The Red Grouper, Epinephelus morio
Overall light or rusty red with whitish spots and large blotches. No black mark on caudal peduncle fleshy area between tail and posterior dorsal fin.
SIZE: Common at 1-10 pounds; maximum perhaps 40 pounds. World record 42 pounds, 4 ounces; Florida record 42 pounds, 4 ounces.
FOOD VALUE: Good.
GAME QUALITIES: One of the toughest-fighting Groupers, pound-for-pound. Although Reds will “hole up” like other Groupers, many are hooked on light and fairly light tackle in areas where cover is well scattered, and this gives them the chance to demonstrate their toughness to best advantage.
TACKLE AND BAITS: The standard tackle is a boat outfit with 40-pound line or more, but heavy spinning and baitcasting tackle with 15- or 20-pound line can easily do the job in water less than 100 feet deep. Reds will hit all the baits and lures recommended for Gag and other Groupers, but they are also very fond of crustacean baits, particularly shrimp and crab. They are ready strikers on leadhead jigs, fished with light tackle.
FISHING SYSTEMS: Still Fishing; Drifting; Trolling.
Cherna De Vivero
RANGE: Common throughout Florida; also present in Bahamas and common in some areas.
HABITAT: Widely distributed from close inshore in many areas of Florida to ledges and wrecks in up to 300 or so feet of water. Great majority of sport catches are made in 10-100 feet.
- <h2>Year End Red Grouper</h2>