- Peak Season: May 1st- August 31st
- Best Charter:Full Day Offshore
- Best Technique: Deep Dropping
- Best Bait: Bonito Strips, Squid
- Table Fare: Excellent if in season
Snowy Grouper in Miami
As far as anatomy is concerned, snowy grouper are very similar in shape and size as other grouper. Their spots give them their name and set them apart from the other species. Snowy grouper are a deep drop species that inhabit much deeper areas than their other grouper relatives. I've caught snowy grouper as shallow as 250 feet but most of my good spots are 350-650 feet. As far as structure is concerned, snowy's like rocky bottom. Most of the water in 350-650 feet off Miami is mud so it definitely takes some looking around to find the right spots. If you do however, they can be pretty reliable as long as you don't try to catch too many. Like most deep drop fish and benthic species, these fish are slow to grow and reproduce.
Best Tackle for Snowy Grouper
Manual rigs can be a bit difficult to employ while deep dropping, especially when you are jumping from spot to spot. Snowy grouper are hard fighters but a rig with 80lb braid and 80+lb leader should do the trick. 50 lb class electric reels are ideal for deep dropping but many anglers decide to just go with overkill and use an LP or Hooker Electric. Either way, electric reels are far more efficient for plying the depths for snowy grouper.
How to Catch Snowy Grouper
"Deep dropping" with Chicken Rigs is the primary technique for getting down to snowy grouper. Because of the depth, electric reels are standard for targeting snowy's though we have caught them manually. 5 pounds of lead is usually the way to go. For chicken rigs we like to use 130lb pound test with 3-5 hooks and a light. Whole squid and bonito strips seem to work really well for producing bites. Snowy grouper are seasonal and have a poor survival rate when released due to air bladder inflation and the extreme depth. With this being said, it is best to only target them during the season and plan to keep them. They are absolutely delicious.