Tampa Bay offers great Gag and Red Grouper fishing opportunities. Though considered an offshore species by most, in this area waterways and channels can see a steady population of these great fighting/eating fish readily available for anglers targeting them. Heavier rods and line are recommended when fishing for Grouper and a variety of live or dead baits can be used to hook up while bottom fishing. To make some challenging hook ups, Grouper will also hit some artificial baits when presented correctly. Not to mention, hooking up with a large Mangrove Snapper is highly likely as well.
Capt. Jim Lemke has been featured in many worldwide television shows like ESPN2 Inshore Angler and Urban Angler along with many local shows like Hooked on Fishing with Capt. Bill Miller, The Average Angler and the 47 Fish Finder with many more.
Grouper Fishing Information
Usually moving inshore during the cooler months in Tampa, Grouper fishing is a great way to spend some time on the water. When targeting the deeper channels for these feisty predators, it is wise to fish the edges and not the center. The first thing to remember is once you have one of these on the line, it will first dart for cover as a first defence. It is up to the angler to pull them up before they make a getaway into structure and break the line. Once up from the bottom, the fight isn’t over.
To target Grouper in Tampa Bay channels, look for the right structure. Rocky areas and areas containing ledges are great to drop a line into. Wreck fishing is probably the most popular way to target Grouper, of course this depends on availability of wrecks and the type of Grouper fishing being utilized. For artificial, deep sinking jigs tipped with shrimp will see great success. Targeting the same areas mention, but worked gently up off the bottom once it has reached maximum depth after the initial drop is probably one of the most successful ways to target Grouper with a jig. Think of it as a shallow water version of vertical jigging (shallow in comparison to offshore, usually found in channels with a 20+ foot depth).