Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Gag Grouper.
Sanibel Fishing & Captiva Fishing, Captiva Island, Sunday, May 7: Gag Grouper, caught year round on structure; latest Red Tide Report; better water north of Sanibel up through Captiva & North Captiva. Please click here to Book A Charter or call 239-472-8658.
We’re located at Castaways Marina, Santiva, Sanibel Island, just before the Blind Pass bridge to Captiva Island.
For more photos and/or fishing reports from our other Captains’ boats from other marinas, please also visit our Sanibel, Fort Myers, Seashell & Shelling, Florida Fishing Report and Cuban Fishing sites. Please check here for Live Sanibel Traffic Cams. Click here for College Of Fishing Hats & Apparel.
“Mycteroperca microlepis (the gag, gag grouper, velvet rockfish or charcoal belly) is a species of grouper from warmer parts of the West Atlantic, including the Caribbean and Gulf of Mexico. It is a drab, mottled-gray fish lacking the distinguishing features of most other groupers. Its pattern of markings resemble the box-shaped spots of the black grouper. It lacks the streamer-points on the tail fin that scamp (Mycteroperca phenax) and yellowmouth grouper (M. interstitialis) have, and lacks yellow coloration around the mouth.
Ten- to 20-pound (5- to 10-kg) fish are common. The world record is 80 lb 6 oz (36.45 kg). The gag grouper is a bottom feeder and is often caught by fishermen seeking bottom-dwelling species, such as snappers. It’s flaky white meat is considered quite delicious.
Members of this species are known to be protogynous hermaphrodites, schooling in harems with the most aggressive and largest females shifting sex to male, probably as a result of behavioral triggers, when no male is available. Commercial and sport fishing have created tremendous selective pressures against the largest animals, typically male, restricting the reproductive capacity of the entire breeding population.
Recently, a small closure in the Gulf of Mexico was established to provide this and other species a refuge from commercial fishing pressure, however, these data are highly in dispute and are currently being challenged for inaccuracies.
[Gag grouper] are found in areas of a hard or consolidated substrate and use structural features, such as ledges, rocks, and coral reefs (as well as artificial reefs, such as wrecks and sunken barges) as their habitats.” More background here.
Image Credit: © Diane Rome Peebles
“Gag Grouper Appearance:
- Brownish gray in color with dark, worm-like side markings
- Fins dark, with anal and caudal having a white margin
- Lack of brassy spots as found on black grouper
- Slightly concave tail
- Noticeable spur located on the preopercle
Gag Grouper Habitat:
Adults inhabit rocky bottoms, reefs and drop-off walls in water over 60 feet deep; young occur inshore in waters around seagrass beds, mangrove forests, and hard-bottom communities.
Gag Grouper Behavior:
Grouper are born as females but can later become male. Gag and red grouper are the most widely distributed of the Florida groupers. Goliath and Nassau grouper are protected from harvest in Florida waters. Grouper spawn between January and May with some of the more tropical species spawning year-round.
Gag grouper State Record: 80 lb 6 oz, caught near Destin, Florida.
Fishing Tips and Facts: Grouper fishing from a boat typically involves baits fished near the bottom, with heavy tackle and heavier to bring grouper to the surface. Live fish or dead cut or whole bait are used. Grouper are very tasty meals.” More background here.
We’re big advocates of catch and release, particularly for snook, but pretty much for most species. Only take what you are going to eat, and a lot of fish are better off as sportfish, even if they are in season. Our motto is let ‘em get bigger and catch ‘em again!
Please click calendar at upper right or call 239-472-8658 to book a charter.
Whether you’re a longtime customer who has fished with us for many years or a first-time customer, expert fisherman or just a family with young children out to catch fish and have fun, you are going to enjoy being out in the boat with Hank and me! We greatly appreciate your friendship and business!
We grew up on Sanibel and Captiva fishing and shelling every day! It is what we know and do well! If you had a good time fishing with Captain Joey Burnsed on a Sanibel & Captiva charter, please post an “excellent” review on Google Places, TripAdvisor, Yelp, or Facebook! If you had any issues at all with your charter, please let us know immediately and we’ll do everything we can to make it right! Huge thanks for doing this!
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Fair winds and following seas,
Captain Joey Burnsed ~ please click calendar at the upper left or call 239-472-8658 to book a Sanibel & Captiva Islands, Boca Grande or Fort Myers fishing guide trip or shelling charter.
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