Download the mobile app!

Hooking Up Anglers Since 2011.

Check out our new Android or iOS app for Fishing Status.

The long awaited return of our mobie app is back on Apple App Store and Google Play

Gag Grouper

Species Information

Scientific Name:Mycteroperca microlepis
Environment:Nearshore, Offshore
Ideal Temp:60-82ºF (16-28ºC)
Technique:Bottom Fishing
Lure Type:Bottom Rig, Jigs
World Record:36.46 kg (80 lb 6 oz) Destin, Florida ,USA
Other Names:gag grouper, charcoal belly,una aguaj, badejo-da-areia

The gag grouper (Mycteroperca microlepis) is a drab, mottled gray fish lacking the distinguishing features of other groupers. It has a pattern of markings which resemble the box-shaped spots of the black grouper. It lacks the streamer-points on the tail fin that scamp (Mycteroperca phenax) and yellowmouth grouper (M. interstitialis) have and lacks yellow coloration around the mouth.

Ten- to twenty-pound (5 to 10 kg) fish are common. The world record is 80 lb 6 oz (36.45 kg). The gag grouper is a bottomfeeder and is often caught by fishermen seeking bottom-dwelling species such as snappers. It has flaky white meat that is considered quite delicious. 

They are found in areas of hard or consolidated substrate, and use structural features such as ledges, rocks, and coral reefs ( as well as artificial reefs like wrecks and sunken barges) as their habitat.

The distribution of gag grouper extends in the western Atlantic from North Carolina, USA (with juveniles occurring as far north as Massachusetts) to the Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico; it is rare in Bermuda and absent from the Caribbean and Bahamas. Gags are the most common grouper on rocky ledges in the eastern Gulf of Mexico. Juvenile gags reside in estuaries and seagrass beds while adults are usually found offshore on hard substrate in water 60 – 250 feet deep (rarely to 152 m) and occasionally inshore on rocky or grassy bottom. Adults are either solitary or found in groups of 5 to 50 individuals.

Spawning aggregations of gags in the Middle Grounds of the Gulf of Mexico from January through March. Young gags are predominantly female, transforming into males, as they grow larger

Bottom fishing is the most effective method of catching gag. Anglers commonly use depth recorders to locate rocky outcrops and irregular bottom where gags congregate, anchoring when a likely area is located. Wrecks and oil rigs in shallow shelf waters of the Gulf also attract many gags. They are an excellent light-tackle target for those fishing relatively shallow waters.


Latest Gag Grouper Fishing Reports and Spots

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)

4/26/19 44HR Middle Grounds - 4/26/2019 4:03:00 PM

This trip started off with a bumpy ride out with winds that laid down slowly but nicely just in time for some fishing action. The 1st night star (View)

4/30/19 40 Fathom Edges 52 Hour Season Opener Extravaganza - 4/30/2019 12:19:00 PM

For the highly anticipated Season Opener Extravaganza guests and crew enjoyed beautiful blue skies the whole trip and the first night out was ex (View)

2023 Gag Grouper Season - 4/27/2016 5:11:03 PM

The 2023 Gag Grouper Season in the Gulf of Mexico for Federally permitted Charter Boats Has yet to be announced! The post 2023 Gag Grouper Seas (View)

A little bit of Winter! - 4/2/2000 4:25:00 PM

We have seen some really low water temperatures since Christmas. The water temps have been as low as 49 degrees. The fish really don’t care for (View)

Fishing Report!! Monday December 26th 2022 - 12/26/2022 3:55:00 PM

Well first off we’d like to wish you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!! Fishing has been pretty fantastic these past few weeks! (View)

What’s in Season December 2022 - 4/16/2017 6:39:59 PM

Triggerfish Scamp Gag Grouper Vermilion Snapper Amberines Almaco Jacks White Snapper Black Snapper and Bonita The post What’s in Season Decembe (View)

What’s in Season November 2022 - 4/16/2017 6:39:59 PM

BlackFin Tuna Triggerfish Scamp Gag Grouper Vermilion Snapper King Mackerel Amberines Wahoo Spanish Mackerel Almaco Jacks White Snapper Black S (View)

What’s in Season October 2022 - 4/16/2017 6:39:59 PM

BlackFin Tuna Greater Amberjack Triggerfish Scamp Gag Grouper Red Grouper Vermilion Snapper King Mackerel Amberines Wahoo Spanish Mackerel Alma (View)