Broomtail Grouper

When drift fishing over deep water reefs & rocks with live baits, you never know what will bite. Most often you will hook into cubera, almaco jack, sharks, roosterfish or sailfish, but now and then it can be a goliath grouper or this broomtail.

broomtail grouper coiba island fishing

One hundred pound mono line on a Penn 50 and heavy rod is what we use for drifting live bait. When you have your fish hooked up, push the drag up to full and pull, reel, pull. Broomtail, like cubera & goliath grouper may head straight to a rock in seconds.

Once rocked up it could take an hour to work your mystery fish out using boat maneuvering and angler tenacity. Once the big fish is clearly out of the rocks, and the boat is over deeper water, back the drag off as light as what seems reasonable and ease him up, the line may be chaffed.

Pacific Goliath Grouper

It’s a different species than the Atlantic fish. My problem with the old jewfish is, they engulf a live bonito bait whole, fast, no chewing & no playing around. Next, when it feels resistance from the drag above, run right into the nearest hole. Zip, game over. It’s not coming out.

goliath grouper

There are not as many goliath as cubera, and we are usually expecting a cubera bite. You need to give a cubera some time to get a bonito down his throat.

Goliath groupers are down there, I’ve seen them on different spots and brought a half dozen to the boat. I suspect several of our hard, fast pulling, line screaming then break off, lost fish, were jewfish.

Here’s what you need to do. Use at minimum, a 50 lb. offshore reel, at least 200 # super braid lb. line, 200 lb. fluorocarbon leader, circle hook and live lobster, on a heavy rod. Get the bait down past 60 feet, up current drifting down, along side a rock or reef, not over it. Leave the rod in the rod holder, set and leave the drag on full. When the rod bends over, drive the boat to deep water, then ease the drag back to strike and suffer the power.

Want one? We need to talk about, since I can buy live lobsters and whole fresh octopus in our home port and have them brought out to us. I thing summer months are your best shot, that’s when they are said to spawn, thats when they should be out of the river mouths, off their little home reefs and out getting it on with others, on the deep water rocks where you will snapper fish.

These fish, off these islands, have never had any real pressure put on them. There could be many 600 pound and bigger fish down there, especially when they are said to spawn, July, August & September. There could be a thousand pounder here.