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A little grouper advice please?

Hello all. I’m coming down from Kentucky next week to help a buddy break in a new 27 ft cc. We’re going to head out to the 100 ft mark or so, and give grouper a shot. Should be a classic example of blind leading the blind. I don’t have the correct tackle. What I have are medium heavy ugly sticks and 6500 reels loaded with 20 mono. Will get some 30-40 floro for leaders Am I way under-gunned? I’ll buy a few new rigs if necessary, but that would really put a crimp in my meager bank account. Also, what’s the best bait available at local tackle shops? Thanks for any help.

Replies

  • Firetruck1Firetruck1 Posts: 141 Deckhand
    50 pound main line or better (I use braid) tied to 80 pound flour leader. Should be ok with rod and reel in that depth. 6-8oz lead and 7-0 circle hook. Squid, sardine or octopus for dead bait.... Live pin fish if their available are also good.
  • reel stamasreel stamas Posts: 6,153 Admiral
    If you wanna use those 6500s spool 'em up w/~40/50/65lb braid & fish ~10yds of 60/80lb mono topshot (attached to braid w/FG knot) & follow directions above...
    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 !!!
  • striperphilstriperphil Posts: 87 Deckhand
    Thanks. I’ll beef it up.
  • striperphilstriperphil Posts: 87 Deckhand
    Sorry, but a couple more questions. Do you guys usually anchor up, or can you slowly drift? Also, do I need to vent throwbacks?
  • Capt Dan MedinaCapt Dan Medina Posts: 819 Officer
    advice above is dead on. If your worried about hurting the bank account, 50 lb mono is fairly inexpensive.... I do prefer braid, and for a 6500 size reel I would use 65 lb braid do to its lack of stretch. dependng on current, 4-8 ounces of lead to hold bottom. For most grouper, 60-80 lb leader, 3-4 ft , 7/0-10/0 circle hook, rigged caroilna style. You can drift or anchor depending on conditions and area you are working. Fresh squid is an easy choice, or large chunks of dead bait, sardines, pinfish, squirrelfish, bonita strips, etc... as you can see from the ongoing list, the grouper will eat just about anything...

    Bite has been pretty good as long as you've got the weather to go.

    Good Luck!
    www.SaltyFishingCharters.com 33 Ft World Cat Tournament Edition Catamaran
    Offshore Fishing Charters FT Myers, Sanibel, Captiva, Cape Coral
  • oldcrackeroldcracker Posts: 35 Greenhorn
    Yes vent all throwbacks in 100'. Anchoring works if you know where y.our going or trust your bottom machine. I prefer to drift if conditions are right and I dont have a honey hole pin pointed. BUT it has to be fairly calm and you will need more weight. Braid is really a big help. I like 50 with 80 lb seaguar floro leaders.
    USCG Capt. Don Mathews
    www.steelheadschool.com
    29' Hydra-Sport Vector twin 225 Yamaha's
    21' Nitro CC inshore
    Nokomis Fl.
  • striperphilstriperphil Posts: 87 Deckhand
    Thanks for all your help. We're gonna have a hell of a time, and I think I have enough information to have a puncher's chance at success. We'll see. Looking forward to it.
  • striperphilstriperphil Posts: 87 Deckhand
    I want to thank y'all for the good advice. Turns out, I suck as a grouper wrangler. We've been out on the gulf the last three days with no keeper grouper to show for it. I did get a good outfit though, a two speed Penn that I loaded with 50 lb braid and a 60 lb top shot. Had a little trouble with the FG knot, but figured it out. Hell of a knot.

    First day we went to the box cars. Was a little overwhelmed at the distances you have to travel to reach deep water. Caught a lot of fish here, just not keepers. Several short reds, a couple of flounder, porgies, etc

    Next day we went to the ARC reef. It was alive with fish. Caught a 30 lb AJ right off the bat on a hunk of squid. A few more small reds,porgies, etc. Then my friend hooked something on a chunk of squid that was huge. He had a heavy 5/0 Penn Senator loaded with 50 braid and 60 top shot. He had this fish on for nearly a half hour and could not budge it off the bottom. The drag was very tight and he put a lot of pressure on the fish til I was sure something would bust. Still couldn't get it off the bottom. Finally the fish found something to wrap in and snapped the leader. Would love to have seen that fish.

    Then I hooked into something on a lighter 30 lb outfit and really had no chance. Also couldn't lift the fish off the bottom and it also wrapped on something. I swapped the 30 for the two speed 50 lb outfit. There were lots of cigar minnows on the surface and I sibikied several for bait. Dropped one down to the bottom and pulled it up a few cranks. Got another chance and this time I was able to lift the fish with the low speed reel. After a pretty long fight, we put a 65 lb Cobia in the boat. I was exhausted. Would still liked to have seen the first big fish my friend hooked. Whatever it was, it was bigger than the one I caught.

    Went back to the ARC reef this morning, and what a difference a day makes. No cigar minnows to be found, only small sardines. No bites at all. Came back early and caught enough trout at pine island to have dinner.

    We've had a fantastic time and again I want to thank y'all for the help. Lord knows I needed it. Hope I can return the favor sometime. Phil
  • nickmonickmo Posts: 24 Deckhand
    Your friend may have hooked up a Goliath.
    Which Penn 2 speed did you get? Fathom?
  • striperphilstriperphil Posts: 87 Deckhand
    Yeah, I got the fathom. Love it too. Great reel that doesn’t break the bank. No more than I have the opportunity to do this, should last a lifetime.
  • striperphilstriperphil Posts: 87 Deckhand
    Finished up our trip today. Spent the last two days casting for trout around Captiva and cabbage key. Between the two days we caught around 70 trout and not a keeper in the bunch. Story of my life.
  • reel stamasreel stamas Posts: 6,153 Admiral
    65lb Cobia is a fish of a lifetime for most people, so I'd say you had a great trip...
    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 !!!
  • nickmonickmo Posts: 24 Deckhand
    Finished up our trip today. Spent the last two days casting for trout around Captiva and cabbage key. Between the two days we caught around 70 trout and not a keeper in the bunch. Story of my life.

    Don't be so hard on yourself. Sounds like you had a great trip.
    As for one of your earlier posts about water depth down here, I'm a northeast transplant. When we break the inlet there we're in 60' of water.
  • striperphilstriperphil Posts: 87 Deckhand
    Oh I didn’t mean to poor mouth. We had a hell of a time. One keeper grouper would have been nice though. Thanks again for all the excellent advice. Hope I can return the favor sometime.
  • striperphilstriperphil Posts: 87 Deckhand
    Had to follow with this. Back in KY freezing my stones off. Just had a huge helping of Cobia Fillet Matecumbe. Absolutely outrageous. Some of the best groceries you will ever eat. Gonna get through Christmas, do the family thing, and then I'm heading south again. Can't wait. Time for some yellowtail in the keys. (and maybe a tarpon that doesn't know it's winter)
  • nickmonickmo Posts: 24 Deckhand
    I feel your pain regarding weather and it's not officially winter yet. Good luck in the keys.
  • LightmanLightman Posts: 38 Greenhorn
    Oh I didn’t mean to poor mouth. We had a hell of a time. One keeper grouper would have been nice though. Thanks again for all the excellent advice. Hope I can return the favor sometime.
    Sounds like fun was had...plus cobia > grouper

    Sent from my SM-G950U using Tapatalk
  • Chumboy2016Chumboy2016 Posts: 36 Greenhorn
    nickmo wrote: »
    Your friend may have hooked up a Goliath.
    Which Penn 2 speed did you get? Fathom?

    Yeah i hooked into a couple of Goliath's they are fun.
  • striperphilstriperphil Posts: 87 Deckhand
    I think I see why you go by the name Chumboy. LOL
  • nickmonickmo Posts: 24 Deckhand
    Yeah i hooked into a couple of Goliath's they are fun.

    Guess it was easier for you to get in the water than getting him in the boat for a picture.
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