Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Today Is One of My Favorite Days of the Year, And Let Me Tell You Why ...

Penn rods and reels ... check 
Pinfish ... check 
Boxes of Chum ... check 
Knocker Rigs... check.
So what is this laundry list, you ask?? 
It is essential gear to stalk my favorite fish to both catch and eat
Yes, today is May 1, and that means just one thing ...
the start of Grouper Season!!!
These denizens of the rocky bottom are my favorite prey by far. And to me personally, as table fare, they really can’t be beat. Yes, the Mahi-Mahi is fantastic, and the stats are divided that Hog Fish is on its own plane, but to me, Grouper, yes big fat, sloppy, tasty Grouper is the king of the sea.

The cool thing about Grouper is that there are so many different varieties. Gag, Nassau, Black, Red, Snowey, Hind, and Strawberry are just a few, with Reds my personal favorite.

The most important thing to remember is that there’s only a particular season where we are allowed to get out on the open water and cast our lines and catch and keep these tasty beasts.  That season runs from May 1 to December 31. 

So where am I going to go?? Well, I’ll give you a couple of insider insights.
I just found the most incredible reef off the southern tip of Islamorada, about a mile and a half off shore. It’s got about 12 good sized patches within a 1 mile diameter and lots of great rocky outcrops and corals that make for great Grouper apartments.

Note that in grouper fishing, it is that the first 10 seconds of him on your line that is really going to tell the tale of who is going to be bitch slapped, you or the grouper.  As that is when they head for their nearest whole like a cockroach who's just seen the light in the kitchen. And when the get in that hole they puff up in it, like me after I eat popcorn rice. So getting them out, is where the real challenge begins!

So whether fishing in 10 to 12 feet of water or 150,  there's  always a variety of grouper to be found, especially if you have some type of structure on the bottom.

Oh very happy day I’m ready to get my lines in the water and pull up some dinner.

Pass me some tartar sauce!
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