Gag grouper can be found inshore and offshore. The smaller gag grouper, often in the 5 to 10 pound range are found inshore along deep water docks, mangrove-lined shorelines, near bridges and smaller fish can often be found on grass flats and shoals. Anglers usually target these fish inshore by trolling deep-diving crankbaits, jigging over some type of structure or with live bait near the bottom. Some of the better live baits are pinfish and cigar minnows.
Goliath Grouper are becoming a favorite among anglers that are looking to target big saltwater fish. The fact that you can catch goliath grouper inshore means you can target a huge saltwater fish without the long boat rides and large waves that you will have to deal with in offshore waters. Fishing for goliath grouper offshore can still be very exciting, but catching them inshore is much more appealing to most anglers.
Inshore, you can find these huge fish near bridge pilings, deep water docks, in deep holes and along ledges. Some of these smaller goliath grouper can be found along mangrove-lined shorelines and oyster bars. The best times to catch these fish is during the tidal changes. Incoming tides and outgoing tides will both offer good fishing opportunities, while slack tides are typically the worst times to fish for them.