Employee Spotlight: Corey Gropp

At Cannons Marina, we like to blog about some of our employees so you can get to know the GREAT and talented people who work here and deal with your boats. Today, we are introducing you to Corey Gropp, a Yard Maintenance technician here at Cannons. Corey is not only awesome at his job, he is also an awesome fisherman. Anytime we have a question about catching a Snapper, he’s our go-to guy.  So, we asked him some questions about his favorite past time – fishing!

Corey Gropp with a Red Snapper
Corey Gropp with a Red Snapper

Tell us about your job here at Cannons:
Well, I do yard maintenance  I throw boats in the water, I deliver boats and move the boats in the yard. I also do boat shows and demos. I do whatever I can, really – whatever needs to be done. When boats are brought in by a truck, I pick them up and put them on the ground and make sure they’re clean. I also take people out on the boat when they come in for a demo.
How long have you been working at Cannons?
It will be eight years this December, so seven and a half years.
What kind of boat do you have?
I have a 20 foot, Mako.
When you are boating, what do you like to do?  
I don’t really waste my gas on pleasure boating, I’m more of a fisherman. I like to do a lot of offshore fishing, so I pretty much follow the seasons – at certain times of the year, some fish bite better.
What are you currently fishing for?
Right now, there’s a lot of Snapper. Grouper season opens up on July 1st and it will be really exciting. Also, Hog Snapper or Hog Fish – they’re not even related to a Snapper but some people call them a Hog-Nosed Snapper.
What do you fish for inshore?
I haven’t done much inshore in the past few months, but Trout are always good. They’re everywhere.
What’s your favorite thing about fishing?
I love seeing a bunch of turtles and a cobia or two – they are definitely around this year. Cobias can be anywhere from really close to shore or 30 miles off shore. This time of year, they are closer to shore. They’re hanging out with the turtles and the tarpon. I’ve seen them riding along with turtles and hanging around with Manatees and Sting Rays or schools of Tarpon. There are usually more than one of them, usually they are in sets of two. They are kind of scavengers and eat the leftovers of other fish.  Like, a sting ray will be digging around in the sand or the weeds and a crab will escape and the Cobia will be there to clean it up. They’re kinda like moochers. They are usually hiding under debris – I’ve even seen one under a beach ball. They’re neat fish. I think their closest relative is a Remora. A lot of people confuse them for Sharks, they have a similar profile. They can be anywhere from a dark brown to a reddish color.
What are you currently fishing for?
I have been doing more Permit fishing and Snapper. Both are biting now. Permit can be anywhere from three mile off shore to 20 miles off shore.
What has been your most exciting fishing moment?
My most exciting catch was probably a 40-pound Permit – that’s the one I get most excited about.  Every year, I wait for Permit to get here. If you go offshore 12 – 18 miles, they’re usually here from the end of May through July – depending on water temperature. They like to eat crab. So, to catch them, I like to freeline a crab off the back of the boat.
What type of bait do you like to use?
When I fish, I like to go to the fish market and get every kind of bait that I might need. I like to be prepared. Who knows, I might see a Sailfish out there because the fishing is really good right now.  When I’m offshore, I don’t use artificial bait, I’ll use frozen bait or live shrimp for Snapper or Trigger Fish. I’ll use Pinfish for Grouper. I find that certain grouper like a Pinfish better than frozen bait on certain days. Sometimes, they’re lazy.
What do you like to bring on the boat with you?
I like an ice cold Budweiser and lots of water. Good company! You don’t want to be stuck out there with someone you don’t like! Good company and an ice cold beer sounds good to me!
What’s your dream fishing trip?
I’d like to go to the Amazon and catch a 20 – 30 pound Peacock Bass – that’s one of those that’s on the bucket list. Before I die, I want to catch a Peacock Bass.