Author: Absolut Fishing Team
Fishing For Grouper Offshore Long Boat Key
This past weekend we had to opportunity to join our boss Capt. Zac Tapp on a trip to his home town of Longboat Key on the West Coast of FL. We ran out of Longboat Key Pass with a cooler full of dead sardines. No live bait, felt weird for our crew but we trusted Zac.
The plan was to head out 60+ miles for Red Snapper and big Grouper, but the storms prevented us from making the run. Plan then changed to running around 10-25 miles offshore fishing new ledges, new active bottom, and a few other old spots.
Sorting Through "Picker Fish"
In the first spot we were torn up by “Picker fish” (Grunts, Porgys, etc.) and Yellowtail/Lane snappers. We know this is normal so we stayed in hopes they would thin out. We caught a few snaps for dinner and continued the hunt for grouper after about an hour of picker fish.
Red Grouper Galore
Pulled up to the second spot and instantly started catching undersized Red Groupers. On my third drop I got hammered but what we think was a big Black Grouper. Long story short, I got my ass kicked and that was the end of that one. 2 drops later, I finally hooked a legal Red Grouper. He rocked me up at first, but a trick to get them out is to freespool for a minute or two, this allows the fish to think he’s in the clear and sometimes he’ll swim out. Lucky for us, it worked and we got this one. Repeated the process for the next couple of hours and headed home.
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