Grouper – Gag and Black

Name: GROUPER

Description: There are many species of Grouper each with their own distinctive coloration.

Gag Grouper (shown above) are often confused with Black Grouper and is the most popular Grouper targeted by anglers in the Florida Keys. Gag Grouper are brownish gray in color with dark squiggly markings on the sides and they lack the brassy spots of the Black Grouper

Black Grouper have olive or gray colored bodies with black squarish blotches and brassy spots

Aliases: Rockfish

Habitat: Adults are found OFFSHORE over rocks, reefs and drop off areas. Young Grouper are found  INSHORE around grassy beds and mangrove areas

Tackle Used: Conventional light tackle, trolling

Fight: Fighting a Grouper is more like a game of tug of war. They will hit the line hard then attempt to dive to the bottom and cut the line on nearby structures. The angler needs to be strong and patient to land a Grouper.  The navigating skill of the captain will also be key.

Vital Stats: Gag Grouper are found up to 25 lbs. Black Grouper are commonly found to 40 pounds

State Record: Gag Grouper 80 lbs 6 oz. caught near Destin

Black Grouper 113 lbs 6 oz. caught near the Dry Tortugas

Limits: Gag Grouper – 1 per harvester per day with a 24” fork minimum for Atlantic catches, 2 per harvester per day with a 22” fork minimum for Gulf catches.

Black Grouper – 2 per harvester per day with a 24” fork minimum for Atlantic catches, 4 per harvester per day with a 22” fork minimum for Gulf catches.not to exceed 60 per vessel per day with a minimum 20” fork for Atlantic catches

Flavor: This white, flaky, mild tasting fish provides very good meal