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I caught one using a spoon (mettalic, shiny). I was fishing in Marco Island, FL. The grouper loved it and was attracted to it from under the dock almost automatically because of its reflection of the sun. But don't let it hear you coming! :-)
Be careful when identifying a Red Grouper as they commonly misidentified with Nassau grouper, a grouper that looks very much like the Red grouper and is currently a Totally Prohibited Species in the Gulf of Mexico. The best way to identify a Red grouper is by its dorsal fin which is smooth in contrast to the Nassau grouper which is notched. Another way is by looking at the tips of the fins – Red grouper have black color tips while Nassau grouper have yellow color tips. Most fishing identification guides show illustrations of the Nassau grouper and Red grouper and they look different from each other, however go ahead and take a look at actual pictures of these fish and you’ll come to realize that many Red grouper are actually brown in color and very much like the Nassau Grouper.
When fishing for red grouper in rock piles and reefs, which happens to be prime location for red grouper fishing, make sure you use a heavy abrasive resistant leader as they tend to swallow your bait and swim for the rocks. This breaks many anglers lines. When targeting red grouper I use leader line in the 80-100# range which is sufficient in abrasive resistance when fishing with red grouper. Another tip is to check your lines and leaders after a day of fishing to make sure there aren’t any notches from the rocks which will effect line performance.
Don't use soft bait or anything expensive!!
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