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Old 01-21-2009, 08:22 PM   #1
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Default Grouper bait

I am hoping to go bottom bumping for grouper on Saturday. We generally use pin fish for bait but this time of year they are hard to come by. What would you all suggest is a good alternative that could be either purchased or captured this time of year? Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
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Old 01-21-2009, 08:28 PM   #2
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Default RE: Grouper bait

go to an oriental fish market and by a few octopus.... and hold on.
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Old 01-21-2009, 08:37 PM   #3
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Default RE: Grouper bait

john b if u still on call me at 259 8214
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Old 01-21-2009, 08:40 PM   #4
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Default RE: Grouper bait

Just send him a PM Frank
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Old 01-21-2009, 09:24 PM   #5
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Default RE: Grouper bait

porgies, margate-grunts, mingos, squirel fish,anything butterflied, white trout, croakers, They are not really picky if they are feeding. You can catch the trout and croakers at 3-mile bridge just catch the day before and put them in a large pin, the rest on most live bottom spots on your way out, or on the spot you are fishing, no bait where you are fishing ? think again ,send down a sabiki in 150 to 240foot of water i think you will be surprised live squid do a pretty good number on most grouper species. Just BEWARE of the endangered red snappers they have taken over most inshore grouper spots.Good luck and we will see you out there.

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Old 01-21-2009, 09:27 PM   #6
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Default RE: Grouper bait

Catch some pigfish
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Old 01-22-2009, 12:25 AM   #7
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Default RE: Grouper bait

Ditto what recess said -

recently on inshore wrecks & rocks the sabiki rigs seem to load up with snapper & small triggers - but parts of the edge have lots of small mingos & red porgy (aka white snapper) - squirrel fish will work great

Even if the baits die in the live well from being pull up from the deep - butterfly and send back down.

I found a big moray eel inthe belly of a grouper I cleaned last Sat -

Good luck
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Old 01-22-2009, 12:46 AM   #8
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Default RE: Grouper bait

Try catching live bait (pinners) in the deepest parts of most bayous and or harbor, say 12+FT. using your bottom machine to locate them.
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Old 01-22-2009, 12:47 AM   #9
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Default RE: Grouper bait

I have gone out to the edge twice this week. Both times I caught bait for grouper at the edge using squid and today I used a bonita that I caught jigging. Caught a bunch of white snapper (porgies), and mingos. Used the white snapper and caught a 42 lbs grouper Saturday and had big enough hookup's today that a 6/0 Penn wouldn't slow them down. The key is lively bait, you can butterfly them but the lively bait works better. Remember the bigger the bait the bigger the bite.
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Old 01-22-2009, 01:19 AM   #10
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Default RE: Grouper bait

What works one day or even on one spot will not necessarily work on another day or spot the same day... or even on the same spot 30 minutes later. If you put down a pin fish and don't get any bites, pull it up and butterfly it. If you still do not get any hits, try something else. The best bait I have used for grouper was chicken dolphin!!! If you catch some, don't bring them home, drop them down on your way back in on spots you know have grouper.



Also, if you do bring them in, freeze them, even if they are missing the fillets, and drop the remains down. For some reason, grouper love them!



If you have a good live well, you can't go wrong with stopping as some reefs and wrecks in 90-120 feet of water and loading up with rubys, pigfish, squirrels and small mingos.



If the current permits and you are anchored up, jigging over live bottom will produce some nice groupers and even on a spinning outfit, you can usually win the battle because they have to chase the jig and are a good bit away from their home before they get the hook. Just drop it to the bottom and jig it up as you reel in. I've caught some nice ones that way and it's a lot of fun on spinning gear!






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