Red Grouper: Red’s are generally easier to locate and can often be caught by drift fishing live bottom areas in 40′ – 60′ during the winter months.

Grouper take up residence in these holes and generally respond aggressively when a jig comes bouncing by their dwelling. When a Grouper with shoulders turns the corner in shallow water and heads for his rocky lair, it's a real challenge to stop him on anything short of anchor chain. One of Capt. Hot grouper and snapper action awaits off Florida’s central Gulf coast. Groupers abound in jagged structure which holds baitfish – so if you’re marking fish on the bottom (i.e. Allen Applegarth, Author Florida Fishing. The difference between drifting a bait and bottom fishing is motion. Those are just some of the drift fishing basics. He then circles backto drift the spot. When drifting new areas, note that Red Grouper generally school by size. Drift fishing for grouper Drifter fishing for groupers involves the use of specially equipped boats or boats with fishing rod holders. There are a few boat handling techniques useful for grouper fishing. For drifting or still fishing, the best baits are frisky live fish, such as blue runners or other small jacks. When the rod tip bumps and shakes, resist the urge to lock up the drag and retrieve line. And, since getting the bends isn’t a problem for the fish in shallow water–they don't give up–it's a battle all the way to the boat. An almost universal choice for expert catfishermen is the circle hook for drift-fishing. The engines should be used to decrease the boat’s drift to a standstill, if possible. It is helpful to start by dropping an marker buoy where you want to position the boat. It is worth considering that the size of trophies can be very significant, which requires special training from the fishing organizers. As you drift across the 36 foot deep water, you will drift over different bottom types that hold plenty of keeper size grouper. Next, pull up next to the buoy and let the boat drift away from it.

The key to anchoring is identifying the drift direction. The bottom looks smooth but it houses many keeper sized grouper! Drifting for groupers can be effective, but your best bet is to find an area with very rocky bottom, or anchor just off a ledge, then work the area meticulously. Gag grouper are more aggressive and prefer ledges and areas with greater relief and contour, compared to red grouper that scatter around large ledges and prefer areas with subtle relief that locals call “swiss cheese” bottom. The Approaches. Keep Your Tip Up! Whether you choose to anchor or drift will be determined by the depth of water and velocity of current. Consistent success demands precise anchoring or drifting tactics, specialized rigs, a strong back and plenty of elbow grease, not to mention a little bit of luck. Most of the black grouper fishing on the reef is done with a carolina rig and a 4’-8’ leader.
Upon arriving at one of his spots, Capt. When these fish are in our area they are also followed by large sharks, so beating the sharks and trying not to pull them off the hook a lot of times we don’t get one every drift. Randy idles across the structure until he spots a show of fish on his bottom machine.

Bouncer smith's many specialties is power drifting over deep wrecks, ledges, humps and other prominent structures off Miami, where he catches grouper, snapper, cobia, amberjack, African pompano, kingfish, and even the occasional wahoo and sailfish. Wait a minute or two for additional fish to sense the commotion. How to Drift Fish: Basics Both live and cut baits can be drifted with a weight on your line to keep it near the bottom, or suspended beneath a bobber or popping cork. If the boat drifts, let out line to keep the rigs on bottom. Pinfish and pilchards are good too, as are mullet heads and other large cut baits. A slow drift over and around submerged structure allows your baits to continually drift over new bottom and in front of new fish.

Florida Bottomfishing for Snapper and Grouper . Information on 'Florida Fishing' by … Before you get on the water you need the right drift rig to be effective, and that includes hooks, line, sinkers, rods and reels. Let’s talk about the bottom fishing method first. Drop a large pinfish, pilchard, or cigar minnow down with a 4/0 Circle hook and a 4 ounce egg sinker.

They often relate to very low profile exposed limestone and soft coral areas. Anchoring. Catching big bottom fish is an art as much as it is a science. Successful drift-fishing is a systematic, organized method of searching for, finding and catching Mr. Whiskers. How to build three proven rigs for taking grouper, snapper and other bottom species. The terminal tackle consists of a sinker, leader, and hook arranged one of two ways.