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Warsaw Grouper picture

How to fish for Warsaw Grouper

The Warsaw Grouper ranges from North Carolina to the Florida Keys and throughout much of the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico to the northern coast of South America. The Warsaw grouper inhabits irregular bottom, notches, valleys, and drop-offs, occurring in waters 350 to 650 feet deep. Warsaw Groupers are long lived and can reach up to 6 feet and over 500 pounds. The Warsaw Groupers huge mouth enables it to engulf prey whole after capturing it.
Grouper up to almost 100 lbs are possible but most angler caught Warsaw Groupers are from 10 to 40 lbs and are caught all year round. The winter months are the best time of year to try and catch a big Grouper. Fishing for Warsaw Grouper is usually done jigging the bottom with heavy tackle. Warsaw Grouper are aggressive strikers, they will engulf the bait then go right into the rocks or structure that is surrounding them. 
For Warsaw Grouper a medium-heavy 6 foot boat rod with a conventional reel in the 30 to 50 pound class with 50 pound test monofilament line can handle almost all the grouper you may encounter. A bait rig with a 3 to 8 oz. sliding egg sinker on the line above a 5 to 6 foot fluorocarbon leader that is 50 to 100 pound test. The hook of choice on this rig is a circle hook, normally about 8/0 or 9/0 in size or a 5/0 to 10/0 standard hook. The long leader allows a live bait to swim more freely and naturally than a short leader, while the sliding egg sinker allows a fish to take the bait and swim off without feeling the weight of the sinker. This set up works well for dead bait also. Bait for Warsaw Grouper can be cut squid, sand perch strips, sardines, pinfish or other small fish. 
When Warsaw Grouper grab a bait and head back for cover many lost fish and hung lines can occur. In an attempt to avoid this you can try cranking the drag down on your reel as hard as you can with the idea of stopping the grouper from taking line and returning to cover. Then when a grouper strikes lay your rod on the rail of the boat and start cranking as hard as you can. A circle hook will handle hooking the fish. The battle now is one of brute strength between you and the Warsaw Grouper.


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