Grouper Fishing in Orange Beach - Gag Grouper, Red Grouper and Scamp Grouper
Just about everyone I know who loves deep sea fishing in Orange Beach, loves to catch Grouper. This particular species of reef fish has been a favorite of fishermen for many years. Grouper offers anglers a hard fight and a chance to catch something that is real good to eat. The only problem now is, the Gag Grouper is considered over fished by the recent stock assessments and anglers are faced with short seasons. Even though the seasons are shorter than ever before, having a chance to catch a big grouper when the fishing season is open is worth the wait.
There are many other species of Grouper that are not over fished. They are Scamp Grouper and Red Grouper. These species, like the Gag Grouper are considered shallow water grouper. They are mostly caugh in depths of 150 to 300 feet of water. In Orange Beach, that means that most of them are caught beyond 30 miles offshore all the way out to 60 miles offshore.
Shallow water groupers are often caught on large cut pieces of bait or either live bait along the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico sea floor. Even though there are some caught on Alabama’s Artificial Reef structures, most of the big Grouper we catch are on natural bottom or around big rocks. This type of fishing is what we call bottom fishing. Bottom fishing is where anglers allow their baits to go all the way to the bottom until line will not go out any further. However, when you get your bait on the bottom, you usually reel up about 4 or 5 cranks to keep from bumping your lead weight on anything or to prevent from getting your line hung up on the bottom.
Gag Grouper Fishing
Gag Grouper is the most popular shallow water grouper caught. They are usually the largest of that group of fish. In 2012, the season opens on July 1 and closes on October 31. That means if you want a chance to catch one during your summer vacation in Orange Beach, you need to plan on a full day charter to be able to even have a chance to get out there to where they live. Gags have to be 22 inches in length to harvest. Most of the Gag Grouper are 22 to 28 inches in length. Sometimes you catch one that is up to 36 inches and weighs as much as 30 to 40 pounds. Now you can see why this particular species of Grouper is sought after more than others. They simply produce a lot of meat per fish.
Scamp Grouper Fishing
Scamp Grouper is what is known as the Captains Fish. That means if you catch one, many Orange Beach Fishing Captains may want a piece of it too. That is an old joke among captains down here because the scamp’s meat is tender, flaky, juicy and tasty. These fish have to be 16 inches to keep but most are around 2 to 3 pounds each. A big Scamp Grouper would be around 8 to 10 pounds, with a few of them close to 15 pounds. The season for Scamp Grouper is closed from February 1 to March 31 each year.