5 Best Trolling Lures for Grouper Fishing (2021 Buying Guide)

Kenneth ReavesEdited by: Kenneth Reaves
Michael DarmontReviewed by: Michael Darmont

Last Update:

The Rundown

Best Overall: Yo-Zuri Crystal 3D Minnow Deep Diver Lure
“An easy-to-use diving lure that’s sure to get the attention of any grouper you pass it over. “

Best Budget Option: Huntington Drone Spoon
“A classic fishing solution and a perfect trolling option to bag a big grouper. “

Best Premium Option: Nomad Design DTX Minnow
“A durable diving lure that always runs straight, is ready for the water out of the box, and stands up to vicious strikes from fish. “

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Most fishermen target grouper with bottom rigs and jigs, but trolling for grouper can easily yield just as many if not more fish. If you’re fishing reefs that are on the shallow side, trolling for grouper lets you cover much more water, and be sure to pull them out of any holes they may be sitting in. 

The best trolling lures are easy to get down to the grouper’s habitat, durable enough to take a beating, and great baitfish mimics. The easier-to-use ones are diving lures that don’t require a downrigger or lead diver. 

We’ve put together this list to cover your best options for trolling lures when targeting grouper in this active fishing style.

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Product Name
Best Budget Option
Best Premium Option
Our Rank
Ranked #1
Ranked #2
Ranked #3
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Yo-Zuri Crystal 3D Minnow Deep Diver Lure, Sardine, 5-1/4-Inch
Huntington 2-1/2 3/4-Ounce Drone Spoon, 4 3/4-Inch Blade, Size 8/0 Hook, Stainless Steel Finish
Nomad Design DTX Minnow 165/200 Sinking Trolling Minnow - Chartreuse Orange Mackerel, 8 inch
Our Grade
Our Rating 92/100
Our Rating 88/100
Our Rating 85/100
Feature One
Incredible durability
Aggressive action to tempt hiding grouper
Read to be dropped in the water and pulled immediately
fEATURE tWO
Easy to use, no downriggers necessary
Stainless steel stand up to saltwater and pounding strikes
Patented autotune feature keeps the lure running straight
Best Overall
Our Rank
Ranked #1
Thumbnail
Yo-Zuri Crystal 3D Minnow Deep Diver Lure, Sardine, 5-1/4-Inch
Our Grade
Our Rating 92/100
Feature One
Incredible durability
fEATURE tWO
Easy to use, no downriggers necessary
Affiliate Buy Button
Best Budget Option
Product Name
Our Rank
Ranked #2
Thumbnail
Huntington 2-1/2 3/4-Ounce Drone Spoon, 4 3/4-Inch Blade, Size 8/0 Hook, Stainless Steel Finish
Our Grade
Our Rating 88/100
Feature One
Aggressive action to tempt hiding grouper
fEATURE tWO
Stainless steel stand up to saltwater and pounding strikes
Affiliate Buy Button
Best Premium Option
Our Rank
Ranked #3
Thumbnail
Nomad Design DTX Minnow 165/200 Sinking Trolling Minnow - Chartreuse Orange Mackerel, 8 inch
Our Grade
Our Rating 85/100
Feature One
Read to be dropped in the water and pulled immediately
fEATURE tWO
Patented autotune feature keeps the lure running straight
Affiliate Buy Button

Best Trolling Lures for Grouper in 2021

Here’s our shortlist for best lures for trolling for grouper:

Yo-Zuri Crystal 3D Minnow Deep Diver Lure

Best Overall: An easy-to-use diving lure that’s sure to get the attention of any grouper you pass it over. 

Yo-Zuri Crystal 3D Minnow Deep Diver Lure, Sardine, 5-1/4-Inch
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KEY FEATURES

  • Always shines and rattles
  • Incredible durability
  • Easy to use, no downriggers necessary

Yo-Zuri Crystal Minnows are great lures for any species thanks to their internal reflective prisms and durability. These deep divers are perfect trolling lures for grouper since they’ll reach the bottom and provide a ton of attention from grouper and other reef fish. Overall a solid choice for any fishermen, you won’t have to worry about the lure if you knock it across a rock a few times. 

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Lures Details

Crystal Minnows have an internal prism for reflection patterns which means even if the exterior gets scratched up, they will still reflect like new. The body of the lure itself is incredibly durable and can handle being knocked around on a reef if you happen to troll too quickly. 

The treble hooks are plenty strong so you won’t have any issues dragging heavy grouper away from their reef holes. The lip on the lure will cause it to hold at depth while being trolled, making it a great option for trolling over reefs. 

How to Use

No need to worry about downriggers with these lures, they’re a great option for water 30 feet and under if you troll between 3 and 6 miles per hour. Cover as much water and structure as possible to get the best results.

Huntington Drone Spoon

Best Budget Option: A classic fishing solution and a perfect trolling option to bag a big grouper. 

Huntington 2-1/2 3/4-Ounce Drone Spoon, 4 3/4-Inch Blade, Size 8/0 Hook, Stainless Steel Finish
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KEY FEATURES

  • A great addition to any tackle box
  • Aggressive action to tempt hiding grouper
  • Stainless steel stands up to saltwater and pounding strikes

Spoons are always a good choice for fishermen and these Drone Spoons are perfect options to troll for grouper. Their aggressive action and consistent flash make them solid performers in a variety of situations. Their price and durability also make them amazing budget options for any fishermen targeting grouper. 

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Lure Details

The design and shape of these spoons give them an aggressive and frantic action as they travel through the water. Made of stainless steel, you won’t need to worry about them chipping, corroding, or fading. They also come in a wide variety of weights and sizes so you can swap them out and try different trolling speeds and depths to get a good idea of where the fish are biting. 

How to Use

Swap weights around and try different speeds to get the depth you need to. You can cover a ton of water and then focus in on the areas, depths, and speeds that are producing the most fish.

Nomad Design DTX Minnow

Best Premium Option: A durable diving lure that always runs straight, is ready for the water out of the box, and stands up to vicious strikes from fish.

Nomad Design DTX Minnow 165/200 Sinking Trolling Minnow - Chartreuse Orange Mackerel, 8 inch
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KEY FEATURES

  • Patented autotune feature keeps the lure running straight
  • Read to be dropped in the water and pulled immediately
  • One of the most aerodynamic and streamlined lures you can buy

The Nomad Design DTX Minnow is a cutting-edge trolling lure that is everything a fisherman could ask for. Durable, easy to use, and effective with cutting-edge technology. Overall it’s an incredible choice for any fisherman looking for a life-long trolling lure.  

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Lure Details

The DTX Minnow has a variety of features that make it stand out. Inset hook attachments help streamline the lure and lower drag. The patent-pending Autotune feature keeps the lure running straight regardless of line slack and turns. 

The lip helps hold the lure at depth, and the body has a diamond-weave internal structure top and integrity and keeps it from being crushed by huge fish or denting when smacking into reefs. The extra-strong hooks are sure to snag any fish that goes for the lure as well. 

How to Use

This lure can go straight from the box to be tied onto your line and dropped in the water. It doesn’t require any maintenance to keep it running straight, and can troll at a wide variety of speeds. Expect grouper, king mackerel, and many other species to take a bite out of the minnow as it swims through the water.

Bass Assassin Saltwater Sea Shad

Best With Downriggers: A durable soft plastic with a ridiculous amount of action and a great mimic of a panicking baitfish. 

Bass Assassin Saltwater Sea Shad-10 Per Bag (Opening Night/Limetreuse Tail, 4-Inch)
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KEY FEATURES

  • Frantic tail action to tempt strikes
  • Big variety of colors and sizes
  • Works great in a small spread

Wriggling soft plastics are a great way to entice groupers away from the reef and into striking. The tails on these Saltwater Sea Shad provide all the action you need, and they’re easy to rig a large spread of them to cover a ton of water. They’re a great option for grouper trolling, though unlike other lures on the list they will require a downrigger or planer to hold at depth. 

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Lure Details

A simple lure, the shad are shaped like small baitfish and have a tail that gives a frantic action while being pulled. They look just like a small baitfish trying to get away from a predator, and this can trigger instinctual bites from the grouper you’re targeting. Green and white are usually the best option for grouper but they come in a lot of different colors and patterns to switch up when needed.

How to Use

You’ll need to use a lead weight or a downrigger to keep these soft plastics at the proper depth. Once there, you shouldn’t need to do much except cover as much water as you can and let the tails of the baits provide the action you need to entice strikes.

X-Rap Magnum 30

Best Deep Diver: A classic rattling lure, the X-Rap Magnum delivers a deeper dive than other great grouper lures.

X-Rap Magnum 30 Wahoo UV
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KEY FEATURES

  • Wide variety of patterns
  • Internal rattle for extra attraction
  • Can get up to 30 feet down

You won’t always have access to shallow reefs for grouper, and you’ll need a lure that can dive deeper. The X-Rap Magnum 30 can be trolled up to 13 knots and can dive to 30 feet in depth, making it a viable option for grouper trolling over deeper structures than other lures. 

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Lure Details

The X-Rap Magnum is a great trolling lure with their proprietary internal rattle that gives off a ton of noise to bring shy fish up off the bottom. Its lip allows it to dive down to 30 feet, deeper than any other lure on the list and making it an ideal option for waters deeper than 30 feet. It has an internal holographic foil, 3d eyes, and extremely strong steel hooks. 

How to Use

You’ll want to use the 30’ model when you are trolling water deeper than 30 feet. Otherwise, you can troll with other lures on the list or the 10’ model of the X-Rap. Just like the others, however, you’ll want to troll as much water and structure as possible to maximize your chances of getting a strike from a grouper.


Tips for Grouper Trolling

Fish a Tight Drag

Usually, when trolling you want to fish a lighter drag to let the fish take the bait and run off, then tighten it down to set the hook. When fishing for grouper, you want to do the opposite. Instead, fish a tight drag to instantly snag the grouper and drag them away from the reef so they can’t dive back into a hole. Since groupers feed by inhaling their prey, this tactic works much better than it would with other saltwater fish. Remember that fishing a heavy drag means more pressure and weight on you, so be prepared for an intense fight. 

Take It Slow

For the most part, you’re going to need to troll slowly when targeting grouper. That will usually mean between 3 and 6 miles per hour. You need to go fast enough to get action out of the lures but also slow enough to ensure it gets the fish’s attention and gives them time to bite. 

Use Heavy Gear

It’s likely most grouper you catch won’t be over forty pounds but not only will you run into larger ones, grouper themselves are large and fight hard. Don’t try to troll with lighter gear because it can easily fail, especially with the added tension from trolling. 

Be Aware of the water depth, structure, and where your lures are.

You’ll usually be trolling shallow water for grouper and other game fish that is under 30 feet deep. Keep a watchful eye on your gear and its position, since if you’re bouncing off the bottom or smacking into structures it’s likely you’ll snag into something and lose your gear.


Questions & Answers

Why Troll for Grouper?

Trolling allows you to cover a lot more water and put your bai9t in front of a lot more grouper than you otherwise would be able to. Jigging and dropping live baits is still a great option for deeper water, but you will typically have more consistent success on shallow reefs by trolling. 

How many rods should I use?

Usually, you’ll only want to troll one rod for grouper. If you’re confident you can keep your plugs far enough apart and keep them from snagging on the bottom then two is also okay. Trolling for grouper isn’t like trolling for pelagic fish, and you don’t need to get out a big spread to get their attention. In fact, grouper are more likely to attack a solitary fish than to go after a school, so a single presentation is usually best.