Grouper Season Opens

Saturday marked the opening of the fall gag grouper season. So, I loaded up on sardines and headed to the Merry Pier in Pass-A-Grille. There was a strong morning outgoing tide, which somewhat limited the grouper options. But, I did manage to pull 5 of ’em out from under the dock. The biggest was just over 20″. Big, but not big enough. There are keepers lurking there, and it’s just a matter of time now…

On Sunday, I switched gears and focused on flounder. They were present in the slips, and readily took live greenbacks (if the pinfish didn’t kill them first). But, once again, they ran small. There was a report of a big cobia hooked and lost dockside at sunrise. Catch of the day honors go to Robert, for landing a nice out-of-season snook on light tackle.

5 Responses to “Grouper Season Opens”

  1. Robert Shimer Says:

    Good to they are still around and feeding well, thnx Steve for the post.

  2. david Says:

    Thanks Steve!
    What a great blog! I’m driving the family down from Toronto to our place at the Beau Monde (4950 Gulf Blvd) early November and can’t wait to get my line in the water. What’s in season then??


  3. Steve Says:


    Feel free to look at the November reports on the site (going back to 2006). That’s how I plan ahead! But, if you’re able to get offshore, there should be plenty of big kingfish around. If you’ll be at Merry Pier, count on a BANNER Fall flounder season this year. Plenty of big sheepshead, too. And, if you have the right tackle and techniques, there will be plenty of grouper around. Have a great vacation!


  4. david Says:

    Thanks again Steve,
    I’ve got a couple of rods here, but they’re smaller…mainly for smallmouth bass and walleye and such. I think I have a bigger set of tackle down there already, but it’s been a loooong time since I’ve had a chance to fish the Gulf.

    Yes, I’ll likely be around the Merry pier, so hope to see you there. I know you’ve provided advice about the what and how for flounder in your old posts, so I’ll be sure to brush up on my bait strategy.

    Thanks again…can’t tell you how many times I’ve been down there and just not had the confidence to surf cast or whatnot when I’ve been a lake fisherman most of my life! Looking forward to the haul!


  5. Steve Says:


    Freshwater tackle MIGHT be adequate for flounder and snapper, but if you want a shot at grouper, cobia or snook, you’ll need something a lot beefier. May I suggest Gator Jim’s Tackle in St. Pete Beach (Dolphin Village – practically across the strret from Beau Monde). Check ’em out at And visit the store for GREAT deals. Ask for JoeMama, and tell him Steve sent you. And, when you’re at Merry Pier, just ask for me – I’m there most weekends.