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Fishing in Sarasota
Florida Fishing
Jan 24, 2023 08:03:30   #
Pamela-lynn Loc: Sarasota, Florida
 
In Sarasota how far out do I need to go to catch grouper?

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Jan 24, 2023 13:36:37   #
Gordon Loc: Charleston South Carolina
 
Pamela-lynn wrote:
In Sarasota how far out do I need to go to catch grouper?


Welcome aboard Pamela-lynn. Hope this helps you out.


Want to catch some grouper this season? Good luck—there’s a good chance you’ll be going after a fish that outweighs you! Therefore, it’s important that you’re properly prepared for the fight the fish is about to give you. You’ll need to know not just where to find them, but also the gear you’ll need and how to bring them in.

Here are some tips from our fishing charter for how to catch grouper in Sarasota, FL this season:
◦Know how close to shore they’ll be: How close the grouper like to be to shore depends primarily on the time of year. A good general rule is to stay closer to the shore in winter and farther from the shore in the summer. As water temperatures cool down, they’ll want to get closer to the shore to be in shallower water that’s warm enough for them to thrive. Look near ledges and steep drop-offs in winter. In summer, with warmer water temperatures, you’ll find them closer to deeper dwellings like shipwrecks and offshore reefs.
◦Look close to structures: Whether they’re near shore or far from it, grouper very much like structures. In fact, they depend on them, because their style of hunting is to ambush their prey from underneath or behind structural elements. Therefore, make sure you’ve got electronic tools on your boat that are powerful enough to read the presence of fish in, underneath and around the structure you’re looking at.
◦Live bait on bottom: There are some cases in which artificial lures will work, but in general you’re going to get better results if you use fresh live bait, and fish on the bottom. Some grouper favorites include grunts, blue runners, pilchards and goggle eyes. Bring different varieties of bait with you, because you’ll find that grouper hunger for different kinds of bait fish on different days. They spend a lot of time down on the bottom, so make sure to send your hook deep.
◦Use heavy-duty tackle: In addition to knowing the kind of bait you’ll need to use, you should also come prepared with heavy-duty, conventional tackle. A conventional level-wind reel sits on the top of the rod, which gives you more leverage against heavier fish like grouper because it uses more of the rod’s backbone. These conventional reels also tend to have higher line capacities, which is important since you’re going to be fishing very deep down toward the bottom. It’s a good idea to use an 80- to 100-pound braid for your line.
◦Use circle hooks: You’re going to have the most success fishing for grouper if you’re using large circle hooks. In fact, circle hooks are even mandated in some areas according to federal law, so it’s worth your while to have them on hand anyway.
◦Feel the pressure: The first few seconds of your fight with a grouper will likely determine your success. The grouper will run straight back to the structure as soon as it feels the pressure of the line, so you’re going to need to focus on keeping the fish away from the structure. Reel and pump quickly, and make sure you have the drag almost fully tightened down.

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Jan 24, 2023 15:26:04   #
Pamela-lynn Loc: Sarasota, Florida
 
Thanks.

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Jan 25, 2023 07:24:57   #
sun bum Loc: Sarasota, FL
 
Pamela-lynn wrote:
In Sarasota how far out do I need to go to catch grouper?


I've been out on a half dozen "big boy" trips, (six pacs). They're always in at least 80' of water, 40+ miles out.

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Jan 25, 2023 07:47:19   #
Pamela-lynn Loc: Sarasota, Florida
 
thanks

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Jan 25, 2023 08:59:00   #
sun bum Loc: Sarasota, FL
 
sun bum wrote:
I've been out on a half dozen "big boy" trips, (six pacs). They're always in at least 80' of water, 40+ miles out.

grouper fishing out of Venice, 20 minutes south of Sarasota
grouper fishing out of Venice, 20 minutes south of...

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Jan 28, 2023 06:14:28   #
Ritab70 Loc: Bradenton FL
 
Very informative.
Thank you

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Jan 31, 2023 13:12:46   #
sawheeler52 Loc: San Diego, CA
 
Pamela-lynn wrote:
In Sarasota how far out do I need to go to catch grouper?


Pamela-lynn,
I am a SoCal resident, ignorant re: grouper fishing; but your Sarasota reference brought me back to a time when I lived there for a couple years. Made me want to share a photo of a fish my boys caught from Sarasota Beach in a freakin' canoe several years ago. This fish, hooked pretty shallow, took them for a 2-mile ride. On live crabs. Recommend if you're going for big fish, you gotta be safe, having thought out all potential scenarios.



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Jan 31, 2023 13:39:44   #
sawheeler52 Loc: San Diego, CA
 
sawheeler52 wrote:
Pamela-lynn,
I am a SoCal resident, ignorant re: grouper fishing; but your Sarasota reference brought me back to a time when I lived there for a couple years. Made me want to share a photo of a fish my boys caught from Sarasota Beach in a freakin' canoe several years ago. This fish, hooked pretty shallow, took them for a 2-mile ride. On live crabs. Recommend if you're going for big fish, you gotta be SAFE, having thought out all potential scenarios.

Oh to be young and stupid. No flotation devices, in a pretty low sitting canoe prone to flipping. My boys were lucky that day.





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Jan 31, 2023 14:06:53   #
Pamela-lynn Loc: Sarasota, Florida
 
OMG. that is amazing!!! I’m sure they loved the fight. Went out 3 miles today from Venice jetty in about 35 feet of water but no luck at all ☹️

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Jan 31, 2023 14:16:28   #
sawheeler52 Loc: San Diego, CA
 
If I remember from my time in Tampa Bay, May/June is tarpon time along the Gulf Coast. That canoe fight was I am sure an adrenaline rush mingled with a fear for your life. Here's my boy's description at the time...
" 1st one in my group this year to catch one. Tarpon run in what they call the "lane". I call it the "Tarpon Hwy". A lot of the time they stop in the lane and do what is called "daisy chain", sitting in one spot and feed. They have an air bladder and come to the surface and roll for oxygen. The calmer the water the more they come up and roll. We had winds out of the east on Tuesday so the waters were very calm. They were very active and daisy chaining all over in about 12 to 16ft of water. Crowder rod, Shimano Spheros SP-14000 real, 50lb braided Power Pro line, 5ft 100lb leader, with a live Blue crab on the end of it. Very aggressive fish jumped about a dozen times and once about 10ft from the canoe....Awesome! We backed the the canoe to the shorline in about 30 min and then fought him from shore for about another 15. It caught the attention of about 30 or 40 people and made feel like a real pro even though that is the first tarpon I have ever caught.Whole new world of fishing.
Tournament is from May 24th - June 29th. The fish is measured by girth. This one was 30"
125 lbs.

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Jan 31, 2023 14:34:33   #
sawheeler52 Loc: San Diego, CA
 
Pamela-lynn wrote:
OMG. that is amazing!!! I’m sure they loved the fight. Went out 3 miles today from Venice jetty in about 35 feet of water but no luck at all ☹️


I texted my family member who lives in Sarasota re: local winter Gulf fishing. Expect he will reply. He was the canoe guy at the back of the boat. Not so young now, not so stupid. Note if you're out there during tarpon season, they were in less than 20' of water.

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Jan 31, 2023 14:50:54   #
sawheeler52 Loc: San Diego, CA
 
Pamela-lynn wrote:
In Sarasota how far out do I need to go to catch grouper?

Gordon offers some really useful grouper detail. Well done. As a Largemouth bass fisherman, you do realize Florida is a bass fisherman's Nirvana? You don't have to walk much more than a couple hundred yards to find a pond populated with LMB and gators. Big ones each. Do you do freshwater? I can advise here. Best luck with your groupers. Awaiting pictures, please.

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Jan 31, 2023 18:22:08   #
Gordon Loc: Charleston South Carolina
 
sawheeler52 wrote:
Gordon offers some really useful grouper detail. Well done. As a Largemouth bass fisherman, you do realize Florida is a bass fisherman's Nirvana? You don't have to walk much more than a couple hundred yards to find a pond populated with LMB and gators. Big ones each. Do you do freshwater? I can advise here. Best luck with your groupers. Awaiting pictures, please.


Thanks. I try to help the best I can.

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