Grouper is one of the most prolific fish species inhabiting waters across the globe with dozens of the differing species in Florida waters alone. Some of the more popular and readily identifiable of these are Red, Black, Gag, Warsaw and Snowy Grouper. On any given day, across the full range of Florida’s waters, anglers have a good shot at engaging one or more of the available species.
As much fun as fishing for, fighting and landing Grouper is, the real attraction for many folk is found at the breakfast, lunch and dinner table. If popularity (anglers and non-anglers) was the deciding factor then Florida’s state fish would be Grouper, hands down.
Fishing For Grouper
The species of Grouper inhabiting Florida waters don’t always act completely in concert with two notable exceptions.
Temperature – The warmer the temperature the more likely you will find Grouper in deeper waters. They will cozy up in shallower waters when the water temperatures start to fall at the approach of winter, hanging around all the way until spring arrives. Anglers report good action in water as shallow as four feet.
Structure – If you want to up your odds of finding, fighting and landing Grouper, look for structure. Almost any kind of structure. No matter how innocuous, any change in bottom features holds the potential.
So, fish where you will and follow water temperature and hone in on likely, even if unassuming, hidey-holes.
What To Fish With….
Grouper are big fish and some can be absolutely enormous. So, don’t take a knife to a gun fight. You can’t go wrong if you go big (or at least bigger). Conventional tackle leans bigger than spinning so when in doubt, and if you have the choice, conventional is the surer bet. The folks at Bullbuster have some good recommendations for fishing line to catch Grouper. Baits? That is a whole other post…
This aside, you fish with what you have….. so, go fishing.
Cooking and Eating Grouper
As much fun as Grouper is to fish for, cooking and eating it is neck in neck for pure enjoyment. Heck, people travel great distances to visit Florida with the prospect of a grouper sandwich foremost in their mind…. right after the first rum runner that is. Old Salt publishes a seafood recipe every month and over the years we have accumulated several wonderful Grouper dishes:
….. and, at Fresh from Florida: Pan Seared Florida Grouper with Smoked Gouda Grits and Tomato Bacon Gravy
Grouper Fishing Regulations
FWC (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission) has dominion over fishing in state waters. The various Grouper species are managed as two distinct regulatory bodies by FWC – Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico.
We hope you enjoy this quick look at Grouper. Please feel free to chime in on the subject in the comments section.