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How To - Bottom Fishing

BOTTOM FISHING for Grouper, Snapper, Sea Bass.....

At the Ocean Isle Fishing Center it is our goal to help you catch more fish.  We pride ourselves on working with the area's best captains and having the most knowledgeable staff.  However, it is one thing to know, it is another thing to tell, and that is where the OIFC comes in.  See the below articles, videos and links that will hopefully help you have more success fishing the inshore waters.

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How to Grouper Fish


How to Grouper Fish

How to Grouper Fish


Our best Grouper fishing begins in mid June and continues throughout the fall and early winter. As summer progresses, Grouper will move from their typical 100ft depths to 70ft waters thus making them much more accessible. Grouper will be at most of the typical rocks/ledges where we King Mackerel fish. We prefer to Grouper fish at anchor and the key to success is placing your boat just upcurrent from the rock or ledge you are fishing. This can be accomplished by using your curser on your GPS system or more simply by using a market buoy. Drop the buoy, stop your boat at that exact point, wait 5 minutes for the boat to drift, and then motor back to the buoy on that same drift course and set your anchor approx 150 feet upcurrent of the spot.


We like to put chum on the bottom which seems to get the Grouper moving and more aggressive. We use a dropper rig with 120lb test leaders and a 5-8/0 circle hook[sized to size of your bait] with a 5-6 foot drop for our bait. We like to use live bait, pinfish are best or menhaden or whatever you jig up where you are fishing[ringtails/ red mouth grunts/ect].


The rod/reel combo we use is a Diawa rigged with 80lb test mono on a Star Arel 30-50lb rod.


Drop the bait to the bottom, crank up several turns, raise the rod to straighten out the leader and then let back down slowly to the bottom. Try to keep your weight flat on the bottom, not bouncing. You will feel your bait get nervous, the rod will pull down. Do not jerk as you are using circle hooks. You must reel down as quick as possible and then raise the rod and fish off the bottom in order to keep the fish out of the rocks. If he gets to the rocks and hangs you up, do not attempt to pull him out as your line will break. Instead, release the drag letting slack on your line. Count to 10 after all pressure is released and then reel quickly. Most times, the Grouper will come out of the rock he went into trying to return to his home rock and you thus have another chance at him. If you break off a fish, typically they will quit biting and you are better to move to another location.

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