On Dec. 29, 1998, Ernesto Join landed the biggest broom tail grouper ever caught and certified as an IFA all-tackle record. Alberto Penalty boated a giant mottled grouper on Aug. 13, 1996, off the east side of Gibraltar (a small country located between Spain and Morocco).
William Laser landed the all-tackle record gulf grouper off Lore to in Baja California Sur, Mexico. Fishing in the Gulf of Mexico off Texas, Tim Ostrich II reeled in a 124-pound black grouper.
KOI Yeshiva caught the all-tackle record convict grouper off YAGNI Island in Okinawa, Japan, on April 25, 2011. On March 4, 2012, Shane Keith Nelson caught a monstrous giant grouper off Latham Island, Tanzania.
Flying a bit under the radar for offshore anglers has been the simultaneous opening of gag grouper. With the opening of red snapper, many anglers running deep have run into big gags, and none were bigger than the beast that Brian Turner and crew of team Hauling’ Grass caught 80 miles offshore in 200 feet of water.
The world record gag grouper of 80 pounds, 6 ounces was caught in Destiny in 1993. Turner would find his a few pounds behind, somewhere in the mid-70-pound range, one of the biggest gags I’ve ever heard being caught from Bradenton.
Joining him aboard Turner’s 42-foot Yellow fin will be fellow local marlin expert Scott Cricket to fish the 66th Ernest Hemingway International Billfish Tournament. I can say that as our four-man crew limited on American red snapper in 30-minutes during the short two-day extension.
We also came across a few tuna, yellowtail snapper and big red grouper as well before heading in to beat the storms. If that’s any indication of the bite in deeper water, I expect to see some awesome fish weighed in.
Scientific classification Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Actinopterygii Order: Performed Family: Serranidae Subfamily: Epinephrine Genus: Mycteroperca Species: Binomial name Mycteroperca microbes Synonyms Isotropic microbes Goode & Bean, 1879 Mycteroperca microbes, the gag, gag grouper, velvet rock fish or charcoal belly, is a species of marine ray-finned fish, a grouper from the subfamilyEpinephelinae which is part of the familySerranidae, which also includes the antics and sea basses.
It comes from warmer parts of the West Atlantic, including the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. It is a drab, mottled-gray fish lacking the distinguishing features of most other groupers.
Its pattern of markings resembles the box-shaped spots of the black grouper (Mycteroperca Monaco). Mycteroperca microbes has an oblong, robust body which is laterally compressed.
The depth of the body is normally less than the length of the head
The adult females and the juveniles are normally pale gray to brown-grey marked with darker blotches and wavy lines that give a marbled appearance to the upper flanks and back. When resting they often assume a camouflage pattern with 5 dark brown saddles separated by white bars along the base of the dorsal fin.
The large adult males are typically pale to medium gray in color, with an indistinct reticulated pattern underneath the dorsal fin. They are darker gray or black on the breast and belly, with a similar color on the margins of the soft rated part of the dorsal find the caudal fin, as well as the posterior margins of the pectoral and pelvic fins.
This species attains a maximum total length of 145 centimeters (57 in) although 50 centimeters (20 in) is a more common length, and the maximum published weight attained is 36.5 kilograms (80 lb). Mycteroperca microbes have different habitat preferences as juveniles and adults.
The juveniles are found in estuaries and beds of seagrass while the adults are found farther offshore over rocky substrates at depths of 40 to 10 meters (131 to 33 ft) and have been recorded as deep as 152 meters (499 ft). It is one of the commonest species of grouper on the eastern Gulf of Mexico.
They have been recorded producing thumping sounds when under stress, this is done by vibrating the swim bladder using muscular contractions. The adults are predators on fishes (including smaller conspecifics), crabs, shrimps, and cephalopods while the smaller juveniles prey on crustaceans within the beds of seagrass in shallow waters.
The fishes preyed are largely herring, sea bream, jacks and pompanos, drums and gray mullet. This species is a protogynous hermaphrodite, all fish start life as females, attaining sexual maturity between the ages of 5 and 6 years old and having reached a total length of 67 to 75 centimeters (26 to 30 in), they will spawn at least once and then some will change sex and become males.
In the offshore waters between North Carolina and Florida during 1976-1982 the sex ration was found to favor females, with 84% of the population being female, 15% were males and 1% were in the process of sex change. In the Atlantic coastal waters between North Carolina and Florida there are annual migrations in late winter, these migrations involve sexually mature fishes moving to offshore spawning grounds where at depths of 70 meters (230 ft).
The spawning season in this region runs from December through May, peaking in late March and early April. After spawning the females move towards shallower waters, with depths less than 30 meters (98 ft) while the males prefer waters of 50 to 90 meters (160 to 300 ft) They maximum recorded age is 31 years.
Mycteroperca microbes is targeted by commercial and recreational fisheries using handling, bottom longline and speargun. Fishermen target the spawning aggregation while the juveniles are frequently caught as by catch in the bait-shrimp fishery that fishes over seagrass beds.
There have been reports of ciguatera poisoning among humans following the consumption of flesh from M. microbes. This species is threatened by and is vulnerable to overfishing and both Mexico and the United States have introduced conservation measures.
Shore fishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system. Groupers of the world (family Serranidae, subfamily Epinephrine).
A massive grouper caught off South Carolina has been sliced into fillets and stuffed into tortillas as fish tacos, but not before it was certified as a state record. Jim Lasher, a Sullivan’s Island chef, caught the 54-pound, 4-ounce gag grouper last week after a 25-minute fight 40 miles off Charleston.
Jim Lasher’s grouper weighs in at 54 pounds, 4 ounces. According to the Post and Courier, the record was certified by the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.
The group had been targeting mahi-mahi on the surface until Lasher dropped a jig 160 feet, to hopefully entice a grouper or snapper. The Post and Courier reports that Lasher smoked some meat, made tacos for a feast, and gave fillets to other friends.
The giant grouper has a robust body which has a standard length equivalent to 2.4 to 3.4 times its depth. The dorsal profile of the head and the intraorbital area are convex, The properly has a rounded corner and a finely serrated margin.
The gill cover has a convex upper margin. The adults are greyish-brown in color overlain with a mottled pattern and with darker fins.
The giant grouper can grow to huge size with the maximum recorded standard length being 270 centimeters (110 in), although they are more common around 180 centimeters (71 in). And a maximum published weight of 400 kilograms (880 lb).
The giant grouper is a species of shallow water and can be found at depths of 1 to 100 meters (3.3 to 328.1 ft). Large specimens have been caught from shore and in harbors.
They are found in caves and in wrecks while the secretive juveniles occur in reefs and are infrequently observed. The adults are mainly solitary and hold territories on the outer reef and in lagoons.
They have also been caught in turbid water over silt or mud sea beds by prawn fishermen. The giant grouper is an opportunistic ambush predator which feeds on a variety of fishes, as well as small sharks, juvenile sea turtles, crustaceans and mollusks which are all swallowed whole.
Fish which inhabit coral reefs and rocky areas favor spiny lobsters as prey and 177 centimeters (70 in) specimen taken of Maui in Hawaii had a stomach contents of two spiny lobsters and a number of crabs. Fish living in estuaries environments in South Africa were found to be feeding almost exclusively on the crab Scylla errata.
They are, however, curious and frequently approach divers closely. They are not generally considered dangerous to humans but divers are advised to treat large specimens with caution and not to hand feed them.
They are aggregate broadcast spawners, usually with several females per male. Studies in captive populations suggest that the dominant male and female begin the spawning event as nearly the only spawners for the first day or two, but other members of the aggregation fertilize more eggs as the event progresses, with even the most recently turned males fathering offspring.
Giant groupers are diabetic protogynous hermaphrodites, meaning that although some males develop from reproductively functional females other males start to produce sperm without ever having gone through a phase as a reproductive female. The giant grouper is a highly valued food fish and is taken by both commercial and recreational fisheries.
As well as the consumption of its flesh its skin, gall bladder and stomach are used in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is valued in Hong Kong as a live fish for the live reef food fish trade, especially smaller specimens.
This species is cultured in agriculture and this practice is widespread but there is a restricted supply of juveniles, although hatcheries in Taiwan have produced captive bred juveniles, exporting some for to be grown on in other parts of South-East Asia. Many of the fish produced in aquaculture are hybrids between this species and E. fuscoguttatus.
Groupers of the world (family Serranidae, subfamily Epinephrine). “A study into parental assignment of the communal spawning protogynous hermaphrodite, giant grouper (Epimetheus lanceolatus)”.
^ Peter Palma; Akihito Nakamura; Garden XYZ Libunaoa; et al. (2019). “Reproductive development of the threatened giant grouper Epimetheus lanceolatus “.
^ Scholar, W. N.; R. Cricket & R. van der Loan (eds.). “ No one has ventured a guess as to why there are so many huge gag grouper being caught this summer, but everyone is glad to hear the stories and see the pictures.
In addition, several huge gags have been caught that weren’t eligible for state records because the anglers used electric reels to wrestle them from the depths. The barrage of big gags began on May 1 when Jim Lasher of Isle of Palms, S.C. headed offshore with some coworkers and Capt.
Floyd kept an eye on his fish finder on the way in and pulled back the throttle on a piece of structure in 160 feet of water. Lasher dropped a 6 ounce Pro Buck tail Jig, sweetened with a small piece of cut bait, to the bottom and the deal was on.
Floyd maneuvered the boat and Lasher gave it some slack line, and they got lucky as it came out. Lasher first weighed it at Isle of Palms Marina and then at Harrell’s Point Tackle to confirm the weight.
Lasher called the South Carolina DNR office, but it was after hours and no one was available to check the fish until the next morning. He was fishing in 180 feet of water approximately 40 miles out of Beaufort Inlet when the big gag hit.
He had the drag tightened down all the way and the fish took line easily enough he thought it might be a shark or big amber jack. Neither he, nor his fishing buddy Bradley Brown were prepared to see the big grouper that rolled up beside the boat.
It was hours later when they opened the fish box to take it to the certified scales at Chain’ Tails Outdoors and NG said it looked larger than he remembered. Several weeks later Alex NG headed offshore on a grouper trip with his brother Anthony.
They couldn’t help but talk about Alex’s big fish as they headed to another structure a few miles away from where it had been caught. Anthony NG said they had a couple of nice grouper in the fish box when a big dolphin swam by.
Alex had just rebated, but not dropped over, so he grabbed a spinning rod and cast a bait towards the dolphin. Anthony said it ran so far he was just waiting for that telltale twitch as the line rubs a rock and breaks, but it never came.
His main purpose on this trip was to introduce his kids, Summer and Sawyer, to dolphin fishing, hoping they would like catching them as much as he had as a youngster. After trolling for a while, he realized he was near a ledge that had produced several nice grouper in the past, so he stopped to make a couple of drops and see if there was anyone home this time.
Once it began coming up, it wasn’t long before it was beside the boat and everyone gasped a little at its huge size. NOTE: The current N.C. gag grouper record is 47 pounds, 4 ounces and is held by Greece Gaul with a fish caught off Wrightsville Beach last year.
A spokesman with the NC Division of Marine Fisheries confirmed that at least one state record application has been received and is being vetted. Grouper typically have a stout body with a large mouth.
They can be a variety of shades, colors, and patterns, which help them blend into their surroundings. 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. While diving in 80-foot deep waters off the coast of Jupiter, Florida, spear fisherman Arif Saber had a standoff with a seemingly fearless and ferocious Goliath grouper, which Grind TV estimated was 300- to 400-pounds.
Saber had just caught a lesser amber jack with his spearfish gun, he told Grind TV, when he noticed the large grouper eyeing him and closing the distance in between them. The video, shot by his wife using a GoPro 3, shows the hefty fish as he nips at the man's flipper, tearing it off, and then goes straight for his catch with its powerful jaw.
But, even if the diver wasn't familiar with that specific size of this type of fish, Goliath groupers have been known to roam western Atlantic waters near Florida.