image of snowy grouper

How do you know where to deep drop?

Find current if possible. It’s all about marking bottom and depth changes. When we fish for tilefish we fish the slope going up to shallower water. For grouper, we fish on the backside with a more jagged bottom.

What bait do you use to deep drop?

We use any cut bait, but 80% of the time we use squid. Cut bait can be bonita, barracuda, or skip jacks. Basically, any bloody or stinky fish like the ones listed above. We catch these before we start deep dropping and cut them up on the boat.

What equipment do you use?

We use a Diawa Electric Tanacom 1000 reel. It’s a great reel that is good for up to a 60-pound fish and can be used in depths up to 1400 feet.

What is an electric reel?

An electric reel is basically a regular reel only you don’t have to manually let out the line and reel the fish in. It’s great for deep water fishing. It also shows you how much line you have out.image of tile fish

Have any questions?

Ask and we will answer Them!

image of tile fish
image of tile fish


  1. When you see stacks of fish go up current and drop your line, so by the time you drift back you are at the fish.image of tile fish
  2. While trolling keep a watchful eye on the bottom. Any abrupt rise or fall may have some fish dwelling there. Mark the spot that has changes in contour.
  3. Generally, in Southern Florida, 300-450 feet is where you can find snappers, porgy’s, and various other random fish. The 500-900 foot range is where tilefish, barrels, and grouper like to hang out. You have to remember that there are no rules or fences, so you never know what you will catch.
  4. Once you mark your spot when you see the change in bottom quickly move up current of it. Drop and drift back to the spot while trying to maintain straight lines- usually backing into the current. Also, we consistently re-drop to make sure we are on if not very close to the bottom.
  5. image of tile fishMost tilefish are on a gradual rise. Porgy and snappers are at the top, and groupers are pretty much everywhere but mostly at the drop-off.
  6. We use a standard chicken rig with 3 or 4 hooks, offset circle hooks, and several 5 lb leads tied to the bottom of the line.
  7. I prefer using squids, but any cut bait will work.
  8. When dropping the line in the water hold the lead weight away from the boat, so you don’t hit the boat with it. You also want to make sure nothing is wrapped or tangled. Having someone holding the lead and keep the line tight as they put it in the water prevents this.
  9. Start letting your line out until you hit bottom. Keep in contact with the snowy grouper imagecaptain to see what depth they have, so you have an idea. The electric reels will show you how much line you have out.
  10. When the tip of your rod dips down (it can be very slight) press your electric reel and start sending it up!


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