Offshore anglers of the Treasure Coast will focus on the lower levels of the water column this month. The catch and keep season for grouper will open on the first day of May, ending a four-month closed season on these tasty bottom brawlers. Near-coastal anglers will break out their heavy tackle and target the many species of grouper that inhabit the wrecks and reefs, east of Stuart. Gag, red, black, and scamp groupers are some of the most prevalent species of the family that will be found just offshore of the St. Lucie Inlet. The naturally occurring coral reef line in depths of 110 to 160 feet of water, generally known to locals as the “8 Mile Reef”, will be the go-to-zone for dialing in successful grouper fishing. Deploying live baits from an anchored or drifting boat will produce the best results for “Grouper Digging”. The velocity of the horizontal flow or current and bottom temperatures are the main variables for strategy decision making when positioning one`s boat over top of a grouper honey hole. Heavy tackle will be a necessity for steering a big grouper to one`s floating platform—4/0 to 6/0 reels spooled with heavy braid of 100- to 200-pound test and terminal tackle to match the main line will yield the most successful end results. Grouper species can also be found and targeted in shallower depths, especially on reef structures in 70 to 80 feet of water that comprise the natural reef line known as the “6 Mile Reef”. Natural coral ledges east and north of Jensen Beach in these depths, historically are home to large gag and red grouper, and will be hot spots for grouper grocery getters. While bottom fishing at these depths, anglers will also be pleasantly surprised to get attached to jumbo mutton and mangrove snapper, reef mates that live right alongside the grouper family. May will provide a toasty background of exciting bottom fishing for the offshore anglers of the Treasure Coast.
FORECAST BY: Capt. Rocky Carbia
Pirates Cove Resort and Marina
4307 SE Bayview St. Port Salerno, Florida
Reservations: (772) 334-4411