Fishing Groupers On Soft Baits – Part 4
How To Manipulate Soft Baits When Fishing For Groupers
By: Phil Foo
Welcome to the final part four. In previous issues we got a better understanding of groupers, where they live, and how they hunt. We then looked at some of the recommended fishing tackle that one can use to fish them. Next we took a look at locating them. In the last issue we discussed some of the softbaits that have proven to catch groupers.
Although we have only gone through three parts; the information is vital especially if you’ve not fished groupers or any saltwater fish on softbaits before. My recommendation is to read parts 1 to 3 before reading this article; part 4. Anyway, in this finale or part 4, we take a look at ways to manipulate your soft baits when fishing for groupers.
[ What you can do is to drop your softbaits and when it reaches the bottom just reel the up about a foot off the bottom… ]
Since groupers are not known to swim far and wide in search of a meal (unless they are forced to) and they prefer to hunt nearby structures that they feel safe at; there are a few ways to fish them. On a boat you should ideally park your boat in a way that you can get your softbaits down to the grouper’s hunting ground. When you get there, the fun begins.
My favourite softbait for fishing groupers – the Berkley Powerbait Pro Grub.
One of the ways to fish groupers is to simply knock on the doors of their house, and invite them out for a meal. Sounds silly doesn’t it? Well, what this means is that you drop your softbaits down to the bottom and bounce it. If the water is clear and you can see what your softbait is doing, bouncing it just outside the corals or rocks will register hits. do so and be ready to strike and pull them away from their hideout.
If you cannot see the bottom do not worry. What you can do is to drop your softbaits and when it reaches the bottom just reel them up about a foot off the bottom. Bounce it at that level around the area. Lift your rod tip and drop it back down. The softbait will rise and swim back down wiggling its sexy tail or appendages depending on the softbait you’ve chosen to use.
Another good softbait for groupers.
If you are fishing on a more horizontal plane such as from land or on a boat but on shallow water; a slow and steady retrieve can catch you your grouper. Just cast out the softbait and retrieve it slowly at a steady speed. Not too fast since groupers are not sprinters. Just imagine in your mind (if you can) that your softbait is swimming and wiggling its sexy tail. Too fast and the sexiness is reduced. Too slow that the effect of the tail is reduced.
Steady Retrieve With Intermittent Stops
You can also add intermittent stops to your steady retrieve. Stopping intermittently for a very short while – about a count of three – will provide an opportunity to the lazier groupers to come checkout your softbait. They may come near to investigate. When you start to retrieve again, the grouper may hit out of reaction or greed; not to lose an easy meal that is already within range.
A grouper that couldn’t resist the allure of softbaits.
Bottom Fishing Softbaits
Yes, you can fish softbaits bottom fishing style. This is an effective style especially when there is strong enough currents to get your softbait swimming. I once saw an angler in Australia bottom fishing with softbaits and he caught a grouper. I have tried this too, fishing off the balcony of a water chalet that I was staying at in Langkawi, Kedah (Malaysia).
[ The swimming softbait looks like at easy meal for a nearby grouper… ]
A heavy enough sinker is used to bring the softbait slowly to the bottom. At the bottom the currents help move the softbait in a way that makes it looks like it is swimming to hold on to its position in the water. The swimming softbait looks like an easy meal for a nearby grouper. Not all softbaits work with this method. Grubs and fish works well. Another one that works well is slice strip baits (yes, they do have them is softbait form too).
Softbaits are awesome and effective on groupers.
Give these techniques a try the next time you go fishing for groupers. One very important thing to always keep in mind when fishing softbaits is to imagine or visualize how the softbait is swimming and acting under the surface of the water as you manipulate them. In the next issue we will look at how to battle a grouper that has taken your bait.