Fly Fishing for Grouper and Snapper

by | Mar 9, 2021 | fly fishing for snapper | 4 comments

flyfishing-for-snapperI love all fishing but chasing snapper and grouper from the rocks and coral reef with a fly rod is one of my favorites.  Yeah, it’s mostly blind fishing, but the explosive takes more than make up for not seeing the fish.  And when you hook up, pound for pound both these fish offer one of the hardest pulls out there.  Good news for me, today we made it a full day of chasing these gangster species!


jeff-currierI was ecstatic when we took off with young Riccardo.  Grant and Sammy on the other hand, weren’t so sure.  They didn’t want to leave the awesome yellowtail fishing we’ve had.  I understand, but as you know with me, I like to mix up my fishing no matter what.  Fortunately, they know me well and were willing go.


flyfishingFor snapper and grouper, I recommend a 10-weightLines will be determined by the depth you fish at but I suggest 6 feet of straight 60lb Fluorocarbon for a leader.  60lb may sound like cheating.  But snapper and grouper live in the sharp rocks and coral and if you allow them to take much line from you they break you every time.  I literally lift my rod and strip as hard as I can right when I feel a strike.  I try not to let them take an inch from me.  No doubt, it’s easier said than done, but that’s the thrill if you ask me.


giant-hawkfishOur weather today was slightly cloudy, hot and humid.  In the morning we had a light breeze.  It was just enough that I could land my sinking fly line without spooking fish.  I jumped out of the gates with the first of two beautiful looking giant hawkfish.


yellow-snapperWe caught a bunch of fish during the first couple hours.  Most were small for their species which isn’t uncommon anymore.  Especially in the shallower rocks that you can reach with a fly rod.  Unfortunately for snapper and grouper, they are one of the worlds most delicious fish and they have been fished out of most places.  This is a 12” yellow snapper.  Despite the fact they can reach 30”, a yellow much bigger than this is rare.  I let him go.


grouper-flyfishingIt got uncomfortably hot by early afternoon.  What made it so hot was the fact that the wind came to an utter complete stop.  That’s unusual in the ocean, and fish aren’t used to such odd conditions.  The bite went nearly completely off.


trevallyBe we got lucky.  As we prowled along looking for really good structure, we ran into a school of feeding jacks.  It turns out this species isn’t that common around here.  I’ve only caught them in the Seychelles.


bigeye-trevallyThe surprising bait-ball-busting contestants were bigeye trevally.  They were tearing it up busting all around us.  Sammy and I chucked what we had, stripped as fast as we could and caught several.  It was really fun and a nice way to get everyone back on track!


spotted-cabrillaThe species we caught the most of today were leopard grouper.  Like I said above, snapper and grouper get wiped out by commercial fishing and these aggressive leopards are as vulnerable as any.  But they must reproduce well, although this isn’t by any means a big one, it was one of the nicest fish we caught today.


flag-cabrillaThe day was a splendid one for all of us.  Sammy and Grant both admitted it was a good time.  We caught giant hawkfish, leopard grouper, spotted cabrilla, this flag cabrilla, Panama graysby, cornetfish and bigeye trevally.  I’m certain we missed a good day of yellowtail but honestly, for me, I don’t need to yank on big fish all day for five days straight.  I enjoy playing with all the beautiful species around.


Baja-AnglersWe had a delightful time around the village tonight.  While Sammy sought out some internet and checked in with his family and work, Grant and I grabbed a few Pacifico’s and walked the village.  Its really peaceful here.  It will be tough to leave.  Luckily we’re not leaving too soon and we’ll spend two more days on the water.  Back to the yellowtail manana!


Jeff Currier Global Fly Fishing


  1. Barton Jennings

    I am enjoying your reports from Baja. Regarding your fly rod selections, what is your rationale behind your decisions to use the Winston Alpha+ models vs the Air Salt? Also, I noticed the BIII Plus. What weight did you use? Thanks!

    Great Falls, MT

  2. Jeff

    Good eye Barton. As a Winston Ambassador/Advisor I need to be on my game with the different feels of each model. The BIII Plus was always one of my favorites. So I get flustered sometimes when they discontinue one. With last year grounding me so long and very few opportunities to fish 10’s I took advantage of this trip to play around with all three at the same time. So of the three I like the Air Salt best. That’s good news. The BIII plus is a close second. And although most people like the Alpha + very much, for me it was a bit fast. As a Winston guy for over 30 years I like med/fast rods. I like the butt to help give me energy. It takes a lot of work out of my casting stroke once you slow down and therefore I can cast a Winston 10-12-weight all day long. I hope this helps

  3. Barton

    Great feedback! I am a recent born-again Winstonphile, having returned to the green sticks after a 2 year flirtation with ultra-fast rods. Those same 2 years were also spent in physical therapy nursing tennis and golfers elbow injuries from casting those rods. Although very effective, I realized I was working way to hard to generate line speed. To your point about the Air Salt being your favorite, I used a 9 weight for permit in Mexico recently. I enjoyed the automatic casting qualities for quick shots using the SA Grand Slam line you recommended in an earlier post, but the sustained Xcalak winds in excess of 25 mph ate my lunch. Wish I had gone with the 10. I did have a backup 10 in a BIII Plus, also with a Grand Slam, which saved my trip. It’s much more progressive with a steeper taper than the Air, casting off the tip. The fun-factor of the Air Salt is better. I missed your presentation to the Missouri River Fly Fishers a couple years ago. Hope you visit again soon.


  4. Jeff

    Barton, glad my feedback helped. And let the guys know that as soon as MT allows gatherings I’m ready to come back up to MRFF!

Welcome to the Blog of Jeff Currier!

Contact Jeff

I started fly fishing at age 7 in the lakes and ponds of New England cutting my teeth on various sunfish, bass, crappie and stocked trout. I went to Northland College in Ashland, Wisconsin, where I graduated with a Naturalist Degree while I discovered new fishing opportunities for pike, muskellunge, walleyes and various salmonids found in Lake Superior and its tributaries.

From there I headed west to work a few years in the Yellowstone region to simply work as much as most people fish and fish as much as most people work. I did just that, only it lasted over 20 years working at the Jack Dennis Fly Shop in Jackson, WY where I departed in 2009. Now it’s time to work for "The Man", working for myself that is.

I pursue my love to paint fish, lecture on every aspect of fly fishing you can imagine and host a few trips to some of the most exotic places you can think of. My ultimate goal is to catch as many species of fish on fly possible from freshwater to saltwater, throughout the world. I presently have taken over 440 species from over 60 countries!