Is Grouper Better Than Snapper

Elaine Sutton
• Saturday, 14 November, 2020
• 9 min read

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.

grouper snapper vs
(Source: fishingbooker.com)


You can 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. A fully-grown Red Snapper is much beefier than a young Gag Grouper.

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.

grouper snapper offshore opener finishing cheeks caught nothing fresh better than night
(Source: theintrepidangler.com)

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.

grouper snapper vs taste permit offshore fishing gag sheepshead recipe
(Source: recipeler.com)

Are you planning on fishing for grouper and snapper more than 3 miles offshore after limiting out on lobster? In the Atlantic federal waters as of July 15th, 2020, all commercial, for-hire and recreational vessels are required to have a descending device when fishing or possessing grouper or snapper species.

Read the regulation change from the South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council here. Most offshore fishermen are familiar with reeling in fish from depth only to see them super bloated, Popeye and floating on the surface if released without any barotrauma mitigation method.

Barotrauma is an injury(s) caused from rapidly expanding gasses trapped within a fish’s body. The gas, mostly found in the fish’s swim bladder, can displace internal organs and cause bruising, tearing as well as potentially leaving the fish floating on the surface where it can get picked off by a predator or suffocate from lack of water flowing over its gills.

(example: sending a balloon down to 30 meters = 3 ATM, or 1/4, the gas would be 1/4th the size it is on the surface when brought to that depth. Flip that fraction upside down 4/1, boom, the gas inside the fish at depth will be 4 times the volume on the surface.

This happens as a result of the car warming up on a hot day, causing some water to turn to vapor and the gas pushes outwards on the plastic. Now imagine that pressure and volume change occurring in an internal organ (the swim bladder).

grouper warsaw vs snapper grow huge biggest even re they
(Source: fishingbooker.com)

Often have a physostomous swim bladder in which there’s a direct connection to the gut and allows fish to gulp air to inflate or burp or fart to deflate the bladder, these fish would not exhibit the typical external symptoms most offshore fisherman are familiar with. The offshore fish (grouper, snapper etc) that exhibit those obvious external signs of barotrauma have physoclistous swim bladders.

Those fish inflate their swim bladders through capillary beds, diffusing gas from their blood into their buoyancy organ. This process takes longer because gas has to diffuse back into the blood to shrink that bladder down, leaving them floating on the surface.

By mandating regulations people tend to be eager to comply and use barotrauma mitigation gear, that’s awesome but at times not needed. Using a weighted lip clam or venting tool a grouper caught in 10, 20, 30, 40 ft of water will probably do more damage than good.

If the fish isn’t displaying the symptoms, don’t feel obligated to use the gears as getting them in the water as quick as possible will do them better than adding unneeded stress. Descending gear is equipment used to mitigate symptoms of barotrauma observed at the surface when a fish is captured deeper depths.

Many fishermen who encounter severe cases of barotrauma often think the fish will not survive however much like a scuba diver effected by the bends, getting that fish to a depth where gases return to manageable volumes can help alleviate the symptoms, and help resume normal behavior. This method is still a viable form of barotrauma mitigation, check out the video below to learn where to vent.

grouper snapper snappers fishing vs florida groupers keys fishingbooker know summerland key
(Source: fishingbooker.com)

Tags: Atlantic, barotrauma, Boyle law, Catch and Release, descending device, Fishing, FL Sea Grant, gas, grouper, Gulf of Mexico, ideal gas law, lobster, physics, regulation change, Sea Grant, Snapper, swim bladder, venting The Florida coast is teeming with all kinds of wonderfully tasty fish you can enjoy in endless ways both at home and in restaurants.

Whether you want to take a boat out into the open waters and cast a line into the deep blue yourself or you prefer to pull up a chair and order your catch of the day from a local seafood restaurant, here are the four best Gulf Coast fish to eat fresh in Florida. This type of fish has a very mild flavor (somewhere in between sea bass and halibut) with a light, sweet taste and large, chunky flakes, almost like lobster or crab.

In restaurants, you’ll find whole snappers stuffed with an amazing blend of sliced local citrus fruits, garlic and cilantro then grilled or baked whole in the oven. If you prefer your fish to be filleted, Snapper is amazing when marinated in the same citrus-garlic-cilantro mix mentioned above and quickly sautéed in a hot pan with a drizzle of olive oil before being served with light, fluffy rice and fresh seasonal veggies.

Shook is really popular among local fishermen because it offers a fun challenge to catch and it tastes fantastic. The most common way to cooks nook is to carefully fillet the fish then cover it in a light marinade or dry rub.

You’ll find it blackened and served in sandwiches, marinated in Mexican spices and tucked into tacos, grilled and drizzled in a creamy citrus sauce, doused in lime juice and served raw as ceviche…almost any way you could ever want to eat fish, you’ll find Mahi offered just like it! In Santa Rosa Beach, Buddy’s Seafood Market always has a fresh supply of Mali, grouper and other in-season fish.

(Source: www.youtube.com)

During the week she knuckles down and gets the job done, but on the weekend she spends her time soaking up the sunshine on the little volcanic island she calls home. Grouper is a salt-water fish, found on the menu in restaurants and within stores throughout the United States.

The most common is the red grouper, which makes up approximately 70% of production each year. The smaller size impacts the taste of the red grouper as it has a milder, sweeter flavor.

The black grouper has a firmer texture and yields more edible fish content than the red variety. If you don’t have a reliable source for fresh grouper, consider buying the frozen product.

Its high levels of oil help it maintain a lovely moist texture even if it’s a little over-cooked. It’s also tasty eaten on its own, on skewers, with a zesty lemon marinade, a creamy tartare sauce, or a combination of butter, garlic, and lime juice.

The debate for whether grouper is best eaten with batter, crumbed, floured, or with nothing added will always rage on. Blackening is a quick and straightforward method that produces moist fish encased in a flavor-packed coating.

snapper biggest grouper
(Source: www.youtube.com)

Although blackening is suited to outdoor grilling, you can also cook the fish in the oven or fry it in a pan. Preheat a large skillet on the grill or stove top on high heat for at least 10 minutes.

Rinse the fish fillets in cold water, then pat dry with paper towels. Once all the ingredients are evenly distributed, transfer the mixture to a platter or large plate.

As groupers are a reef-dwelling fish, they have the potential to be contaminated by toxins, which can lead to Ciguatera poisoning. Your best option to avoid getting sick is to check with the seller if the fish comes from a hotspot for Ciguatera.

Some problem areas include the Caribbean Sea, Hawaii, and coastal Central America. A gulf grouper is a unique tasting, moist fish that is endemic to Mexico.

It has a subtle, sweet flavor with less fishy taste than black grouper or gag. It is prized for its moist meat that easily flakes into big chunks once cooked.

grouper scamp vs snapper fish boat woman
(Source: fishingbooker.com)

Grouper is considered to be a white fish, along with haddock, catfish, tilapia, and snapper. It’s relatively high oil content makes it a simple fish to avoid overcooking.

It is a blank canvas that allows the creative cook to pair exciting ingredients with the fish. If you enjoy fish that isn’t too full of flavor then you might also like to check out our sea bass guide.

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1 www.tripadvisor.com - https://www.tripadvisor.com/Attractions-g34599-Activities-c61-t217-St_Augustine_Florida.html
2 fishingbooker.com - https://fishingbooker.com/destinations/location/us/FL/st-augustine
3 www.visitstaugustine.com - https://www.visitstaugustine.com/article/fishing-st-augustine-florida