101, Day 3
Captain Parker's Grouper Fishing Tactics
NOTE: Mike Parker, the captain of the "Silver King," a charter boat
based out of Destin, Florida, rarely fishes more than 10 miles off the
beach, unlike many other charter-boat captains. And Parker daily produces
really good numbers of bottom feeders and pelagic species. This week we'll
look at how, where and when Parker fishes.
Question: Most people don't believe you can catch
grouper within 2 to 9 miles of shore. How do you consistently find and
catch grouper in No Man's Land?
Answer: I look for live coral bottom and big rocks on the bottom.
I like to fish rocks like Sturgeon Rock, Grayton Rock, Seagrove Rock and
Mike, can you give me five secrets for catching grouper?
Answer: Sure. 1) Fish your baits right on the bottom. Keep your
line tight, but leave the weight on your line on the bottom -- regardless
of whether you're fishing live or dead bait like a bonita strip. Grouper
live on the bottom and are holding up in either rocks or wrecks. By keeping
your bait on the bottom, you'll have it right in front of the grouper's
face where the fish can eat it. 2) Use light line -- about 40-pound test
-- when fishing inshore for grouper. I've found that I get more bites
on light line than I do heavy line. 3) Don't jerk or lift the rod when
the grouper takes the bait. Reel as fast as you can to set the hook, and
take up the slack. As soon as the grouper is hooked-up and the rod is
bowed, then use the rod to lift the fish out of the hole or up off the
bottom. Next reel down really fast, and lift the grouper up again with
the rod. 4) Be sure not to lift the grouper with the rod once you get
the fish 20 feet or so up off the bottom. Switch from lifting and winding
to steadily reeling. Since a big grouper will make several more runs to
try and get back into the bottom, you may tear the fish free from the
hook if you try and lift the rod tip. Don't reel when the grouper is pulling
off drag. Let the reel and the bowed rod fight the grouper. 5) Gaff a
grouper in the mouth. Not only is this the safest place to gaff the grouper
so you don't lose the fish, but you also won't damage nearly as much meat.
Make sure you leave the fish laying in the water. Don't attempt to pick
the grouper's head up with the rod. Let the mate gaff the fish and bring
learn more about Captain Mike Parker's offshore charters, call (877) 827-7667,
or go to the www.destincharterboats.com
TOMORROW: Secrets of Catching King Mackerel