Often found near ports, the rock hind is native to the western Atlantic Ocean. They can be caught using various methods, including bottom bouncing, bottom fishing, saltwater trolling, and drift fishing. They respond best to both live and cut bait.
How to identify Rock Hind
Rock hinds are also known as butterfish, rock groupers, and cod. They are generally a dark green-tan color with prominent orange-red spots throughout their body and fins. They look similar to the red hind but are more reclusive. Rock hinds have very distinct dorsal markings that can be dark or light. Their anal fins and tails are wide with white edging. They have the ability to grow lighter or dark at their own will.
Where to catch Rock Hind
The rock hind is the most common grouper found on the coast of Texas. They are solitary fish and can be found in the western Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and from North Carolina to Bermuda. They prefer to stick near jetties, snapper banks, roman-made reefs, shipwrecks, rocks, and other structures close to the shore in waters as deep as 150 feet.
The following are habitats where you can catch Rock Hind:
- Coastal Waters
- Jetties and Breakers
- Piers, Docks and Pilings
- Reefs, Wrecks and Shoals
- Shoreline Shallows
- Rocky Sea Floor
How to catch Rock Hind
The best time to fish for rock hinds is when it is coldest – from September to March. Look for them in breakwaters that form near ports. Anglers catch rock hinds by bouncing jigs on the bottom while drifting near structures. Another method that is popular is trolling. In deeper waters, bottom-line fishing can be successful. These fish will fight hard once they are hooked. They are also known for getting anglers’ lines tangled into rocks. Anglers are advised to let the fish tire itself out before trying to reel it in. Caution should be used when handling these fish because their gill covers are sharp and jagged.
The following are effective fishing methods and techniques for catching Rock Hind:
Best Lures, Bait & Tackle to catch Rock Hind
Rock hinds respond best to live bait, such as squid, sardines, white crabs, and chub mackerel. Cut bait, such as octopus, works as well.
The following are fishing lures, bait and tackle that can be used to catch Rock Hind: