Shallow Water Grouper Fishing

Shallow Water Gag Grouper Fishing Trips Florida

You’re invited!

Come experience some of the best Grouper Fishing Florida has to offer!

Florida is renowned for its incredible fishing opportunities, and one of the most sought-after species by anglers is the grouper. With its delicious taste and challenging fight, Florida grouper fishing is a thrilling adventure for both novice and experienced anglers.

One of the most unique and exciting things about west coast Florida angling is shallow water grouper fishing!

In the fall months starting in late September the Gag Grouper move into the shallow water bays of the nature coast of Florida.

Grouper Species in Florida

Florida is home to several species of grouper, each with unique characteristics and habitats. The most common grouper species you’ll encounter include:

Gag Grouper: These are known for their distinctive coloring with dark, rectangular patches on their sides.

Red Grouper: Recognizable by their reddish hue and elongated body.

Black Grouper: These are generally dark brown to black in color with a squared-off tail.

Goliath Grouper: The largest of the groupers, they can reach incredibly massive sizes.

At one point we stopped over a deep water crevice and when my brother Mike started letting his bait down, he got a hit that he described as the best hit of his life and Mike has been fishing for over 60 years.

Crystal River Florida Grouper Fishing Trips

Shallow water grouper trips typically last about six to eight hours and don’t worry if we catch our limit of grouper before that there are a many other species we can try to catch to fill up the ice box even more. 

Best time to catch Gag Grouper is from the start of June to the end of December in Florida.

We provide the most professional & friendly fishing charters available, book now let’s get out on the water!

SeasonBest MonthsKey Considerations
SpringMarch to MayGrouper become more active as waters warm.
SummerJune to AugustPeak season with warm waters and active fish.
FallSeptember to OctoberFish move closer to shore as waters cool.
WinterNovember to FebruaryDeeper waters might yield better results.

Catching Florida Grouper: Common Questions

When is the best time for grouper fishing in Florida?

The prime grouper fishing season in Florida typically runs from late spring through early fall, with May to September being particularly productive months.

What’s the most effective bait for catching grouper?

Grouper are opportunistic feeders, so live or cut baits such as squid, pinfish, and grunts work well. Use what’s locally available and fresh.

What are the size and bag limits for gag grouper in Florida?

The minimum size limit for gag and black grouper was 24 inches total length, and the bag limit is two fish per person.

Check with the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) for the most up-to-date information.

Where are the best spots to catch grouper in Florida?

Grouper are often found near underwater structures such as reefs, wrecks, ledges, and artificial reefs.

Popular areas include the Gulf of Mexico, the Florida Keys, and the Atlantic Coast.

What’s the ideal tackle for grouper fishing?

For grouper, use medium to heavy-duty spinning or conventional rods and reels with strong lines (50-80 lb test) to handle their powerful strikes.

Can I keep and eat the grouper I catch in Florida?

Yes, you can keep and enjoy grouper you catch within the legal size and bag limits. Grouper is a popular choice for seafood enthusiasts.

However, always check current regulations to ensure compliance.

Fishing Details
Gag Grouper Fishing Trips Florida

Gag Grouper Fishing

The west Coast of Florida is made up of Lime Stone and oyster Reef bottom.

The lime Stone is what brings these Big Gag grouper into the Shallows for the fall and winter.

The lime stone bottom has holes in the rocks that make for perfect homes for these Gag Grouper. 

One of the other great things about shallow water grouper fishing trips is the amount of area that we can fish.

The benefit to a large area is reduced pressure on the Grouper population.

The Gag grouper grounds are about fifty miles of the nature coast of Florida. 

How to catch Florida Gag Grouper with a lure

There are many ways to catch Florida shallow water grouper on the west coast. One of the most exciting ways is with hard plugs. Florida Fishing Company uses many different colors of plug and these plugs come in multiple different depths. There are two ways to catch these Gag Grouper on lures.

Catching Grouper while Trolling: The main way Florida Fishing Company uses them is in trolling. We trolling the lures about two feet off the bottom and about four miles per hour over rock piles that we have found. 

When the lure passes over the groupers hole he will dart out to chase down the plug and strike. These fish have one of the hardest strikes that you will ever feel on light tackle gear. 
Catching Grouper Casting: The other way that these plugs are used is casting and retrieving. The Captains at Florida Fishing Company will pull up to a rock pile and drop the trolling motor. 

The Captain will then trolling around the rock pile while you the angler cast and retrieve the lure in anticipation of one of the hardest striking fish in the Gulf of Mexico.

How to catch Florida Gag Grouper with live bait

Catching Grouper with Live Bait: Another great way to catch shallow water Gag Grouper in Florida is by dropping live bait on what we call a knocker rig. A knocker rig is basically a weight on top of a circle hook. 

The captains at Florida Fishing Company use a variety of live and cut baits but our main bait is Live Pin Fish. Live Pin Fish are like candy for these Gag grouper and rarely refuse them. These method is used a lot when we have more than two or three anglers on the vessel.

An Exciting Florida Fishing Trip out on the water

The captains at Florida Fishing Company are very experienced and have been mapping these rocks for year.

The vessels have the latest equipment like side scan imaging which is the closest thing to x-ray vision on the dash of the boat.

The Boats also have a wireless trolling motor on board that allow you the angler to have the front deck of the boat while the captain holds you in position.

The trolling motors also have a feature call spot lock. Spot lock will hold the boat on an exact GPS spot  while the captain baits and nets fish for you the angler. 

We are all about the experience and attention to detail here at Florida Fishing Company.

Florida Fishing Company includes all fish cleaning and packaging into the price of your trip.

When you arrive back at the dock the Captain will pull the fish out of the boat so that you may get a group dock shot of your fish.

Once that is done you are free to get a beer or cocktail at the tiki bar next to the cleaning table.

If you want you can even order lunch from the food truck right there while we clean your fish.

Catch and Cook Fresh Grouper

Another option is to have your catch cleaned and cooked right there at the dock. Its a great way to end a perfect day of fishing with the freshest grouper you will ever eat.

Call Now