Tuesday January 23, 2018
Gag Grouper, Grey Grouper
This species of grouper has brownish gray in color with dark worm-like markings on sides. Gag or Grey Grouper are often confused with Black Grouper.
Probably the most popular grouper targeted on Florida's coastline, the Gag Grouper is the envy of bottom fisherman and is targeted for it's white, mild and tasty meat. The federal government has closed grouper fishing in 2010 and is possibly considering a ban on grouper fishing for several years as they consider it overfished. This particular government mandate is not indorsed by Lagooner Fishing Guides or it's staff because we believe that grouper are not in peril and can be managed effectively with harvest quotas.
Adults are found OFFSHORE over rocks and reefs; juveniles occur in seagrass beds INSHORE and are often caught at Sebastian Inlet and the inshore waters in the Indian River Lagoon near Florida Inlets. Canaveral Offshore anglers find Grouper near wrecks, ledges and hard bottom debre.
Gag grouper spawn in large groups in water no shallower than 120 feet in Middle Grounds area in the Gulf of Mexico, January through March; current reseach to identify similar aggregations off Atlantic coast is ongoing. Young gags are predominantly female, transforming into males as they grow larger; feeds on fish and squid.
There are several types of grouper in Florida with the Grey or Gag being one of the most popular. Please look at the FWC literature for additional information regarding this and other grouper species. 24" minimum in the Atlantic with two fish per angler per day possession limit.
NOAA Fisheries Service has announced that effective January 4, 2010, all recreational and commercial harvest of grouper in Atlantic federal waters is prohibited. This interim rule will be effective until June 2, 2010 and could be extended for another 186-day period.
Published by: Captain Richard Bradley of Lagooner Fishing Guides© on 2015-10-07 11:09:15
More Gag Grouper Information
The gag or grey grouper is the most common grouper in east Central Florida and possibly the whole state. Grouper as a whole are considered the most sought after fish when anglers go bottom fishing or deep sea fishing on wrecks and bottom structure. There are several varities of grouper including the giant jewfish or the red grouper but in most parts of Florida it's the gag grouper that gets the attention. Grey grouper are not as common as they once were before commercial interest had havested them almost into non-existance in the 1980's. Strict regulations and bag limits have helped them rebound, but not near to what their pre 1970 or even 1960's numbers were prior to the recreation Loran or GPS solved the issues of finding offshore structure. Prior to overfishing the key to a successful day of grouper digging was having good bottom spots that nobody (or very few people) knew about. Finding grouper in the between the fronts in the winter is probably still the most productive times to target gags, greys and whatever types of grouper are available.