Groupers are quite an interesting aquatic bunch. From the Atlantic goliath grouper, one of the most massive sea bass family members, to the bottom dwelling red groupers, these fish offer anglers a sizeable challenge and an even bigger reward. Most easily recognized by their plump bodies and large mouths, groupers are an angler’s dream catch. These guys don’t swim fast and it is not uncommon for them to grow to be over 50 pounds.
While red groupers were declared overfished in back 2000, their populations in the Gulf of Mexico has since been rebuilt. As such, we’ll focus on some cool facts about the red grouper this week in Salt Armour’s featured Catch of the Week:
- Most often found in the Western Atlantic starting in Massachusetts all the way through the Gulf of Mexico and southward to Brazil
- They prefer shallow waters and are most likely to be found in waters 10-40 feet deep
- As they grow older, red groupers love reef environments
- The oldest red grouper ever recorded was 26 years old in the South Atlantic
- Red groupers feed on octopus, fish, crustaceans, and a wide variety of fish
- Known for eating any opportune prey, groupers feed by engulfing their prey whole with their enormous mouths
- Red groupers are all born female and some eventually transform to males between the ages of 7-15
- They spawn nearly 26 times per year
- Red grouper typically spawn in April and May
- When they are bothered, red grouper become very territorial
When compared pound for pound, red groupers are amongst the toughest fighters of their species. Whether you’re drifting, trolling, or still fishing, red grouper offers any angler a solid day out on the waters.