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Grouper Fishing

764 Views 7 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  MROFFSHORE
I live in Jersey, and my father just went grouper fishing off North Carolina. He described the experience as amazing and would love to go again sometime soon. However, the roundtrip is around 19 hours to the site of fishing. Are there any other closer areas where we can go grouper fishing? Thanks.
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Heading That Way

I am heading up to Beaufort N/C sometime in August to look for property.

Hopefully I'll hook with Ken from Swell Rider CHarters and learn some of the tricks of the trade up there.

Believe me grouper fishing down here has taken a huge turn around and then traveling any where from 30- 70 miles off shore is no bargin any more in Florida

The thing I like ( as I heard) is the variety of fish, inshore, near shore and off shore.

I have been doing some research and so far I like what I see and hear.
You still have to travel, maybe not as far but the bottom is completly different on the east coast so really it's wreck fishing mostly. Here on the west coast you can fish pot holed bottom or small edges with coral reefs and ledges.

It's not just the distance to travel as we have some new regs that may come into play.

Right now you are allowed 1 Red grouper (20 inches) and 4 others black, gag,(24 inches)scamp,(16 inches), etc with bag limit of 5 per angler per day.

Warsaw and Snowy are in deep water over 120 foot, thats why you see the Viking do those 3 day trips for them, plus warsw and snowy don't have a closed season like reds, blacks and gags.

The new regs will allow 3 total.

2 years ago for the first time in grouper fishing they closed down the fishery for recs from 2/15 until 3/15.

Now we are looking at the possibilty of a 3 month closure from January until the end of March( height of tourist season...F*^%%*#! Brain surgeons down here)with a commercial shut down for 30 days.

I saw some of the post on EC Board and it got me interested.

The regs are something of the old days in NY. fluke for example is 7 @-15 1/2 which just recently jumper up from 14/

They have some good size red fish (Bulls up to 25 pounds) that will make your arms sore after a day of pulling them and during the summer when the Gulfstream is a close as 12 miles they pull Atlantic Sails, Mahi up the ying yang and of course BFT in the fall.

Grouper can be had as close as 20 miles and they also pick some decent size sea bass.
The only thing I am missing from up north is Striped/Bass but the bull reds will more then make up the difference.

So come August I will rent a house for a week, look around, fish a bit with Ken and hopefully find something I want.

Florida used to be a good move and I have a great place here but the summer of 90+ degree days for 5 months is a killer. I still can't justify hanging Christmas lights when it's 75-80 degrees out in shorts and sweating my ARSS off...LOL

Plus the area I want to look at comes recomended by people who own my old boat yard in Patchougue. They own 11 acres there and love it.

This move will not happen overnight as my son has 1 year of HS left and then college, but given the economic times and the prices of homes and even forclosures there is the right time to start looking.

BTW Just a footnote. Grouper (real grouper) goes for $19.99 a pound to $21.99 a pound and probably will be higher if they get that reduction and closure

This post edited by baywatch 10:16 AM 06/17/2008
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