Fishing Orange Beach

Grouper Fishing ChartersGag Grouper In Alabama

One of the most sought after fish in the entire Gulf of Mexico is the Grouper.  They offer a good fight from a deep water fish.  Most of them are caught in deep water on natural rocks and live bottom reefs.  There are many species of grouper in the waters south of  Gulf Shores, Alabama.  All are very tasty.  If you want a realistic chance to catch grouper, you need to take a 10 or 12 hour trip that will get you out further than 25 to 30 miles offshore of Gulf Shores to get to where they live.  This is especially true during the long, hot days of summer.  The federal government shuts down some species of grouper during the winter months of January through March each year in an effort to relieve the overfishing pressure on these species.

How To Catch Grouper

Grouper can be caught by using live bait fish and by using jigging fishing techniques.  Grouper prefer to eat larger, bulkier baits like white snapper or vermilion snapper.  If you put down dead baits, you might end up catching larger Red Snapper than grouper.  You get to drop your live bait down to the bottom of the sea by bottom fishing over natural reefs.  Grouper love to hit and bite your live bait by mouthing it a few times before they run away with it.  If you wait too long to start reeling, the grouper will wreck you and you will not be able to get them up and off the bottom of the reef.  Grouper fishing requires strength and knowing what to feel as you are light tackle fishing so you don’t get wrecked.  Most inexperienced family fishermen will miss at least one big grouper on whole day deep sea fishing trips from Gulf Shores.  We catch quite a few with jewelry hanging out of their mouth.  Jewelry is another name for someone else’s hook and broken line that is left after the grouper has broken someone else off.  If you would like to have a better chance of catching a grouper, you might ought to use traditional tackle with braided fishing line so you can feel the bite and not have the stretch that monofilament has.

What's Going On With Grouper Fishing?

The federal government considers some species of grouper like the Gag Grouper to be over exploited and that is evident by the actual numbers being caught by charter boats in Alabama.  We are finding ourselves having to go further and further offshore to find quality grouper to harvest.  The fishing pressure on the grouper is phenomenal with almost every charter boat fishing deeper waters closer to shore.  High fuel prices have caused more boats to try and fish closer to shore and make a profit.  Most of the charter boats that fish for Red Snapper on artificial reefs, are now fishing the natural reefs.  This is because of the increased regulations and reduced bag limits placed on the Red Snapper.  In 2011, the Gag Grouper Season will not open until September 15.  Visit the Gulf Council Website for more information on fishing regulations.

Gag Grouper Fishing

Gag Grouper is the most popular grouper caught because it is the largest and most common.  They are called Mycteroperca microlepis. They have a gray to olive body color with a wiggly pattern on their sides that make them look like marble.  This pattern helps them blend in and match their rock and sea floor reefs to avoid becoming prey themselves.  Gags are one of the most popular grouper caught in Alabama saltwater.  The season is usually closed during January through March of each year to ease the fishing pressure.  Gag groupers have to be 22 inches total length to keep.  Some of them weigh as much as 50 pounds.  The average gag grouper is about 5 to 8 pounds.

Red Grouper Fishing

red grouper in alabamaRed Grouper is what we call Louisiana’s gift to Alabama.  Red Grouper showed up in Alabama after a couple of big tropical cyclones in the early this century or about 7 years ago.  These Red Grouper are also called Epinephelus morio.  Their skin is dark brown with a red tint or hue to it.  It has dark spots around their eyes.  The inside of their mouth is an orange color and easily to distinguish.  They have to be 20 inches in length to harvest.  The largest one I have ever seen was just over 17 pounds.  They commonly weigh 5 to 8 pounds.

Scamp Grouper Fishing

Scamp grouper is the captain’s meat.  This is the grouper that captain and crews of charter boats will fight you for.  They are extremely tasty.  Scientists call them Mycteroperca phenax.  They are light to dark tan in color and have small brown spots all over their body.  Their anal fin has 11 bones in them.  The larger scamp are easy to recognize by looking at their broom like tail fin.  The tips stick out to a point.  The total length of a scamp grouper has to be 16 inches to keep them.  Most scamp weigh about 2 to 4 pounds.  Some are larger.

Other Deep Water Grouper

snowy grouperThere are a lot of other grouper you may catch while deep sea fishing in Alabama.  Some other species include Graysby Grouper, Snowy Grouper, Yellowmouth Grouper, Spanish Flag, Yellowedge Grouper, Yellowfin Grouper, Warsaw Grouper and Goliath Grouper.  All of these species have been caught in Alabama’s saltwater.



Grouper Charter Fishing Trips In Alabama

If you want to go deep sea fishing and have a chance to catch a nice grouper, you need to plan on taking a longer, 10 or 12 hour deep sea fishing trip that will get you out further offshore where fishing pressure is less.  Remember, within 30 miles of shore, most fishing spots see a lot of fishing pressure and you may not have that good of a chance to catch big grouper.  To make sure you get a chance to fight a grouper, you need to make sure the captain can get you out over 30 miles and has enough spots to give you a chance to get one.

We hope this information about Grouper fishing has been helpful to you and your family.  Deep sea fishing on a charter boat in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach can be extremely rewarding and a lot of fun.  If you are serious Grouper fishermen, you need to book at least a 10 or 12 hour Grouper charter fishing trip to have a chance at targeting them.  The Grouper within 25 miles of Gulf Shores are usually smaller than their deep water brothers.  During the spring of each year, there are some Groupers that can be caught.  However, with constant fishing pressure close to the Alabama shore line near Orange Beach, they may not last until the summer charter season.  You have to go out to deeper water to have a chance at catching keeper grouper.  Saltwater fishing in Alabama is a year round outdoor sport and activity.  If you would like to enjoy some great Grouper fishing, visit our Alabama deep sea fishing rates and pricing page to see which trip is best for you and your group.

Booking A Grouper Fishing Charter

After you have decided on a Grouper fishing trip, please visit our Alabama fishing reservations page.  You will need to fill out the online form and submit it with your questions and comments.  We promise to get right back with you via email. 

Submitting a Grouper Fishing reservation request online does not lock you in to a trip.  It allows us to see what type of trip you are looking for and the possible dates you can go fishing.  When we see what you want, we will let you know if those dates are available.  You will then be requested to give us a call at 251.975.8111 and we will book your fishing charter.  Remember, we do not require a deposit like all other charters do.  All we need is a credit card number to hold it.  You may pay the day of your deep sea charter fishing trip.


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