Work That Rod!
Inshore and nearshore plug-pulling requires finesse, as compared to offshore trolling where rods remain in holders until a strike. When grouper trolling along the rock piles off Florida's west coast, within estuaries or in the Intracoastal Waterway, hold the rod and keep the tip aimed at the water. Let out line until the plug bumps bottom, reel it up a few feet, and remain in this zone. Reel up the plugs just enough to avoid snagging them on rocks or bottom peaks, and once beyond the threat, drop the plug back down. Conversely, if the bottom deepens, pay out more line to position the plugs in the strike zone.