Gag Grouper in the Naples area one of the largest members of grouper family. They are gray or brown with wavy marking on their sides and don’t form circles or boxes which is sometimes mistaken for black grouper. Also known as Mycteroperca Microlepis, gags are caught as close as 100 yards from the beach and up to 30 miles offshore depending what time of year it is thought they move in shore during January thru March. Their size is usually 2-12 lbs. on average but on my boat they usually get to be 20-30 lbs. with 22” being the regulation in Florida. Winter time sees them move in close to shore and you will see them close to the beach but we will fish offshore for them in the summer months.
Gags get to be 60 lbs.….the Florida record is 80.5 lbs. caught in Destin FL. The Juveniles are sometimes caught on grass flats and the around the docks. They school in large harems and when no males are present, the largest aggressive females charges the males to protect the others. The female groupers also will change to male to mate. A very interesting story that I can tell you when you come and fish with me.
We catch Gags with a 20 lb. braid and a 40 lb. fluorocarbon leader #3 or# 5 circle hook 2 oz. to 8 oz. weights. Offshore we will use stout rods with a 50-80-pound test line. For bait we will use cut bait or live pinfish, threadfins and squirrelfish. These guys are more aggressive than other grouper species
The eating? Awesome. It is flakey white meat that is good no matter how you serve it. We suggest grilling it out on your BBQ with some fresh veggies.
Can catch up to 2 per angler per day 22”min July 1-Dec. 2
Did you know..…..measurement guidelines for fish are by fork length which is the straight line distant from the tip of the head or snout to the rear center edge of the tail or caudal fin.