All About Florida Keys Fishing & Key West Fishing
Florida Keys Fish
Florida Keys Fish


  • Brownish gray in color with dark, worm-like side markings
  • Fins dark, with anal and caudal having a white margin
  • Lack of brassy spots as found on black grouper
  • Slightly concave tail
  • Noticable spur located on the preopercle


    Adults inhabit rocky bottoms, reefs and drop-off walls in water over 60 feet deep; young occur
    inshore in waters around seagrass beds, mangrove forests and hard-bottom communities.


    Grouper are born as females but can later become male. Gag and red grouper are the most
    widely distributed of the Florida groupers. Goliath and Nassau grouper are protected from harvest
    in Florida waters. Grouper spawn between January and May with some of the more tropical
    species spawning year-round.

    State Record:
    80 lb 6 oz, caught near Destin

    Fishing Tips and Facts:
    Grouper fishing from a boat typically involves baits fished near the bottom, with heavy tackle and
    heavier to bring grouper to the surface. Live fish or dead cut or whole bait are used. Grouper are
    very tasty meals.

    Grouper Saltwater Fishing Regulation

    Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission • Farris Bryant Building
    620 S. Meridian St. • Tallahassee, FL
    32399-1600 • (850) 488-4676

Gag Grouper: Mycteroperca microlepis
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