) If you get one like that hook him and then raise him about 2 feet off the bottom and let him swim around for a couple minutes. This is when they really start going crazy cause he is spitting up all the squid and crab he has been eating. This will bring the other ones out of their hole to feed on what he is spitting up. I always start catching big grouper in high numbers when a big ol fatty spits up a really stinky piece squid, when that happens you better have a couple more jigs down there cause everyone is gonna have a keeper on at once. Then all you have to worry about is keeping your lines from wrapping on everyone :)

    Hope this helps.

    Here is that combo I caught it on since I didn't get it in the pic :)

  • Jim311Jim311 Posts: 4,961 Captain
    My jigging reel is similar. A 6000 Conflict on an Ugly Stick.
  • NaplesOffshoreNaplesOffshore Posts: 284 Officer
    man I love that ugly stick tigerlite. I have heard good things about Star rods and I want to try them, its just hard spending 2x the money when I know I like that one so much.
  • PilchardPilchard Posts: 1,373 Officer
    Spend the extra money on a quality jig head. Or wait until you lose one nice fish because your hook has been straightened. Quality terminal tackle is well worth the extra few bucks.
  • NaplesOffshoreNaplesOffshore Posts: 284 Officer
    I mean their the cheaper hooks but they are still not that cheap. They are still 8 bucks for 5 of them.

    Are you talking about the ones that are 6-8 bucks each? I have used those but I don't see a huge difference. I doubt he would straighten my hook with my drag set but I guess its something to think about. Ive wacked 8 or 10 with the same hook and never had a problem so far. Been hooked on the bottom and haven't been able to break one.

    Honestly the only downside to those near the head the neck is fatter, so the plastic doesn't stay up to the top that great. I normally use Kalin jigs but they don't make a 2 ounce. These are reasonably priced and the paint lasts longer.

    I get your point, but in all honesty I doubt my hook would get straightened with the drag set correctly.

    I do believe in proper line though, as you can see, that yozuri leader is not cheap. A little over a buck a yard i believe.
  • NaplesOffshoreNaplesOffshore Posts: 284 Officer
    Just looked it up, those 2 ounce are the offshore angler 2 oz jig head with 6/0 hook. $4.69 per 5 of them.


    when I can use a 1.5 ounce I move to these:


    I really like the neon green


    If you look at the reviews on the offshore angler jigs they get really good reviews, its not always the most expensive that work the best.
  • PilchardPilchard Posts: 1,373 Officer
    You may not encounter a problem with your drag set loosely. That said, a loose drag will also lead to lost fish when bottom fishing... Especially quality fish.

    A lot of it has to do with hook penetration. If you hit bone on a 15lb gag and the hook doesn't fully penetrate, you will straighten that light wire/lesser quality hook.

    Check out "hook up" brand jig heads. They are fairly priced and of the quality you can depend on.
  • NaplesOffshoreNaplesOffshore Posts: 284 Officer
    Im always up for checking out something new. I also checked their pricing and it doesn't seem bad at all. I just don't think paying 6-8 bucks a jig for those buccaneers is worth it.

    Looks like the hook-up jigs are about 10 bucks for 3 of them which is reasonable and something I would buy.

    Where do you get yours at? I am looking on the site and it says they make jigs up to 6 oz but the biggest I can find in the xl series tab is 1.5?

  • PilchardPilchard Posts: 1,373 Officer
    Bass pro has a nice selection.
  • NaplesOffshoreNaplesOffshore Posts: 284 Officer
    I will have to check it out a little better, I didn't see them before. Maybe I'm looking in the wrong spot.
  • NaplesOffshoreNaplesOffshore Posts: 284 Officer
    bumping this thread cause I'm going out tomorrow and I got some hook up jigs at bass pro today.

    Still the biggest I could find is 1.5 oz but that will be ok tomorrow cause it should be like a pond out there. I got a few of the buck tails and the plain old jig heads (i like plain the best but figured what the heck).

    Still very disappointed its so hard to find a plain 2-2.5 oz jig head anywhere. Makes me wanna throw a website up and start selling some lol. I don't know what it takes to get just a plain old 2.5 oz jig head but seems like only buccaneer has them at bass pro and I have to say I've tried those and unfortunately the grouper hate them.

    Also I noticed the hook up jigs have an extremely short shank, I am a little worried because sometimes the grouper like to sneak up from the back and I wonder if I will miss any fish due to the short shank. I could be overthinking it and will report back tomorrow about how they performed. I will say you can tell the hook is a bit more stout and i like the eyes on the pearl colored buck tail i got. look like stickers instead of paint so they may last longer.

    We shall see.
  • NaplesOffshoreNaplesOffshore Posts: 284 Officer
    Here are some pics:



  • FlatsFrenzyFlatsFrenzy Posts: 893 Officer
    I love catching red grouper on my Star Aerial with the Penn Battle 6000.

    They put a nice deep bend in the rod.
    Gulf Coast of FL
    @flatsfrenzy #flyonly #onelessspinrod
  • NaplesOffshoreNaplesOffshore Posts: 284 Officer
    Well today was a little slow but the bite was still there. I ended up liking the hook up jigs but I gotta be honest they did not out perform the Kalin Jigs. The short shank on the hook up jig did give me a problem twice, lost all my jerk shad except for an inch.

    Wish they would make those with a longer shank.

    Few pics from the day:




    Anybody know what kind of shark that is ^^^

    My son also hooked in to about a 50 lb king with his grouper jig. He fought it well for about 10 minutes. Right as I reached over to grab it it cut the line. I felt really bad he did everything right.
  • PilchardPilchard Posts: 1,373 Officer
    Nice work. I heard that Mustad will be making jig heads in the near future. Very anxious to see how they look.
  • NaplesOffshoreNaplesOffshore Posts: 284 Officer
    Pilchard wrote: »
    Nice work. I heard that Mustad will be making jig heads in the near future. Very anxious to see how they look.

    For sure, we should let them know to make us a long shank and have plenty of 2-2.8 oz :)
  • PilchardPilchard Posts: 1,373 Officer
    I will mention it and see what they have in the works. I fish inshore mostly and was concerned with smaller sizes but I know they are going to do some bigger stuff too. I will let you know what I find out.
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