Fight Rating 6/10
Peak Season: November – June
Red Grouper are a prized catch. They can get up to about 50 inches long and more than 50 lbs. The oldest recorded red grouper is 29 years old and over 100lbs. The minimum size to keep it is 24 inches in total length.
Although it’s a pretty big fish, they give up fairly quickly. They live around rocks and reefs and hide out most of the time. When you lure them out of hiding, they take the bait and pull hard for a short burst then run out of stamina generally within a few minutes. The initial snap can be surprising and catch you off guard if you are not expecting it. Once you hook one, pull as hard as you can until they are in the boat.
Red Grouper do not travel in schools and are a rewarding catch because they are so independent. We find them in shallower reefs and have very good success getting them onboard if you can make it past the bottom. Like most groupers, they take the bait and head for cover. Getting them to leave their hiding spots by dragging and bouncing bait in the open and slightly away from the rocks is your best shot.
Red Grouper tastes very mild, with a slightly sweet underlying flavor. Its flavor is somewhere between seabass and halibut, but it has a sweeter taste that resembles crab or lobster. It’s fairly oily so it’s still flavorful even when overcooked and breaks apart into large firm flakes. Most other types of grouper have a stronger flavor, which is why we love the reds.