CPT John's Reel Time Charters, Ft. Myers Beach FL
Call Us 239-287-1429

Grouper Fishing, the Good the Bad and the Ugly

Our  boat is immaculately maintained as well as equipment.

Many guests first reaction is “ this is the cleanest charter boat we have ever been on

Gulf of Mexico Goliath GrouperWe specialize in catching Goliath Grouper. These prehistoric looking monsters are the catch of a lifetime for many fishermen and can weigh 500+ pounds and reach 6 to 8 ft. long!

Keeper Red Grouper can be caught in as little as 40 feet but the larger sought after keepers are usually found in waters 70 ft or more, in our area off Fort Myers this is found 30 miles offshore. There are basically two techniques, drifting and anchoring.


Using stand up conventional rods and reels, 40 lbs test line, 8 to 10 oz. egg sinkers, 80 lb. leader, 7/0 or 8/0 circle hooks. Bait can vary from store bought thread herring and squid to natural baits such as pinfish and sandperch. Remember it is illegal to use any fish that has a minimum size such as snapper and other groupers. Speed of the drift will determine how much lead you will need to bounce the bottom. There are times you may need ( 2 ) 8 or 10 oz. sinkers. Current and wind will determine drift. If you still can’t bounce the bottom a Drift Sock may be

helpful. You should be feeling the egg sinker bouncing along the bottom. If you are not feeling bottom and occasionally getting stuck in the limestone and sea fans you are not using enough weight. You will drift over sand then the patch reefs where you will get your strikes. When you feel the grouper bump your line, just start reeling, remember you are using circle hooks. If you don’t hook the fish, let some line out, they will strike bait again.


Once you have found the reefs that are holding the Red Grouper, you can anchor right on them. All baits will work. If you are using a live pinfish or thread herring drop bait all the way down and then crank bait off the bottom about 3 cranks.

Minimum size for the Red Grouper is 20 inches total length. Catch limits change, currently the bag limit is 3 fish.

Gag Grouper:

Gags are usually found on the ledges, wrecks and artificial reefs. Live baits work best. Gag grouper are super strong and will try dive into the structure you are fishing on, so you must have tight drag set and get them out as soon as possible.

Trolling can be an effective way of catching gags. Mann’s Strech lures that have big lips get lures down in the 25 to 50 foot range. Using braided lines can help get lures down due to the smaller line diameters. Troll the area at 3 to 5 mph.

As water get cooler Gag Grouper will come closer to shore. Structures as close as 2 miles offshore will hold Gag Grouper.

Minimum size for Gag Grouper is 22 inches total length.

Check federal and local laws for closures.

Black Grouper:

These fish are found on wrecks, ledges and reefs out in the 90 foot range and further.

Rods used: Penn Power Stick, Star Rods

Reels used: Shimano, Penn

Line: Trilene 40 lb.

Boat: Parker 2801 Center console

Engines: Twin Yamaha 250 Four Strokes

Gps: Garmin198 C Map

Sonar: Lowrance

Island Fever Fishing Charters

4765 Estero Blvd.

Fort Myers Beach, Fl


Captain John Glenn

www. Ftmyersbeachcharterfishing.com

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"Our family went on a half day charter and it was great! Captain John was friendly and very knowledgeable. Our group was a mix of fishermen and novices and all of us can't wait until next year." "We caught several small fish, a black tip shark, hooked up on a Goliath grouper and a monster shark!"
See you next year Capt John!