Ok, we have caught our bait and are now at or near the 100’ deep area and are ready to see if any grouper are going to cooperate.
Our rig consists of a heavy snap-swivel tied directly to your main line. Make a 2-3 foot leader of 80 to 100lb mono leader and put a heavy swivel one end and a 8/0 hook on the other. Slip enough lead on the snap to keep you on the bottom, usually 12 to 20 oz depending on the wind and tide, and then slip the swivel into the snap also. Hook a baitfish up through the bottom lips out through the top, right next to the fish’s nostril. Sink him down to the bottom and hold on! Sometimes it won’t even hit the bottom before something nasty grabs it.
At the beginning of this article I mentioned that you want a “fairly” stiff rod. Well, the reason you don’t really want a “broom stick” is it will effect the presentation of your baitfish. After you put 16 to 20 oz of lead and get to the bottom, the rod tip should be moving up and down a little bit with the contour of the bottom. This in turn makes your bait move more instead of just dragging in a straight line. I’m not saying that you should use a light weight rod by any means; just don’t use the stiffest rod you can find. Many times I have used a stiff rod on one side of the boat with a more flexible one on the other. Every time the flexible will catch more fish…..Try it!
Most people who grouper fish prefer to anchor up on a spot. Well, we like to drift for them. I guess it is just your personal preference. I like covering more area by drifting and there is a better chance of finding a new hot spot if you are lucky enough to drift over one.
Well this should help you get started catching more grouper. Please practice catch and release whenever possible and remember the large fish don’t taste any better than an average medium one. Take a picture and let the hog’s go back to catch again later.