Grouper Grabbers

Paul Godbout with a nice grouper

By Matt Winter
Tideline Magazine

The game has changed.

For as long as most folks can remember, Lowcountry anglers have bundled up in the cooler months, thrown a block or two of frozen squid in the boat and taken a chilly ride off Charleston to catch grouper, snapper and black sea bass.

But the steady drumbeat of tighter regulations on  snapper-grouper species has put a chill on such traditions. This November and December, both black sea bass and red snapper remain off the menu for recreational anglers. Federal regulators have closed those fisheries to help stocks rebuild.

So why bother?

Here’s why.

“Two trips in a row. Forty-five minutes and we’re done, limited out,” says veteran commercial and recreational angler Paul Godbout. “These big grouper, they’re almost too easy now.” Continue reading