There are several different species of Grouper found in the Gulf of Mexico.  The Red and Gag Grouper are the two most common and usually range in size from 3 to 25 pounds.  Gag Grouper do get much larger but are difficult to catch due to their tackle busting power.  They are structure oriented, and therefore spend most of their lives hanging around rocky ledges, reefs, and wrecks.  We fish these structures by anchoring the boat over them so the baits can be dropped to the fish.  When hooked these fish run for the rocks and will shred 100 pound tackle if not stopped quickly!  The challenge of grouper fishing is dropping baits next to knarly structure, hooking powerful fish, and keeping them from making that short run to freedom.   Grouper are caught on a wide variety of dead and live bait.  Unlike most other groupers, the Gag will move into very shallow water during the cooler months.  They can be caught inshore around docks and rock piles.  Most of these fish are juveniles averaging only a few pounds but.  Tampa Bay in an exception due to it's size and it's shipping channel depths.  Trolling large plugs has become a popular way to fish Tampa Bay for Gag Grouper.  In summer months the Gags will move out to deeper water and require a longer boat ride to target them.  Other species of grouper we catch in our area include Black Grouper, Scamp, Goliath, Kitty Mitchell, Warsaw, and a few other smaller exotics.