Types Of Grouper In The Keys

Elaine Sutton
• Thursday, 23 September, 2021
• 13 min read

Grouper is one of the most highly valued fish species on the planet. Not only are they a blast to fight on a rod and reel, but their fillets are revered as one of the finest tasting.

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(Source: floridakeystreasures.com)


Characterized by a brownish gray color with worm-like markings on its sides, adults are found offshore over rocks and reefs. They are colored light gray or brown with some yellow around the corners of their mouth.

Let’s go over some essentials for catching the perfect grouper to feed your family and friends! Young grouper can be found in shallow waters, but if you’re looking for keepers, you’ll have to venture out to nearshore and offshore reefs.

The top baits for grouper include sardines, squid, and pinkish. Pinkish and sardines are commonly caught by cast net and used whole or chopped.

As a service to our readers, we’ve compiled this handy to the grouper species you’re likely to find in Key West. Because of its mild, delicious flavor and the strong appeal it has as a game fish, the Black Grouper (Mycteroperca Monaco) is one of the most popular targets to fish for in the Key West Area. While the average size is much smaller, the black grouper can grow up to almost five feet long and weigh up to and over 100 pounds. The Black Grouper has a distinctively beautiful appearance, ranging in color from olive to a blotchy gray and displaying unique patterns that radiate from the eye and zigzag towards the rear of the fish in intricate lines.

The Black Grouper can occasionally be found in the North Atlantic, they’re much more common further south in the Florida Keys, the Bahamas, and the Caribbean. Because of its size and its tendency to dart back into the rocks once hooked, the Black Grouper can be a bit of a challenge to land.

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(Source: fishingbooker.com)

Appearance Averaging between one and two feet in length and weighing anywhere from 2-15 or so pounds, the red grouper is a moderately sized fish. True to its name, this fish displays a light brown or reddish hint and are commonly marked with a number of white spots.

Interestingly, the coloration of the red grouper can change very quickly when they’re excited or aggravated, especially when they’re spawning or protecting their territory. Here in Key West, the red grouper is extremely common, with the younger fish preferring seagrass habitats but moving to rocky or reef waters as they mature.

Remember that schools of red grouper tend to congregate near the sea floor, so heavier tackle will get you the best results. Regulations for the red grouper are a bit complex, but there’s a 20 minimum for keeping them and it’s open season year round in state waters.

The Gag Grouper prefers warmer waters and is most commonly found in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. A bottom feeding fish, the gag prefers to live near structures like coral reefs, rock formations, and ledges.

For complete information on gag grouper rules and regulations, ask your charter captain or click right here. Although there has been some talk of reducing it of late, there is currently a federal ban on keeping the incredible Goliath Grouper (Epimetheus Tamara).

grouper nassau species range protected status threatened
(Source: www.fisheries.noaa.gov)

The Goliath Grouper is an extremely broad fish, with its width equal to almost half its length near the middle of its body. They’re typically found in shallow waters less than 150 feet deep and tend to gather near rock and coral formations, as well as near shipwrecks.

Their size alone is enough to scare off even the toughest would-be fishermen, but they’ll also fight tooth and nail to stay in the water. 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.

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.

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(Source: rogerdhall.deviantart.com)

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.

Just like its name says, the red grouper has a brown to reddish tint and is frequently marked by occasional white spots. A good way to distinguish a red grouper is by the large size of its eyes.

Typically, the red grouper is a bottom-dweller, with adults usually preferring rocky structures or reef waters. Despite its relatively small size, the red grouper can be a fairly aggressive fish.

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.

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(Source: folioweekly.com)

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. Captain Pepe went above and beyond the Call of Duty with his hospitality and easy going nature.

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(Source: mote.org)

In just under an hour, travelers can reach Key West’s coral reef by boat located seven miles offshore. Here, you can snorkel amidst its majesty and discover the brilliant marine life in its natural habitat or you can learn all about it at the Key West Aquarium.

They’re recognizable for their silvery bodies and bright yellow stripe down their back and tail. These slender fish with a small forked tail are typically no more than about a foot long.

Because of their abundance, they’re also one of the most popular fish on restaurant menus in Key West. Blue tang are a beautiful, saturated deep blue-black color that seems to change as they move.

They come in three common varieties of the Florida Keys : Rainbow, midnight blue and spotlight. Mature parrot fish can be one to four feet long with large scales and a strong, beak-like mouth.

Shaped in a triangle with a small tail, they’re typically a foot long or smaller. You’ll see them in colors ranging from bright red and orange to electric yellow and blue.

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(Source: www.tailingwaterexpeditions.com)

Mahi-Mahi are pelagic fish typically found in the Gulf Stream by deep sea fishermen and divers. They have a blunt forehead and long body in shades of electric green and yellow.

Their slender, silvery bodies are snakelike, and they typically feed on smaller fish, like yellowtail snapper. While they look scary and you certainly don’t want to provoke one, they’re typically safe to snorkel with from a distance.

Grouper is at the center of all group and access policy management. Managing access with Grouper results in access to target systems being automatically kept in sync with policy as subject attributes change in underlying systems of record (e.g. ERP, SIS, etc).

This overall mechanism coupled with powerful distributed management capabilities is what makes Grouper a core component of the Uncommon Trusted Access Platform. The Grouper project maintains three introductory videos that are a bit dated, but still very relevant.

The third and final in the series, Intro to Grouper : Grouper Toolkit Components, describes the various product components and capabilities, and options for integrating with existing campus IAM architecture. The University of Chicago VPN example described in the Intro to Grouper series, provides a great overview of how a variety of Grouper ’s capabilities come together to implement powerful access control management, and illustrates a common pattern that can be applied in many situations.

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(Source: www.takvim.pw)

These are groups of subjects that share some characteristics, such as being a student, a postdoc, or a member of the IRB office. The IRB office reference group is kept up to date by directly adding or removing members via the Grouper UI.

Reference groups are institutional meaningful concepts and represent the best known “truth” about a subject at any given moment. Grouper provides a single point of management, enables groups to be defined once and reused across multiple applications, and empowers the right people to manage access.

Grouper is organized around three main concepts; folders, groups, and memberships. Intersection includes entities that belong to both of the original factor groups, and produces a composite “members-in-common”.

Complement includes subjects that belong to the primary “left” factor group who are not also members of the secondary “right” factor group (i.e. “left” minus “right”). A rule can detect actions, check conditions, and do resulting operations.

Each folder, group, and attribute has its own privilege assignments which enables fine-grained access control and delegation of authority. The Access Privileges definition in the Grouper glossary provides further details on what.

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(Source: www.delphfishing.com)

One of the most popular ways to cook this fish is to cut it into “fingers” and fry it. We love this fish, and we keep it in stock so you can enjoy its special taste, flavor, and texture.

In response to the some questions frequently asked about black grouper by our customers, we are providing these answers. To ensure that we sell high-quality grouper meat to you, we buy fresh fish from local fishermen, and we check it for quality.

We only stock fish that meets high standards for quality and freshness. You don’t have to come to the Keys or spend time looking for a grocery store with frozen grouper.

We offer you fresh black grouper through efficient overnight delivery. You don’t need to spend time looking for frozen grouper fish in your neighborhood.

Simply order it from our online seafood store, and we’ll ensure that you receive it overnight. Include any other seafood, sauces, fish, or products you want (this helps to reduce the cost of shipping).

grouper fishtrack identifier features
(Source: www.fishtrack.com)

Order black grouper from Eaton Street Seafood Market today. Charter fishing the reefs off of Marathon in the Florida Keys is nothing but a hop, skip, and a jump from land.

Yellowtail spawn in groups off the edges of reefs in the Spring all the way through to the Fall but mostly during the Summer. Using a lot of chums, light leader and small hooks is the way we catch yellowtail here in the Keys.

The Chum is ground-up menhaden fish frozen to 7 pound blocks which we put in mesh bags to slowly melt and put out small pieces of bait in the water to attract the fish. Yellowtail tend to be easily spooked and the appearance of sharks and dolphins can scare entire schools off until the threat moves out of the area.

The fish is known for its flaky white meat, so it’s well worth keeping your catch, which can be easily prepared at many of the local restaurants in Marathon, FL as a ‘hook n’ cook’. We usually fish them with live or cut bait closer to the bottom on the reefs.

Mutton snapper prefer low relief structures searching for shrimp, crabs and other fish. They are very colorful fish with red sides and slightly green tinted backs with a black dot.

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(Source: www.delphfishing.com)

Mutton snapper is a highly prized fish here in Marathon and the rest of the Keys. They can be caught on a variety of baits, but we usually catch them on live or frozen shrimp, squid, pinkish or ballyhoo.

Mutton snapper tend to be solitary when adults, but they can be seen in smaller schools. Their flesh, like most of the snapper family is white, flaky and light and is excellent to eat.

The smaller black grouper are usually females and transform into males as they grow larger. You’ll find black grouper around rocky bottoms and coral reefs and ledges.

Because they retreat into ‘holes’ in the reef for protection, they can be a difficult fish to catch. Red grouper is a top predator on the reef being an opportunistic feeder.

Like the black grouper, they start off as females turning into males later in life. With white flaky meat, red grouper are very good to eat.

fishing grouper types florida keys lines
(Source: fishtankfacts.com)

With their white flaky meat gag grouper make excellent table fare! They are considered a very healthy fish to eat due to their high oil content, but many Florida Keys locals and visitors find king fish a little too ‘fishy’.

Because of this, it makes its way into many of the delicious smoked fish dip recipes you’ll find at local Marathon, FL restaurants. Spanish Mackerel has a dark green back and its sides are marked with about three rows of round yellow spots.

Its single row of cutting teeth on top and bottom flatten from side to side as with a king fish and Hero mackerel, which makes them a fish to handle carefully when caught. Their food mostly consists of shrimp and squid with other small live baits.

The hero mackerel is similar in appearance to the Spanish except it has a stripe along its body in addition to the spots. “There are so many great things about living in Florida, but one of the best is the availability of fresh seafood,” says pro angler and Team Toyota athlete Terry Scrog gins, who’s known for bass fishing and his cooking.

Many chefs find appetizer and entrée inspiration from Florida Keys fish. “Grilling grouper files and topping them with crab is one of my absolute favorite seafood dishes to make,” says Scrog gins.

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(Source: magazine.fishsens.com)

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1 finnsfishingtips.com - https://finnsfishingtips.com/best-grouper-bait/
2 bullbuster.net - https://bullbuster.net/community/articles/how-to/massive-baits-for-goliath-grouper
3 www.boatus.com - https://www.boatus.com/expert-advice/expert-advice-archive/2020/april/fishing-for-goliath-groupers
4 ultimatefishingsite.net - http://ultimatefishingsite.net/grouper-fishing/fishing-tips/best-baits/