Red Grouper in the Naples area are the most common of the grouper family. They are red with white spots and when stressed can turn all white. These Epinephelus Morio Juvenile’s remain on inshore waters for 4 to 5 years before going offshore to a hard bottom. They will get to 50 lbs.’ with the Florida record 42.4 lbs.’ caught in St Augustine FL. Red grouper move farther offshore in the summer and will move in near shore ledges and hard bottoms in winter time.
The Gulf of Mexico red grouper were heavily fished by commercial fleets from the 1950s through the 1970s. Our area is now seeing a re-growth and we’re finding more and more red grouper on the shallow, near-coastal, intermediate and distant offshore waters.
They will eat a broad array of bait and will be found near the bottom in most offshore areas near reefs. I will use a single 3/0 to 7/0 circle hook, tied with a dropper loop 2 to 4 feet above the weight with a 30- to 60-pound fluorocarbon chicken rig. With the weight (3 to 6 ounces) resting on the bottom, these red grouper love to come and tackle it.
With a lean, mild flavor, I have many friends that like the taste. Some confuse it with the taste of seabass because of it’s firmness and sweetness. Grilled is the best method of eating but baked is fine if you don’t own a Barbie.
2 per angler per day, 20" size limit June 1-Dec 31.
Did you know…… Their mouth and gills form a powerful sucking system that sucks their prey in from a distance. Their gills look really large when caught as they can use these gills to lock onto a rock if they feel attacked.