Note: Gag grouper need to be 22” to keep and the recreational harvest season for them in most Gulf state waters (within nine miles from shore) is July 1 through Dec. 3. They are similar in appearance to the Gag, and have a gently rounded head with a slightly concave or flat caudal (tail) fin.
Note: Black grouper need to be 22” to keep and are open year-round in the Gulf of Mexico. Goliath grouper are marked on their sides, from head to tail, with a series of irregular dark brown vertical bars against a light brown or gray background.
Another quick way to identify them from the other grouper is by their rounded pectoral and caudal (tail) fins. Goliath grouper are prohibited to harvest, and keeping one can land you heavy fines and penalties.
Dr. Frank Jordan (Loyola Univ) said he's not intimately familiar with the groupers, but did an embarrassing (for me) amount of research to end up agreeing with Dr. Marie. Interestingly, Dr. Bart Henry (also from Loyola) thought both photos were probably Gags, although he didn’t sound certain.
I guess this confirms that the two species can be easily confused, but most references claim that it is the juveniles (which these are) that are most similar. Black : Markings tend to form chain-like patterns (series of rectangles, often with a single horizontal line in the middle); edge of properly (cheek) is smooth; tend to be darker than Gags; either none or only a thin white margin on anal and tail fins; usually have a broad dark band on the outer 1/3 of the anal, soft dorsal and caudal fins.
Gag : Markings tend to be vermiculite (wavy) often with “kissing marks”; edge of properly is serrated (which is pronounced in adults, not well-developed in juveniles); tend to be lighter colored; white or blue edge on anal and tail fins; dorsal, anal and caudal fins are more uniformly dark (without a dark band). In photos, it is typically difficult to see preopercular spines and the scales are too small to count, so we must rely mostly on the markings/coloration.
NOAA has a helpful PDF that graphically compares similar Grouper species: Greetings, I'm trying to avoid FCC heartache but still satisfy my appetite for grouper.
:whistling:I'd bet 75% or more officers in this area couldn't tell the difference. This entry was posted in Spearfishing and tagged Best Boating Blog, Differences BetweenGrouper, Grouper Differences, Slide Moor Blog, Spearfishing, What's a Backgrounder, What's a Grouper, What's a Goliath Grouper on November 11, 2013, by John D'Radio.
If you are doing any type of spearfishing for keep, it is critical that you know the difference between these commonly mistaken grouper, especially because one is illegal to keep, and another has a restricted harvest. 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. Red grouper is the most common species found within the American seafood market.
Generally, those who prefer red grouper do so for its slightly milder and sweeter taste. Truthfully, all but the most experienced seafood pros Cantrell the difference between red grouper and black grouper once the skin has been removed.
Gag grouper is a separate species from black grouper, but it shares its traits to a degree that makes any differences negligible at best. 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. Start by making your first cut right where the filet begins, just as you would with any other large fish.
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.
There is a wide variety of ways to cook and grouper pairs will with many flavors. 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.
Goliath and Nassau grouper are protected from harvest in Florida waters. Reading Time: 4minutes Snappers and Groupers are the nation’s favorite food fish.
Every summer, thousands of anglers hit the coast to fill their coolers with tasty fillets. Toucan find them on fish counters and restaurant menus all around the country.
This article breaks down Snapper vs. Grouper by looks, size, taste, and more to try and answer that question. Grouper and Snapper are both big families, with a variety of weird and wonderful fish in them.
Groupers have big, wide mouths, built for inhaling fish whole. Groupers are generally rounder and more thickly built than Snappers.
Toucan think of them as the bruisers of the reef, cruising around in search of a fight. Cuber Snapper have big, wide mouths, just like Groupers.
If you ’re not sure what you ’ve caught, it’s best to check it against common species in your area. These titans can top 1,000 pounds, and even “small” adults are in the triple digits.
The biggest species of Snapper in North America is Cuber. After Cuber, the next biggest species is world-famous Red Snapper, which maxes out at around 40–50 pounds.
Goliath Grouper aside, there are several species which blow the biggest Snappers right out of the water. The world record for Warsaw Grouper is a staggering 436 pounds 12 ounces.
Speckled Hind, Gag, and Snowy Grouper all outgrow Red Snapper. Let’s start with the elephant in the room: Red Snapper, aka America’s favorite fish.
Every summer, anglers flock to the Gulf of Mexico in their thousands to bag one. They’re so popular that the Gulf Red Snapper season is one of the most tightly-regulated on the planet.
Red Snapper have a delicate, juicy meat that very few fish can compete with. Scamp produces large fillets of sweet, white flesh that many people swear is even tastier than Red Snapper.
Whether you ’re reeling in Yellowtail Snapper on a shallow reef or hauling up Yellow mouth Grouper offshore, you ’re in for a lot of fun and a tasty treat to show for it.