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Black Grouper

Black Grouper: Mycteroperca bonaci


  • Olive or gray body coloration with black blotches and brassy spots
  • gently rounded preopercle
  • Similar in appearence to gag and yellowfin groupers


These fish are offshore species. Adults are associated with rocky bottoms, reef, and drop off walls in water over 60 feet deep.  Young black grouper  may occur inshore in shallow water.


Black grouper spawn between May and August and they are protogynous hermaphrodites, meaning that young predominantly female who transform into males as they grow larger.  Larger individuals of this species are generally found in greater depths and they feed on fish and squid.

State Record:

113 lb 6 oz, caught near the Dry Tortugas

Fishing Tips and Facts:

Grouper fishing from a boat typically involves baits fished near the bottom, with heavy tackle and heavier to bring grouper to the surface. Live fish or dead cut or whole bait are used. Grouper are very tasty meals. They're under attack from environmntalists working with flawed data that say they're overfished. Biomasses of the species are greater than they've been in the fifty-years we've been measuring them.

Image Credit: Diane Rome Peebles

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