How to fish our spots

This is a living document that will change as time allows.

Red Grouper Spots:

Crystal River Fishing Spots - Offshore GPS Numbers

Red grouper spots are typically hard bottom with lots of crevices and holes for the fish to hide in. You may roll up onto one of our RG spots and not see any type of show. You may see small fish up in the water column a few feet off the bottom. What I have learned over the years is that many of the reef species move around, while red grouper typically stick to a specific section of hard bottom. 

There are huge patches of flat hard bottom all over the floor of the Gulf of Mexico. Some of these patches are hundreds of acres in size. These best advice we can give you is to learn how to recognize hard bottom on your sonar machine.

Take a look at the image above. This is a great example of the difference between hard and soft bottom. Hard bottom returns a stronger signal. The left side of this image is an artificial man made reef in 155 ft, located 45 miles west of Sarasota. This reef was placed on a section of hard bottom. You can see the yellow and green tails below the thick red line indicating a strong sonar return. In the middle of the image, you can sell a much thinner red line and less yellow and green tails. On the right side you can see the red line get thicker and the yellow and green tails show up again. 

When you check out a spot that is marked hard bottom, you're sonar should show a strong return like you see on the left and right side of the image. Not the middle. 

Here are two important things to remember when fishing for Red Grouper.

  • You may not see much of a show. This is due to the likely hood that Red Groupers are sitting down in a hole, waiting to ambush prey that swims by. The best piece of advice here is to drop a bait down anyway. If there are Red Groupers on that piece of bottom, they will hit your bait.
  • As Red Grouper get bigger they get more aggressive. If you are only catching shorties, move. The bigger Red Grouper will be caught first on any given section of hard bottom as they will get your bait before the shorts. You may only need to move 20 feet, or 200 feet to the next spot.

American Red Snapper:

More to come soon....
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