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.
A Florida man has caught a huge black grouper that could break the world record set 12 years ago off the Texas coast. Alex Newman of Bonita Springs caught a grouper weighing 124.18 pounds on Saturday during a charity tournament in Fort Myers, according to the News Press.
As of Tuesday afternoon, Newman had not submitted an application to have his catch recorded by the International Game Fish Association based in Dania Beach, Fla., according to the group's world records' coordinator. The coordinator, Jack Vivek, said by email that once the application is received, it will take at least two months to process.
The previous record holder weighed 124 pounds and was caught Jan. 11, 2003, in the Gulf of Mexico off Texas, by Tim Overstretch, according to the game fish association, the News Press reported. Show MoreS how Less 2of29Check out some of the biggest fish to be recently pulled out of Texas waters.TWD Show MoreS how Less 3of29Shannon Ellington caught this 15.18 pound bass as part of the Sharpener Program on March 7, 2015, in Lake Ray Roberts. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Show MoreS how Less 4of29Wayne Trina caught this 13.05 pound bass as part of the Sharpener Program on March 7, 2015, in Sam Rayburn Reservoir. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Show MoreS how Less 5of29Darrell Tompkins caught this 14.32 pound bass as part of the Sharpener Program on March 7, 2015, in Sam Rayburn Reservoir. Texas Parks and Wildlife Department Show MoreS how Less 6of29Aden and Chandler Elliott with their 45 pound catch hauled out of Galveston Bay on Thanksgiving Day 2013.
Goliath and Nassau grouper are protected from harvest in Florida waters. Reading Time: 7minutesGroupers are some of Florida ’s most iconic fish species.
From monster Goliath's to delicious Scamps, these big bottom-dwellers are a favorite on most Floridian fishing trips. One of the largest species of Grouper in the Atlantic, Backgrounder are loved by commercial crews and recreational anglers alike.
The average catch in Florida is around half that length, weighing between 5 and 20 pounds. Backgrounder live around rocky bottoms and reefs on both sides of the Sunshine State.
They spend their summers spawning in much shallower seas, though, as little as 30 feet deep. Juveniles stick to these inshore spots until they’re big enough to fend for themselves.
Commonly known as “Grey Grouper,” these guys are a staple of reef fishing trips around the Gulf and up the Atlantic. They don’t grow as big as Backgrounder, usually maxing out somewhere around 50 pounds.
However, younger Gags can be found in estuaries and even seagrass beds, so don’t be surprised if you hook one while you’re on the hunt for Redfish and other inshore species. Bigger fish hunt around muddy and rocky coastal waters.
Young Goliath's will head right into estuaries and look for food around oyster bars. Their huge size and fearless curiosity made them an easy target, and they were overfished almost to extinction in the late 20th century.
Luckily, Goliath Grouper are strictly protected these days, and you can only fish for them on a catch-and-release basis. From teaming up with other predators to catch their dinner to reportedly fanning bait out of traps for an easy snack, they’re far brighter than most people give them credit for.
Sadly, this intelligence comes with the same natural curiosity that put Goliath Grouper in hot water. Nassau Grouper are critically endangered, and their numbers are still falling.
If you come across one, count yourself lucky for the chance to meet it and make sure it swims off unharmed. Nothing says “reef fishing in Florida like a boastful of big, tasty Red Grouper.
These deep-water hunters are the reason people bother to go offshore when there are so many fish in the shallows. The average Red Grouper weighs somewhere in the 5–10 lb range, and anything over 2 feet long is a rare catch.
You won’t come across them in much less than 100 feet of water, and you can easily find them in three or four times that depth. They also grow much bigger than Scamp, meaning you’re in for a real feast if you catch one.
They’re one of the easiest deep-water fish to identify, even though catching one is pretty rare. NOAA has declared Speckled Hind a Species of Concern, mainly because they have so little data on them.
If Goliath Grouper are the kings of the shallows, these guys dominate the deep. Add in the fact that they live several hundred feet down, where all fish taste great, and they become the dream catch of many deep dropping enthusiasts.
Their dappled, red body and bright yellow fins provide camouflage around the deep, rocky structure that they hunt around. Yellow fin’s scientific name, Mycteroperca Vanessa, roughly translates to “Poisonous Grouper.” This is because they tend to have very high levels of ciguatoxin.
They’re slightly smaller than Scamp on average, but many anglers say that they taste just as good. Yellow mouth Grouper are uncommon in the Gulf of Mexico, but you can bag yourself a colorful feast all along Florida ’s Atlantic Coast.
According to the News-Press, Alex Newman and his crew were participating in the 3rd Annual Offshore Rodeo Fishing Tournament, a charity event in the Gulf, when they hooked an absolutely massive black grouper on Saturday. They had been fishing for almost three hours in the tournament with little success, but their luck turned around thanks to the large grouper.
The anglers initially estimated the fish at 90 pounds, which would give them a big advantage in the tournament’s grouper category. The International Game Fish Association (IFA) recognizes a 124-pound grouper caught by Tim Ostrich III off Texas in 2003 as the world’s largest.
Still, a difference of three ounces is more than enough to give Newman the new record if IFA confirms his catch. The angler says that he will be submitting an application to IFA for review and is currently waiting for Florida officials to confirm the fish as a state record as well.
The FCC (Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission) manages the Gulf of Mexico and Atlantic Ocean differently, and it’s important to know what’s in season and what you can harvest from each shoreline. The Gulf of Mexico is a unique body of water that provides commercial and recreational anglers plenty of fishing opportunities.
The Gulf covers most of Florida ’s west coast, from Pensacola in the Panhandle to the start of the Everglades at the tip of the peninsula. This is important to keep in mind as there are different regulations for what’s in season and what you can harvest depending on if you’re in state or federal waters.
For Gag Grouper fishing in the Gulf, it’s important to note what county you’re embarking from. For counties of Franklin, Weibull, Taylor and Jefferson (in the Panhandle area from Apalachicola to Steinhatchee) there is open season in state waters from April 1 to June 30, and again from September 1 to December 31.
Black, Red, Scamp, Yellow fin and Yellow mouth Grouper all have similar regulations in the Gulf. It’s open season in both state and federal waters for Rock Hind, Coney, Yellow edge and Snowy Groupers.
You can ask your charter captain if the size you have is a keeper or not; or refer to the FCC regulations to make sure you’re staying compliant. Now moving east to the beautiful Atlantic Ocean where there are excellent opportunities for grouper fishing.
Keep in mind, the FCC considers the Everglades and Florida Keys as part of the Atlantic Ocean waters, and all fishing done in these areas must stay within Atlantic-specific regulations. From the Florida Keys to Jacksonville, anglers have hundreds of cities to choose from to launch your grouper expedition.
The real question is, what subspecies of grouper you’ll find at the end of your line. East Coast anglers should mark your calendars for May 1, this is when Gag Grouper and Backgrounder season opens from the Keys to Duval County (Jacksonville area).