wikiHow to Catch Grouper

Three Methods:TrollingFlat LiningBringing in a Grouper

Grouper is a term for salt-water fish that encompasses dozens of species. They can grow very large, even into the hundreds of pounds. They are popular fish for eating and are often sold live in fish markets. Grouper are found in the Atlantic and Pacific, particularly in warm waters like the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. Grouper can be fished in a variety of ways, making them good targets for sport fishers.


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    Begin with a very sturdy rod, a reel that can crank a hard drag, and 80-pound test fishing line. If you're using live bait, remember that the larger the bait, the larger the fish you will catch.
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    Use a good sinker, a 3-foot, 100-pound lead, and a large-enough hook for the bait you're using.
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    Bait your hook with grunts, crabs, squid or perch. Cut the bait so the smell will attract the grouper.
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    Find a structure such as a reef, bridge pier, rocks or a wreck, where grouper like to hide.

Method 1

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    Troll with bait or lures, such as feathers or a ballyhoo combo, in up to 25 feet (7.6 m) of water. Use wire to ensure the bait sinks deep enough into the water and to pull the grouper away from the structure.
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    Slow down if you're trolling by boat and aren't getting any hits. Grouper will swim up from their hiding places to strike as the bait or lure goes by.

Method 2
Flat Lining

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    Position yourself near a structure so you can drop your line in the water and keep letting out line until you know your bait is near.

Method 3
Bringing in a Grouper

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    Resist the urge to jerk the line to try to set the hook. Instead, wait a few seconds, then close the bail to stop the line from continuing to play out.
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    Pull on the rod to drag the grouper toward you, then release and reel in the slack you've created.
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    When the fish is pulled from its hiding place, stop pulling with the rod and just keep cranking steadily.


  • Many fishers believe that they get their line snagged just after hooking a grouper, but what's actually happened is the fish has retreated into its hiding place. By letting go of the line for a few seconds, the grouper will re-emerge and can be reeled in.
  • You should try to tire the grouper before bringing it into the boat, since it might be very large and difficult to deal with if it still has some fight in it. Don't try to bring it on board on the hook; use a gaff or net to lift it out of the water.


  • It's illegal to catch grouper during its spawning season. Learn which species live in the waters you're fishing and when they spawn.

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Categories: Fishing