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Family Serranidae, SEA BASSES AND GROUPER Epinephelus

Description: color brownish red; lining of mouth scarlet-orange; blotches on sides in unorganized pattern; second spine of dorsal fin longer than others; pectoral fins longer than pelvic fins; squared off tail; margin of soft dorsal black with white at mid-fin; black dots around the eyes.

Similar Fish: Nassau grouper, E. striatus.


Where found: bottom dwelling fish associated with hard bottom; juveniles OFFSHORE along with adults greater than 6 years old; fish from 1 to 6 years occupy NEARSHORE reefs.

Size: common to 15 pounds.


Florida Record: 39 lbs., 8 oz.


Remarks: spawns in April and May; prefer water temperatures between 66 and 77 degrees F; undergoes sex reversal, young individual females becoming males as they age; lifespan of at least 25 years; feeds on squid, crustaceans, and fish.


Distribution: Western Atlantic coast, ranging from Virginia to Rio de Janeiro; occasionally north and south of usual limits.


General: Often found in large numbers in smaller sizes, but larger fish not uncommon in some areas. An important sport fish although not a strong fighter. The fish has excellent table qualities.



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Sarasota Bay Fishing Charters - Saltwater Light-Tackle Sportfishing with Captain Tony Blizzard 

Sarasota, Florida