Black Grouper


Mycteroperca bonaci

Illustration and Copyright by Diane Rome Peebles
Illustrations are for viewing purposes

Description: olive or gray body coloration with black blotches and brassy spots; gently rounded preopercle.

Similar Fish: gag M. microlepis; yellowfin grouper, M. venenosa.

Where found: OFFSHORE species; adults associated with rocky bottoms, reef, and drop off walls in water over 60 feet deep; young may occur INSHORE in shallow water.

Possession and Size Limits: 4 per person in aggregate of all groupers, 22” TL. Captain and crew prohibited from retaining bag limits of any grouper while under charter.

Federal Recreational Season: Closed February 1 - March 31. “The Edges” is closed to all fishing January 1 - April 30.

Size: common to 40 pounds, may attain weights exceeding 100 pounds.

Remarks: spawns between May and August; protogynous hermaphrodites, young predominantly female, transforming into males as they grow larger; larger individuals generally in greater depths; feeds on fish and squid.

Stock Status: According to a 2010 SEDAR 19 Stock Assessment, black grouper are neither overfished, nor experiencing overfishing.  No assessment of black grouper is currently scheduled.