Red Grouper to the Right, Gag Grouper to the Left, and a Few Red Snapper for the Cooler

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John21:6
Posts: 198
Joined: October 14th, 2017, 7:11 pm
Location: Tallahassee

Red Grouper to the Right, Gag Grouper to the Left, and a Few Red Snapper for the Cooler

Post by John21:6 »

Friday was the last day of the Florida Gulf of Mexico recreational red snapper season with nice weather. So we picked up the boat from Martin Marine in Carrabelle and headed out.

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Martin Marine is a great place for secure RV storage and on-trailer boat storage and maintenance and repairs.

We had frozen squid strips and LYs, but we supplemented our frozen bait with some live bait we caught in 60.’ When targeting bait in these depths, I use squid on a homemade chicken rig with size 6 hooks and a 1 or 2 oz. bank weight. The live bait we caught consisted of sandperch, pinfish, and pigfish.

Looking for BIG red snapper, we headed beyond 90’ depths. For my first attempt, I used a Nomad Squdtrex 150 jig. As soon as the jig hit the bottom, my rod bent about 100 degrees and I was straining to hold it. Dang! These Squidtrex jigs are amazing, I thought. Moments later, the line went slack and my $18 jig was gone. Yikes!

While I was rerigging, others on the boat were catching keeper-sized, but out of season, gag grouper and red grouper. It seemed that the snapper weren’t home. However, underwater videos of the spot showed that the red snapper were there, just not biting. Here’s a link to the best underwater video (between the overcast and the depth the camera needed more light): https://www.dropbox.com/scl/fi/cfd4cg6j ... 53uzn&dl=0

We moved on to a few more spots where we caught a half dozen lane snapper and two triggerfish. Eventually, we ended up on a spot where the guys on the right were mostly catching red grouper and those on the left gag grouper. Fortunately, the spot also yielded a few good-sized red snapper for the cooler. The big one was 33” and weighed 17.8 lbs.

Another great day on the water with friends.
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Last edited by John21:6 on November 29th, 2023, 9:33 pm, edited 8 times in total.
slow motion
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Joined: December 15th, 2019, 10:49 am

Re: Red Grouper to the Right, Gag Grouper to the Left, and a Few Red Snapper for the Cooler

Post by slow motion »

Great report. Thanks for sharing.
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fishinfool
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Re: Red Grouper to the Right, Gag Grouper to the Left, and a Few Red Snapper for the Cooler

Post by fishinfool »

Nice report. It looks like you had a great day on the water. You must have found them in fairly shallow water, no evidence of barotrauma in those pics.
:thumbup: :thumbup:
John21:6
Posts: 198
Joined: October 14th, 2017, 7:11 pm
Location: Tallahassee

Red Grouper to the Right, Gag Grouper to the Left, and a Few Red Snapper for the Cooler

Post by John21:6 »

fishinfool wrote:Nice report. It looks like you had a great day on the water. You must have found them in fairly shallow water, no evidence of barotrauma in those pics.
:thumbup: :thumbup:
Thanks for reading and for the feedback. We were fishing in depths between 85 and 95 feet, but most of our fish were caught in the deeper end of that range. We had to vent quite a few red grouper and gag grouper. The red snapper, however, were holding at least 20 feet off the bottom. So that may explain the lack of evidence of barotrauma.


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fishforfun
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Joined: August 5th, 2013, 6:16 pm

Re: Red Grouper to the Right, Gag Grouper to the Left, and a Few Red Snapper for the Cooler

Post by fishforfun »

Thanks for your detailed report. Kind of fun vicarious fishing for me.
Get you free descending devce from 'Return em Right'
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doomtrpr_z71
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Re: Red Grouper to the Right, Gag Grouper to the Left, and a Few Red Snapper for the Cooler

Post by doomtrpr_z71 »

Good pulls even if the grouper were out of season, I ran off shore to dog Ballard out of ecofina last weekend looking for grunts and some good black seabass to be disappointed with short black seabass and a bunch of sand perch.

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John21:6
Posts: 198
Joined: October 14th, 2017, 7:11 pm
Location: Tallahassee

Re: Red Grouper to the Right, Gag Grouper to the Left, and a Few Red Snapper for the Cooler

Post by John21:6 »

doomtrpr_z71 wrote:Good pulls even if the grouper were out of season, I ran off shore to dog Ballard out of ecofina last weekend looking for grunts and some good black seabass to be disappointed with short black seabass and a bunch of sand perch.

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It’s always satisfying to catch the kind of fish you want to catch, where you want to catch them, and with the technique you expect to work. When that works out for me, I feel like I’m an expert. Then, on the next trip, I will repeat everything and get skunked.

I know of a few spots where I can always catch seabass, but the largest ones are rarely more than 12 inches in length. If anyone has some insight on how to locate where the 15 inch seabass hang out around here, I would love for them to post about it.


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boomhauer
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Re: Red Grouper to the Right, Gag Grouper to the Left, and a Few Red Snapper for the Cooler

Post by boomhauer »

For better size and numbers of sea bass, there can’t be any big gags around…. Or really any gag grouper.
We dive and see it over and over…. Look for hard bottom areas with no more than 1 ft relief
John21:6
Posts: 198
Joined: October 14th, 2017, 7:11 pm
Location: Tallahassee

Re: Red Grouper to the Right, Gag Grouper to the Left, and a Few Red Snapper for the Cooler

Post by John21:6 »

boomhauer wrote:For better size and numbers of sea bass, there can’t be any big gags around…. Or really any gag grouper.
We dive and see it over and over…. Look for hard bottom areas with no more than 1 ft relief
Thanks for the tip.


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