Gag Grouper

gag grouper

Gag Grouper (Mycteroperca microlepis)


  1. Size: Gag grouper can vary drastically in size, depending on whether it was caught inshore or offshore. Most individuals range from 1 to 4 feet in length and weigh between 5 to 20 pounds. However, larger specimens can reach over 50 pounds.
  2. Habitat: Gag groupers prefer to hug the bottom near structure such as artificial reefs, ledges, and wrecks. Juvenile grouper can be found inshore, but as they mature they move many miles offshore, often to depths ranging from 60 to 250 feet. 
  3. Bait: An energetic, hand-sized pinfish is the ultimate grouper bait and will almost always get eaten within a few moments of hitting the bottom by any grouper are in the area. Octopus are also a prized grouper bait, although less commonly used. Deep diving plugs can be trolled along channel edges and jigs tipped with squid can be used on structure.
  4. Tackle: Heavy conventional reels and short, stiff rods are necessary to pull grouper off of the bottom. Quick reflexes are also a must when grouper fishing as they will hit hard and fast, then immediately rush back to their hiding spot in the structure. Line-breaks are a very common occurrence when grouper fishing. 
  5. Food Value: Grouper are some of the best-eating fish in the sea and have thick, firm fillets that are perfectly built for the grill.