The red grouper is an attractive dark red fish with light spots along its sides and a pinkish underbelly. Scientifically red grouper goes by the name Epinephelus morio, and is a non-migratory fish that likes excavating and living on coastal sea floors. It can reach 4 feet in length, about 50 pounds in weight and lives for 25 to 30 years. Typically though most red grouper are under 2 feet long and weigh between 5 and 10 pounds.
Living as they do on the sea floor, red grouper primarily eat other bottom dwelling species. This includes octopus, shrimp, crabs and the occasional fish. However, they are opportunistic feeders and will basically eat whatever they need to survive.
A popular recreational fish, they are also fished commercially for the table. Many anglers come here purely for this fish and they’ve definitely come to the right place. Some of the best specimens can be found along the reefs in deeper waters off Sanibel and Captiva Islands
. If red grouper is what you’re after, we have custom Captiva Island fishing charters
waiting for you.
Red Grouper Spawning And Growth
Red groupers are another species born female but many end up as males. This gender change happens at some point between 7 and 14 years.
Spawning season for the grouper is between January and April; they can spawn multiple times during a single season. As broadcast spawners, they release eggs and sperm into high salinity shallow offshore water. The salinity needs to be very high so the eggs can stay buoyant.
Around 30 hours after fertilization, larvae emerge from the eggs. They’ll spend the next 5 to 7 weeks floating in the ocean currents with zooplankton before dropping to the sea floor. There they’ll live in seagrass beds, eating small bottom dwelling crustaceans.
As they get bigger, juvenile groupers move to deeper waters, although they remain on the bottom. Their diet expands to include larger crustaceans, and they start to eat fish as well. Juvenile red groupers though are only part way up their food chain and are themselves often eaten by other larger fish. As adults, they’re in danger of being eaten by sharks and barracudas.
Interesting Red Grouper Facts
Groupers are very territorial and when provoked, or during spawning, can change colour. Their heads and other parts of their body go from red to white, and their light spots stand out more.
They are noted for being very slow growing.
Their big mouth lets them swallow their prey whole.
You’ll probably see a red grouper or two in your local public aquarium.
Cape Coral, Sanibel And Captiva Fishing Charter Experts
In some areas, local populations of red grouper have been over-fished, leading to concerns about future numbers. For this reason there are now strict regulations and catch limits in place to protect them. Regulations include minimum catch size limits, specific tackle requirements, seasonal closures during spawning, permits, and quotas.
If all this sounds daunting, contact us. Blue Line Fishing Charters offers the best red grouper fishing Cape Coral
has to offer. We will take care of the rules and regulations; all you have to do is catch a red grouper!