(Epinephelus striatus) common weight 1 to
10lbs.This grouper's range is limited to south Florida. Nassau grouper are
somewhat site specific. Smaller individuals are found nearshore while adults are
often found offshore on rocky reefs. Nassau grouper form large spawning
aggregations, making this species highly vulnerable to overharvest. All harvest
of this species is prohibited.
Florida record 9lbs. caught near
Marathon Key in 2007.
World record 38lbs 8ozs.
Grouper (Epinephelus guttatus) common weight 1-2lbs. The
species is found in tropical and subtropical waters as deep as 400 feet, from
North Carolina to Brazil, including the southern part of the Gulf of Mexico and
the Caribbean. It is most abundant off Bermuda and in the West Indies. Red hind
are protogynous hermaphrodites. Spawning occurs from March to July, and females
release an average of 90 thousand to 3 million pelagic eggs. The species may
live up to 17 years or longer, and reach a length of 23 inches and a weight of
10 pounds. Red hind feed on small fishes, crabs, shrimps and squid. Red hind
will hide in holes and crevices and capture their prey by ambush
record 6lbs 1oz.
(Mycteroperca bonaci) common weight up to 40lbs. These fish are
offshore species. Adults are associated with rocky bottoms, reef, and drop off
walls in water over 60 feet deep. Young black grouper may occur inshore in
shallow water. Black grouper spawn between May and August and they are
protogynous hermaphrodites, meaning that young predominantly female who
transform into males as they grow larger. Larger individuals of this species are
generally found in greater depths and they feed on fish and squid. Grouper
fishing from a boat typically involves baits fished near the bottom, with heavy
tackle and heavier to bring grouper to the surface. Live fish or dead cut or
whole bait are used. Grouper are very tasty meals.
Florida State Record 113lb 6oz caught
near the Dry Tortugas.
(Mycteroperca venenosa) common in weight up to
Color highly variable greenish olive or bright red with longitudinal rows of
darker black blotches over entire fish; outer one third of pectoral fins bright
yellow; lower parts of larger fish with small bright red spots. Undergoes sex
reversal from female to male in latter part of life; specific name translates to
"venomous," alluding to the fact that this fish, perhaps more frequently than
other groupers, is associated with ciguatera poisoning; feeds on fish and squid.
Florida record 34lbs 6oz caught near Key
World record 40lbs 12ozs.
Grouper (Mycteroperca phenax) is found usually in weight up to
10lbs. color highly variable greenish olive or bright red with
longitudinal rows of darker black blotches over entire fish; outer one third of
pectoral fins bright yellow; lower parts of larger fish with small bright red
spots. Scamp are found around nearshore reefs off the northeastern coast, and on
around offshore reefs in the Gulf. These fish spawn in the late spring. Scamp
feed on small fish, squid, and crustaceans. Young undergo a sex transformation
from female to male as they becomes older.
Florida record is 28lbs 6ozs. near
World record 29lbs.
interstitialis) has a color tan or brown with darker spots, or a
network of spots, fused into lines; distinct yellow wash behind the jaws; yellow
around the eyes; outer edges of fins yellowish. Found OFFSHORE over reefs and rocks; not as common as
scamp in the Gulf; range limited to southern Florida.
Undergoes sex reversal, young individuals female,
older individuals becoming male; young fish are bi-colored, dark above white
below; feeds on small fish and crustaceans.
This species is not currently
eligible for a state record.
(Epinephelus nigritus) is uniformly dark brown, with no distinct
markings; dorsal fin with 10 spines; second spine very long (much longer than
third); caudal fin squared-off; rear nostril larger than front nostril; young
have yellow caudal fin with dark saddle on caudal peduncle; some whitish spots
on body. Found in deep rocky ledges and sea mounts, in 90-300 m (300-1000 ft).
Young are sometimes caught in inshore waters.
Florida State Record
is 436lb 12oz caught near Destin.
Tackle & Bait
Groupers are caught using traditional bottom
tackle rigs. Leaders need be substantial as these fish are usually on the large size
and dive straight back into the whole in which they live. Quit often you loose
the battle with snapped off gear. A JEWFISH was caught by a lady right near
our boat dock during June 2000 in about 20' of water, it
weighed in at a staggering 175lbs before being returned to the water.
All the Groupers are considered to be
excellent in eating quality, and grouper is on the menu in most Florida
restaurants. However commercially the Scamp Grouper is considered as
Limits and Regulations
As the State
Regulations are in constant flux we advise anglers to refer to
www.MyFWC.com/fishing for the latest information.
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