bottom fishing indian ocean in the spread tom hilton
Jan 12, 2023

Bottom Fishing | Be Smart About It

Bottom fishing and deep dropping are very similar. Both are types of fishing that target fish that live on or near the bottom of the ocean, but there are some key differences between the two techniques.


Bottom fishing typically refers to fishing in shallower waters, usually at depths of around 100-200 feet, using baits or lures to target fish such as snapper, grouper, and sea bass. This type of fishing is typically done using a heavy fishing rod and reel, with a strong fishing line and a weight to keep the bait or lure on the bottom.


Deep dropping, on the other hand, is a technique used to target deeper-dwelling fish species such as tilefish and golden tilefish that live in depths of 600-1000 feet and more. Deep dropping requires specialized gear such as deep drop rods, reels, and electric reels and also requires using electric fish finders to locate the structure and fish in these depths.


In brief, bottom fishing is shallower and done with traditional gear while deep dropping is done in deep waters with specialized gear and electric reels.


Bottom Fishing Videos

In The Spread fishing videos offer you the tools to level up your fishing skills. To learn more about specific tactics and techniques, situational awareness, tackle, line, leader material, rods, reels, rigs and to gain a wealth of knowledge from some of the world's finest fishermen, browse our library of Bottom Fishing Videos.


Common Bottom Fishing Species

When bottom fishing, anglers typically target a variety of saltwater fish species that live on or near the bottom of the ocean. Some common species that are caught while bottom fishing include:

  • Snapper: This group of fish includes species such as red snapper, vermilion snapper, and lane snapper, which are all popular game fish known for their delicious meat and firm texture.
  • Grouper: Grouper is a large, firm-fleshed fish that is highly prized for its delicious meat. Common grouper species caught while bottom fishing include gags, red grouper, black grouper, and scamp grouper.
  • Sea Bass: Sea bass are a type of fish that is known for its delicate flavor and firm texture. Common species caught while bottom fishing include black sea bass, white sea bass, and kelp sea bass.
  • Triggerfish: These fish are known for their strong fighting ability and are sought after by anglers. Common species include grey triggerfish, and queen triggerfish.
  • Amberjack : These fish are known for their strong fighting ability and are sought after by anglers. Common species include greater amberjack and lesser amberjack

It's worth noting that the species of fish that can be caught while bottom fishing can vary depending on the location and time of year.


The Fun of Bottom Fishing

There are several reasons why many fishermen enjoy bottom fishing:

  1. Variety of fish species: Bottom fishing allows anglers to target a wide range of saltwater fish species, including snapper, grouper, sea bass, and many others. This variety keeps the fishing interesting and exciting.
  2. Good eating: Many of the fish species that are caught while bottom fishing are known for their delicious meat and firm texture. These fish are often highly prized by anglers for their taste and are popular choices for sport fishing as well as for consumption.
  3. Challenging and rewarding: Bottom fishing can be challenging, as the fish are typically located near the bottom of the ocean and can be difficult to reel in. This can make the fishing experience more rewarding, as the angler has to work hard to catch a fish.
  4. Scenic location: Many bottom fishing locations are in beautiful, scenic areas, such as near coral reefs or along rocky coastlines. This makes the fishing experience more enjoyable, as anglers can take in the natural beauty of their surroundings.
  5. Recreational and social: Bottom fishing is often a social activity and is often done with friends or family, which makes it more enjoyable and allows for bonding time.

In summary, bottom fishing is a versatile, challenging and rewarding type of fishing that can provide both a great catch and great scenery, making it enjoyable for many anglers.


Artificial Lures for Bottom Fishing

It is possible to use artificial lures for bottom fishing. Artificial lures are a popular choice among many anglers who enjoy bottom fishing, as they can mimic the movements and appearance of live bait and can be used to target a wide range of saltwater fish species.


There are many different types of artificial lures that can be used for bottom fishing, and the best one for you will depend on the species of fish you are targeting, the conditions of the water, and your personal preference. Some popular artificial lures for bottom fishing include:

  1. Jigs: Jigs are a versatile type of lure that can be used to target a wide range of fish species. They typically have a lead head and a soft body, which can be shaped to mimic the appearance of live bait.
  2. Bucktail Jigs: Bucktail jigs are similar to regular jigs, but the body is made of hair or other fibers, and the tail is usually made of feathers. They are known to be effective for catching snapper, grouper, and sea bass.
  3. Soft Plastic Lures: Soft plastic lures are made from a soft, flexible material that can be shaped to mimic a variety of different types of bait fish. These lures are known to be effective for catching species such as snapper, grouper, and sea bass.
  4. Swimbaits: Swimbaits are artificial lures that mimic the swimming action of a bait fish, and are often used to target larger fish species such as amberjack, grouper, and snapper.
  5. Lead-Headed Jigs with soft-plastic bodies: These lures are similar to jigs but have a lead head and a soft plastic body. They are known to be effective for catching species such as snapper, grouper, and sea bass.


The best lure for bottom fishing can vary depending on the location, season, and the species of fish you are targeting. It's always a good idea to consult with local experts or experienced anglers to learn about the best lures and techniques for the area you'll be fishing.


Live Baits for Bottom Fishing

There are a multitude of live baits that are commonly used for bottom fishing. Here are a few examples:

  1. Squid: Squid is a popular live bait for bottom fishing, as it is a common food source for many bottom-dwelling fish species such as snapper, grouper, and sea bass.
  2. Sardines and Anchovies: These small baitfish are also popular choices for bottom fishing, as they are a common food source for many bottom-dwelling fish species.
  3. Pinfish: Pinfish are small, silver fish that are popular live bait for bottom fishing. They are known to be effective for catching species such as snapper, grouper, and sea bass.
  4. Sand crabs: Sand crabs are small and can be found in sandy areas, they are known to be effective for catching species such as snapper, grouper, and sea bass.
  5. Shrimp: Shrimp are a popular live bait for bottom fishing, as they are a common food source for many bottom-dwelling fish species such as snapper, grouper, and sea bass.
  6. Cut bait: Cut bait is a popular live bait for bottom fishing. It's a fish that is caught and then cut into small pieces and used as bait. It's known to be effective for catching species such as snapper, grouper, and sea bass.


This is by no means a comprehensive list of live baits that will work for bottom fishing. The type of live bait you use can vary depending on the location, season, and the species of fish you are targeting.


Fishing Techniques for Bottom Fishing

Just like live baits, there are several fishing techniques that can be used when bottom fishing. Here are a few traditional examples:

  1. Drift fishing: Drift fishing is a technique where the angler casts their line and allows the boat to drift with the current while slowly reeling in the line. This technique is commonly used when fishing over a reef or other structure.
  2. Anchoring: Anchoring is a technique where the angler drops anchor and fish in one spot. It's commonly used when fishing in areas with a high concentration of fish or in specific spots such as near a reef or shipwreck.
  3. Trolling: Trolling is a technique where the angler drags one or more lures behind the boat while it is in motion. This technique is commonly used when fishing for large fish such as amberjack and grouper.
  4. Chumming: Chumming is a technique where the angler spreads a mixture of fish parts, oil, and other attractants in the water to attract fish to the area. This technique is commonly used when fishing for species such as snapper, grouper, and sea bass.
  5. Bottom bouncing: Bottom bouncing is a technique where the angler allows the weight of the bait or lure to hit the bottom of the ocean and then slowly reels it back up. This technique is used to imitate the natural movement of live bait and is commonly used when fishing for species such as snapper, grouper, and sea bass.


Rigs for Bottom Fishing

When it comes to bottom fishing rigs, there are so many options. Many times it is a matter of how you were taught. Experimenting with different fishing rigs is a great way to expand your overall fishing knowledge. There is no one way. Each rigs provides its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Here are a few examples of common bottom fishing rigs:

  1. The Carolina Rig: The Carolina rig is a popular bottom fishing rig that is made up of a sliding sinker, a swivel, and a leader line. It's commonly used for bottom fishing for species such as snapper, grouper, and sea bass.
  2. The Fishfinder Rig: The Fishfinder rig is a popular bottom fishing rig that is made up of a sliding sinker, a swivel, and a leader line. It's commonly used for bottom fishing for species such as snapper, grouper, and sea bass.
  3. The Three-Way Rig: The Three-Way rig is a popular bottom fishing rig that is made up of a sliding sinker, a swivel, and a leader line. It's commonly used for bottom fishing for species such as snapper, grouper, and sea bass.
  4. The Dropper Loop Rig: The Dropper Loop rig is a popular bottom fishing rig that is made up of a sliding sinker, a swivel, and a leader line. It's commonly used for bottom fishing for species such as snapper, grouper, and sea bass.
  5. The Flapper Rig: The flapper rig is a popular rig for targeting larger fish species such as amberjack and grouper. It's made up of a sliding sinker, a swivel, and a leader line.


Never stop being curious.


Learn specific fishing skills with our powerful learning system of instructional fishing videos: https://inthespread.com/


Willis Chadderbot

Content Creator

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