The snowy grouper, also known as a golden grouper, is a deep water species caught by specialized gear in the waters of the Atlantic Ocean. Anglers must be aware of the strict harvesting regulations before attempting to catch and keep the fish. When it comes to quality in taste and texture, it is unmatched compared to other members of the grouper family. Here is what you need to know about the snowy grouper.
Can You Eat Snowy Grouper
Golden grouper make excellent table fare when prepared. The fillets are best described as lean, flaky, moist, firm, and white.
The grouper is notable for producing thick fillets. Thick fillets are excellent when grilled, broiled, baked, or cut into chunks and deep-fried. Always remember to avoid overcooking because the fillets will become dry.
Where Can I Find Snowy Grouper
The snowy grouper is widely distributed across the east coast of the United States beyond Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina.
Golden grouper range extends between Massachusetts and Florida. However, this variety of grouper is a deep water species. Anglers target the fish in depths ranging between 300 and 800 feet along rocky bottoms with specialized gear.
Deep dropping fishing gear is a specialized assortment of equipment to target bottom-dwelling species. Deep dropping combinations are stout rods, braided lines, and electric reels wired to the boat’s battery system.
In addition to powered reels, high-quality electronic bottom reading sonar is required. The sonar identifies rocky bottoms in extreme depths., top-notch marine electronics are needed.
The need for rigs, weights, and lights is after the rod, reel, and electronic bottom reading equipment. Beneath the swivel on the mainline is a water-activated light, multi-hook rig, and deep drop weight. The deep drop weight measures between three and eight pounds.
Bait the hooks with barracuda chunks, bonito chunks, or squid. Deploy the rig, weight, and light to the rocky seafloor below. Bounce the lead off the bottom while monitoring the tip for strikes. When a grouper hits the bait, reel the line by pushing the button to engage the reel.
What Is The Average Size Of A Snowy Grouper
On average, the golden grouper weighs between five and ten pounds. However, the grouper is occasionally caught more than fifteen pounds.
Is Snowy Grouper In Season
The South Atlantic Fishery Management Council handles the regulations regarding harvesting snowy, otherwise known as golden grouper.
When it comes to regulations, the management council manages the waters between three and two hundred miles from the coast of North Carolina, South Carolina, and Georgia.
Harvesting of the grouper is highly seasonal. The open season ranges between the first of May and the end of August. Between the months of September and April, it is unlawful to harvest golden grouper.
Can You Keep Snowy Grouper
Yes, golden groupers are harvestable between May and August. Anglers who have a vessel capable of running offshore and deep drop reel fishing for snowy grouper can harvest one fish per vessel per day.
We recommend running a twin-engine boat that can withstand rough sea conditions when targeting golden grouper. The limits are highly restrictive; therefore, we suggest combing the trip with bluewater trolling for pelagics or reef fishing for snapper while spending the gas money.
The blue water fish include wahoo, tuna, dolphin, sailfish, cobia, and marlin. While closer to shore, bottom fishermen focus on mutton snapper, red snapper, vermillion snapper, lane snapper, and more.
Are You Ready To Deep Drop For Snowy Grouper
Remember, targeting the golden grouper requires expensive fishing gear, high-powered seaworthy vessels, knowledge of navigating inlets, and top-notch bottom reading sonar. However, if you have the opportunity to chase the fish the effort is worth the reward. Remember to obtain a fishing license and to combine the trip with targeting other offshore species.