- Top Record:
- Goliath: 680 lb IGFA Black: 124 lb IGFA Red: 42 lb 4 oz IGFA
“Grouper” is a catchall name for the large subfamily Epinephelinae of the family Serranidae. There a number of species that go by the name, but in the U.S. red grouper and black grouper are most often targeted. Goliath groupers are also fished, though they must be released as they're a protected species. Goliaths are the largest western north Atlantic grouper and can grow beyond 600 pounds. Reds and blacks are smaller, with the largest fish approach 40 and 100 pounds respectively, but can be kept for the table. Both reds and blacks are bottom dwelling fish caught offshore, often along or just past a reef line. Reds have a namesake copper, white, reddish color. Blacks are generally olive or gray with black splotches and brassy spots. Young reds and blacks can be caught inshore, but the largest fish are typically found in deeper water with hard bottoms and sufficient structure. Red group “excavate” holes in the ocean floors from which they hide and ambush bait fish. Heavy tackle strung with live bait and fished just off the ocean floor works well.