Grouper, Gag

Food Quality:

Grouper, Gag

Avg. Length


Avg. Weight


World Record

80lbs 6oz

FL Record

80lbs 6oz

View Regulations

Scientific Name

Mycteroperca microlepis

Common Names

Gray Grouper, Grass grouper, Copper belly, Black grouper,Charcoal belly


The Gag Grouper is characterized by its protruding jaw, forming a slight under bite, and large mouth. The coloration of the body depends on the age and sex of the fish.  Most of the fins have a darker blue to black portion. Males and Females can range from a grey to darker brown coloration, with some splotches or patterns of darker coloration.

Habitat & Behaviour

The Gag Grouper can be found near rocky under water ledges that provide plenty of shelter and food. They occasionally come inshore as well and can be found around rocks or vegetation. Though not typically found in schools it’s not uncommon to find groups of Gar Groupers.

Natural Prey

Gag Groupers eat a diet consisting of small fish, crabs, cephalopods and other invertebrates.

Handling Tips

Reef fish like the Grouper require anglers to use dehooking tools and venting tools to safely release the fish. When releasing keep in water, remove hook with pliers or dehooker and vent accordingly if you brought it up from a deep depth. Grouper all share a set of very sharp teeth and very sharp gill plates. Put fingers gently inside gill plate (just in corner , not too far inside), pinch outside of lip with thumb – easiest way to hang onto them. Spines not known to injure.