Different Types of Grouper in the Gulf of Mexico

Different Types of Grouper in the Gulf of Mexico

One of Florida’s most famous fish species is the grouper. These big bottom-dwellers, which range from giant Goliaths to delicious Scamps are a popular choice on Floridian fishing trips. This article will explain the differences between different types of grouper in the Gulf of Mexico. Learn about their habits, where they live, and how big they grow.

Grouper in the Gulf Of Mexico

Black Grouper


Black Grouper is a large species of Grouper that can be found in the Atlantic. They are both favored by recreational anglers as well as commercial crews. They can reach a length of up to 4 feet and weigh in excess of 100 pounds. 

Black Grouper are found around reefs and rocky bottoms on both the Sunshine State’s sides. Adults can be found in 60-250 feet of water. Their summers are spent spawning in shallower waters, sometimes as low as 30 feet. These inshore areas are where juveniles stay until they can fend for their own.

Grouper in the Gulf Of Mexico

Gag Grouper


These guys are commonly known as “Grey Grouper” and are an integral part of reef fishing trips in the Gulf and Atlantic. They are usually only about 50 pounds in weight and don’t grow to be as large as Black Grouper. The average catch is 5-20 lb, which is the same as Black Grouper.

Adult Gag Grouper are found in the same places as other Grouper species, including drop-offs and reefs in 60+ feet of water. Younger Gags are also found in estuaries, and seagrass beds, in the ocean, so don’t be surprised to catch one while on the hunt for Redfish or other inshore species.

Grouper in the Gulf Of Mexico

Goliath Grouper


These heavyweights live up to their names. They can reach heights of 8 feet and weigh over 800 pounds. They don’t live as deep as one might think, despite their size. Goliaths hunt in rocky and muddy waters. Young Goliaths will seek out food at oyster bars and head straight into estuaries.

A Goliath Grouper is big and they know it. Goliath Grouper swim up to spearfishers and divers to check out their activities and possibly steal their lunch. Goliath Grouper are now strictly protected and can be fished only on a catch-and-release basis.

Grouper in the Gulf Of Mexico

Nassau Grouper


They aren’t the most flavorful or colorful fish. They are, however, some of the smartest fish in the ocean. They are far more intelligent than people think.

Unfortunately, this intelligence is accompanied by the same natural curiosity that got Goliath Groupers in serious trouble. The critically endangered Nassau Grouper is still in decline. They are protected in Florida, naturally. If you happen to come across one, consider yourself lucky and ensure it swims away unharmed.

Grouper in the Gulf Of Mexico

Red Grouper


A boatload of Red Grouper is the best way to describe “reef fishing” in Florida. These deep-water fish are why people go offshore, even though there are plenty of fish in shallow waters. They are beautiful and delicious!

Red Groupers average between 5-10 lb and are rarely more than 2 feet in length. You may need to travel up to 20 miles to reach them. They can be found living on rocky bottoms as deep as 1,000 feet. 

Grouper in the Gulf Of Mexico

Scamp Grouper


Most people who have caught Scamp say they are the best fish in their family. Scamp may be the most delicious fish in the family. Grouper standards are quite small for Scamp. The average Scamp fish will measure in at least 2 feet, and any fish that exceeds 5 pounds is considered a good catch.

Scamps are a deep-water species. They can be found in a 100 feet of water. 

Want to Catch Grouper on Your Next Fishing Trip?


These are the most popular (and fascinating) types of Grouper found in Florida. Although we’ve attempted to list all of the Grouper that you might catch in the Gulf Of Mexico, there are many more in the ocean. You never know what you might find on your next deep-sea fishing adventure. To Book an offshore fishing trip and catch some amazing grouper, contact Capt Avery Hughes and the Salty Knots Fishing Team!