They prefer muddy and rocky bottoms, but can be caught in a variety of habitats such as open seas, shallow seas, subtidal aquatic beds, coral reefs, rocky shores, sandy shores, estuaries waters, intertidal flats, intertidal marshes, coastal saline lagoons, coastal freshwater lagoons, and karts. In colder months they move back inshore, and sometimes you can get big ones in water as shallow as 20 ft.
Like most predator fish that feed close to the bottom, when a red grouper grabs the bait and feels resistance, it will try to run to the nearest hiding place. However, they are also interested in lures, and catching them with jigs and jerk baits in shallower water can be very entertaining.
A red grouper will basically gulp any fish passing by, if it looks appetizing and it can fit in its mouth. Make sure though that you hook them by the dorsal fin or their lower jaw, to live longer.
Cutting bigger bait fish in half at a 45° angle seems to have quite a great effect on the presentation, resulting in more bites. If you want to catch red grouper with lures, best jerk baits and jigs are always a good call.
Some lures to try out are Your Minnows, Mirror Deep Divers (red, orange and black silver), Salas Jigs in Green / Blue Sardine, or squid imitating jigs such as the ones from Charities. Shakespeare makes quite a few Ugly Sticks for this purpose, with an OK price / quality ratio.
So, equip your rod with a 4/0 Penn Senator or Abu Garcia Seascape bait casting reel. It’s always best to go with braided line for groupers, because it gives you a better control of the fish right away, as it doesn’t stretch.
Depending on the bait used, depth and fish size targeted, your line can be between 40-60lb. Since groupers in general, have a big mouth, sizeable circle hooks are the best for these fish.
Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Actinopterygii Order: Performed Family: Serranidae Subfamily: Epinephrine Genus: Epimetheus Species: Binomial name Epimetheus Mario Synonyms Serra nus Mario Valentines, 1828 Serra nus erythrogaster Delay, 1842 Serra nus lurid us Tanzania, 1842 Serra nus remotes Play, 1860 Serra nus angustifrons Standalone, 1864 The red grouper has a body with a standard length which is 2.6 to 3 times as long as it is deep.
The properly is subangular with the serrations at its angle being slightly enlarged and the upper edge of the gill cover is straight. The They are dark reddish brown on the upper part of the head and body, shading to paler pink on the underparts, they are marked with lighter spots and blotches across their body and there are darker margins to the fins.
This species has a maximum published total length of 125 centimeters (49 in), although they a more commonly found at lengths around 50 centimeters (20 in), and a maximum published weight of 23 kilograms (51 lb). The redgrouper's typical range is coastal areas in the western Atlantic, stretching from southern Brazil to North Carolina in the US and including the Gulf of Mexico and Bermuda.
Spawning occurs offshore between January and June, peaking in May. While primarily eating benthic invertebrates, the red grouper is an opportunistic feeder in the reef community.
The diet commonly includes mantid and portend crabs, juvenile spiny lobster, and snapping shrimp, with the occasional fish. The red grouper is of moderate size, about 125 cm and weighs 23 kg or more.
When aggravated (they are highly territorial) or involved in spawning activities, these fish can very rapidly change coloration patterns, with the head or other parts of the body turning completely white, and the white spots appearing more intense. Red grouper (Epimetheus Mario) on an excavated site on Pulley Ridges on the West Florida Shelf Red grouper actively excavate pits in the seafloor.
They start digging in the sediment from the time they settle out of the plankton and continue throughout their lifetime. They use their caudal fin and their mouths to remove debris and sediment from rocks, creating exposed surfaces on which sessile organisms actively settle (e.g., sponges, soft corals, algae).
The exposure of structure also attracts a myriad of other species, including mobile invertebrates and a remarkable diversity of other fishes, from bodies and butterfly fish to grunts and snapper. The lionfish Steroid Holsteins started invading red grouper habitat by 2008, from Florida Bay to the Florida Keys and offshore to Pulley Ridge, a despotic coral reef on the West Florida Shelf west of the Dry Tortugas.
Known for being extremely capable predators on small reef fish, scientists are very interested in determining the extent to which their invasion changes the functional dynamics of associated communities. Wikimedia Commons has media related to Epimetheus Mario.
Groupers of the world (family Serranidae, subfamily Epinephrine). “Helming parasites of Epimetheus Mario (Pisces: Serranidae) of the Yucatán Peninsula, southeastern Mexico” (PDF).
^ Scholar, W. N.; Cricket, R. & van der Loan, R. Photo: NOAA Grouper are large, fat-bodied fish with huge mouths and will eat just about anything they can fit in those choppers.
“Adult gag grouper live in nearshore waters from coastal North Carolina south to Brazil and as well as in the Gulf of Mexico. Smaller gag are a lot of lighter in coloring, and have numerous dark brown, or charcoal, kiss-like marks along their sides.
“Young gag grouper will live in oyster reefs, estuaries and seagrass beds from Massachusetts to Cape Canaveral, Florida. The coloration of red grouper helps to distinguish this species from gag with its head and body being dark reddish brown, shading pink or reddish or even pale pink along the lower part of its body,” Nash said.
“In North Carolina, gag will typically spawn in February and have clear larvae, which then make their way into estuaries. As water temperatures start to go down in the fall, juvenile gag will migrate from estuaries to offshore hard bottom habitat and larger members of their species,” said Seward.
Seward noted that all grouper are considered protogynous intersex, “that is they start their lives as females, and a part of the population will morph, or make the change, to males as they get older. Females start to reach sexual maturity when they are about 24 inches in total length and about 3 years old.
They are voracious predators, and will feed on whatever they can capture including scad, snapper, grunt, sardines, crabs, porgies, shrimp and squid, said Seward. Red grouper sitting on sand habitat 45 degrees to camera full body view mouth open.
In addition to their color, redgroupercan be distinguished from gag by the sloped, straight line of their spiny dorsal fin. “The red grouper is also a protogynous intersex and females are sexually mature by the time they reach 4 years old,” Seward said.
Females typically will let go an average of 1.5 million pelagic eggs that stay at the surface for between 30-40 days before finally settling down to the bottom. “ Red grouper may live to be as old as 25 years of age, with older specimens reaching a size of 32.5 inches and up to 25 pounds.
They will feed on lobster, shrimp, octopus, crabs and fish that are found close to their preferred reef habitat,” Seward said. Bottom fishing is the best way to catch gag grouper, using live bait, including squid and cigar minnows.
Use a depth finder to find deep-water rock ledges, artificial reefs and shipwrecks, a gag grouper ’s favorite hiding place. Recreational and commercial fishermen are required to use hooking tools when fishing for the snapper grouper species.
“This prohibition does not apply to fish harvested, landed and sold before the annual catch limit is reached and held in cold storage by a dealer,” said North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries Executive Assistant to Councils Steve Poland, who is also a representative with the South Atlantic Fishery Management Council. While populations of gag grouper have remained healthy, a 10-year effort to rebuild the red grouper stock has failed, leading to new, stricter rules and regulations taking effect this year.
Therefore, on Sept. 27, 2017, NFS sent a letter to the council stating that the South Atlantic red grouper stock was not making adequate progress toward rebuilding. So, NFS took steps in 2018 to immediately end overfishing of red grouper by reducing the total commercial and recreational annual catch limits, based on the acceptable biological catch recommendation from the council’s Scientific and Statistical Committee.
“For red grouper, this final rule extends the closure season formerly from January to April, to January through May of each year for the next ten years for the commercial and recreational portions off North and South Carolina, and establishes a commercial trip limit,” said Poland. This final rule establishes a commercial trip limit for red grouper harvested in the South Atlantic EEA of 200 pounds, gutted weight.
The trip limit is expected to help rebuild the red grouper stock by discouraging directed commercial fishing for the species, although it is not likely to substantially reduce the current level of commercial harvest of red grouper, according to the National Register. “The council selected a commercial trip limit that in combination with extending the spawning season cloture for red grouper off North Carolina and South Carolina would help keep down harvest numbers to help rebuild the stock,” Poland said.
Taken as a group, the grouper is one of the most popular game and table fish in all of Key West. Here is your guide to everything you need to know about the most common varieties of grouper to be found in the water around Key West.
You and your party will have a wonderful time with Captain Pepe’s Key West Charter Fishing. RememberS hallow water grouper are closed for harvest January 1st to May 1st in the Atlantic.
First, its mild, delectable flavor makes the black grouper an excellent table fish. You can find the occasional black grouper further north along the Atlantic Coast, but they’re much more abundant in the Bahamas, here in the Florida Keys, and in the Caribbean.
Their coloring is quite variable, ranging from an olive green to a splotchy gray with dazzling patterns that emanate from the eyeball and radiate toward the tail in very complex lines. Unfortunately, because they’re considered an endangered species, the Jewish is catch and release only at the current time.
Size and Appearance Needless to say, the Goliath grouper is absolutely huge. They tend to stay at depths of less than 200 feet and like to swim near rocky formations and shipwrecks.
But if you want to give the Jewish a shot, bring along your heaviest tackle and some 100-pound test line just to be sure. For bait, you should only use live fish under 15 pounds, as artificial lures and jigs pretty much never work.
Important for both commercial and leisure fishing, the red grouper is as tasty as its black counterpart and is the centerpiece for a practically endless list of delicious recipes. Size and Appearance Red grouper tend to be a bit smaller than the black grouper, ranging between 1 and 2 feet and weighing 5-10 pounds.
Just like its name says, the red grouper has a brown to reddish tint and is frequently marked by occasional white spots. Typically, the red grouper is a bottom-dweller, with adults usually preferring rocky structures or reef waters.
This popularity is mostly due to the fact that the gag is considered to have the best flavor in the grouper family, but the strict regulations on catching them contribute to it as well. It usually presents a mottled, gray color, but you’ll sometimes find a gag with markings that look like a black grouper ’s radiating patterns.
Like other grouper, the gag can often be found near rocks, ledges, coral reefs, and shipwrecks. They’re not the easiest grouper to catch, but with heavy tackle and a good guide, it shouldn’t be too much of a problem.
We had a tremendous time with Capt Pepe and would highly recommend him to anyone looking to fish while in Key West. He is extremely personable, his boat and equipment are top-notch, and he kept the fishing action hot all day.
My girlfriend and I fished a 1/2 day and it was the BEST part of our recent trip to KW. She hooked into a nice sized bar jack and had a blast fighting it to the boat.
During any break in the action, we had a great time talking with Pepe about his various experiences being a capt in KW. My wife and I had been fishing only a couple of times before going down to Key West for our 25th anniversary.
The boat was in immaculate condition and Captain Pepe kept us entertained with fishing stories all afternoon. Fresh grouper is highly sought-after both by restaurants and by individuals looking to make a good meal.
The meat is firm with a relatively high moisture and oil content. The flavor is generally sweet, with the red grouper being a bit sweeter than black grouper.
All grouper species are considered by chefs to have an ideal flavor for a number of dishes and preparation styles. The dominant characteristic that makes grouper ’s food quality so high is its oil and moisture content.
Compared to most other mild-tasting types of fish, grouper has a much higher oil and moisture content. Grouper meat has a unique texture when compared to most other commonly eaten fish.
High oil and moisture content keeps the large flakes firm, yet still tender. Buttery, smooth, firm, and tender would be the best way to sum up grouper ’s texture in a few words.
In our opinion, the variation between group species is small, but still notable enough to warrant some attention. Truthfully, all but the most experienced seafood pros can tell the difference between red grouper and black grouper once the skin has been removed.
You’ll commonly see gag lumped in with black in the seafood market due to its very similar flavor and texture. The vast majority of what you’ll find in restaurants or stores will be a variety of red, black, and gag grouper.
Black grouper have an especially high meat yield in relation to their weight. Grouper ribs are large, making this process fairly simple.
You’ll find a fleshy area that runs from right in front of the gill to right next to the grouper ’s eye, following along the line of the mouth. Once you make it to the area next the grouper ’s eye, simply flip the cheek out and peel it off of the remaining attached skin.
This is yet another benefit of the high oil and moisture content within grouper meat. Overcooking is definitely possible, but it’s much less common than it is when dealing with flakier, drier fish like snapper or sole.
Grouper sandwiches are one of the most well-liked seafood staples in coastal areas and are always a good choice. The immense popularity of grouper makes it extremely easy to find endless recipes in cookbooks and all across the web.
If you’re an adventurous chef, the forgiving nature of grouper meat makes it an ideal choice for trying out new recipes and seafood creations. If you’ve made it this far, you know just about everything you need to confidently order grouper at a restaurant or prepare it yourself at home.
Regrouped are plentiful on shallow reefs on both the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts. As always “DearMeatForDinner” puts together a great production on how to fillet a fish.
One of the key things to take not of is how he removes the groupers cheeks. * Also remember the sharper your knife the easier it is going to be filleted your fish.
This is one of the best meats inside a grouper, so we decided to share this recipe with you first. This video posted by “cooking guide” shows you how to make Regrouped W/ A Parmesan Crust.
Butter Chives Italian Parsley Roasted Garlic Cloves Pasco Bread Crumbs Lemon Extra Virgin Olive Oil Parmesan Cheese Sea Salt Black Pepper Since red grouper is a smaller grouper, it has some excellent white meat.
Old Bay Seasoning Olive Oil Lime Parsley How To Make Oven Roasted Regrouped This video posted by “cooking guide” shows you how to make some gourmet oven roasted Regrouped.
Two Fillets Of Grouper Salt Pepper Garlic Thyme Lemon Butter Arugula How To Make Thai Style Regrouped : This is a great recipe posted by “LearnToCook”.
Place stick-cut carrot and celery on bottom half of foil. Pour 1 T coconut milk/curry paste mixture over fish and add minced ginger and garlic.4.
We hope you enjoyed our article on cooking red grouper at will eventually try at least a few of these recipes! This article was part of a series of articles on how to cook your catch, and part of a bigger goal that Bull buster has to help you spend more time fishing.
We have posted recipes in this article series that have been around in a fishing family for over three generations, we hope that we can keep these traditions alive as part of our mission to help you spend more time fishing. Learn how to fillet your shook and make some awesome food with it.