Red Grouper

The red grouper is a species of fish in the Serranidae family. It is found in Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Brazil, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, French Guiana, Grenada, Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Montserrat, Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname, Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, the United States, Venezuela, the British Virgin Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. 

Its natural habitats are open seas, shallow seas, subtidal aquatic beds, coral reefs, rocky shores, sandy shores, estuarine waters, intertidal flats, intertidal marshes, coastal saline lagoons, coastal freshwater lagoons, and karsts. 

The Red Grouper is an opportunistic feeder and a top predator in the reef community. The diet is varied but commonly includes lutjanid and sparid fishes, xanthid and portunid crabs, spiny lobster, and snapping shrimp. The Red grouper is of moderate size, about 125 cm and weighs 23 kg or more Body coloration is typically reddish-brown color. White spots are commonly found on the body of the red grouper. Red grouper are unique in the fact that they are protogynous hermaphrodites, beginning life as females, with some later transforming into males. Females transform into males between the ages of 7 and 14.Spawning occurs between January and June, peaking in May. Red Grouper are mostly batch spawners. Larval red grouper leave the plankton after approximately 1 month.

Red grouper are easily recognized by their color and by the sloped, straight line of their spiny dorsal fin. The fin has a long second spine and an unnotched interpine membrane. Most epinepheline groupers have a notched dorsal spine membrane and a third spine longer than the second. The body is deep brownish-red overall, with occational white spots on the sides. Tiny black specks dot the cheeks and operculum. The red grouper is most closely related to the Nassau grouper, Epinephelus striatus, which has several verticle bars and blotches, and is found more commonly on coral reefs in the West Indies.

Red groupers usually ambush their prey and swallow it hole, preffering crabs, shrimp, lobster, actopus, squid and fish that live close to reefs.

Species Information

Scientific Name:Epinephelus morio
Environment:Nearshore, Offshore
Ideal Temp:66-77ºF (19-25ºC)
Technique:Bottom Fishing, Jigging
Lure Type:Bottom Rig, Jigs
World Record:19.16 kg (42 lb 4 oz) St. Augustine, Florida, USA
Other Names:red grouper, cherna, nogue couleur rouge, piragia, punameriahven, roter grouper, rø, d havaborre, tsumagurohata, vieille rouge

Latest Red Grouper Fishing Reports and Spots

2/22/21 Half Day Fishing Trip - 2/22/2021 1:19:54 PM

With the help of 1st Mate Bert we took out 15 fisher-people into somewhat breezy conditions on the Gulf. Turned out that the wind was more refre (View)

November 2011 Fishing Report - 11/6/2011 8:50:35 AM

Grouper and kingfish will be the fish of the month for November. Both Gag and Red grouper fishing have been excellent this whole year and has on (View)

April and May 2012 Fishing Report - 7/6/2012 2:55:19 AM

Red Grouper season opens this April 1st and the limit for deep sea fishing charters in the Tampa Bay area has increased to (4) four fish per per (View)

June 2012 Fishing Report - 7/6/2012 2:57:53 AM

Red Snapper season for West Central Florida opens June 1st followed by Gag Grouper. Along with the already open Red Grouper season these extra o (View)

March 2013 Fishing Report - 3/4/2013 9:22:58 AM

March is going to be a very exciting month to get out and do some Deep Sea Fishing!  Winter will be behind us and we are gearing up for great fi (View)

April / May 2013 Fishing Report - 4/2/2013 10:06:31 AM

Red Grouper season opens April 1st and will remain open throughout the rest of the year.  Rock piles ledges and reefs in the 60 to 100 foot dept (View)

Mangrove Snapper is HOT - 2/11/2021 10:41:02 PM

The mangrove snapper bite has been insane this month.  The red grouper fishing continues to stay hot as we limit daily. The post Mangrove Snapp (View)

Put Some Meat In The Box Reef Fishing - 12/13/2020 9:12:28 AM

December 13 2020 – Early December has started off with some great weather with cooler temps and a back to normal feel here in Key West getting o (View)

Red Grouper and a King - 12/19/2020 1:26:19 AM


December 2020- Deep Sea Fishing is Where It’s At! - 12/3/2020 10:51:25 AM

Although any trip you choose this time of year can be extremely entertaining the grocery getter trips are the 10hr and 12hr bottom fishing trip (View)