To be successful, grouper, tackle must be very specific and virtually bulletproof. The name of the game is to immediately pull heavy, strong fish away from structure that can destroy leaders.

To improve their chances, experienced anglers use braided line that has virtually none of the stretch of monofilament and has revolutionized grouper fishing. Captains out of Ocean Isle Fishing Center use 80-pound class rods and conventional, star-drag reels spooled with 150 yards of 80-pound, green Power Pro, splicing in a short section of clear, 100-pound mono simply to bridge the gap between the braid and the swivel on their grouper rig.

The current will determine how much weight is needed to hold bottom, usually 12 to 24 ounces. Reel drags are completely locked down.

In accordance with federal law, circle hooks are required when targeting grouper. With this setup, an angler can react quickly to the bite and stands the best chance of boating their fish, provided they simply reel when the rod doubles over.