Grouper season is here! The Gag grouper is a species that is widely sought after, and not just in the Southeastern US.
Gags are often caught in 120’ to 180’ of water and prefer live bait. As it warms up with summer approaching, you’ll start finding them in 70’ to 100’ depths but to find one over twenty-five pounds is rare.
Your tackle plays the biggest role in catching these bottom dwellers. I use 150lb leader with ten to twelve ounce weight.
Once you feel your weight hit the bottom, reel up about a foot to allow your bait to linger just off the bottom.
While you might not get as many hits, the bigger the bait-the bigger the reward! You have to be more vigilant with grouper, the first ten seconds after you see that rod start bending is going to determine whether or not he ends up in your cooler.
Their initial reaction when hooked is to retreat into their rocky homes and do what they can to get loose.
If you’re able to get them out of the rocks, you’re almost guaranteed a catch-just reel in the dead weight.
Using Sabiki rigs to catch live bait before getting to the area you’re targeting grouper is widely used and effective.
I prefer to catch Menhaden and use them; however, any smaller fish you catch while waiting for that elusive grouper bite works well in my experience.
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My best piece of advice when you’re dealing with any toothy critters(sharks, Cudas, etc.) is to use 150lb leader so it lessens your chances of loosing your rig-I’ve lost enough to be worth their weight in gold over the years!
To recap and give you a more concise list of the tackle I use:
– 150 lb leader
– 8oz, 10oz, and 12oz Bank sinkers
– 300 lb barrel swivel
– Mustad 96330 (circle hook)
Capt. Will Adams – Write off the Rip Charters Tel 843-270-0909 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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