The Red Grouper is a species of fish in the Family Serranidae. Red grouper, like a number of other grouper species, are long-lived, slow to mature, protogynous hermaphrodites, beginning life as females, with some later transforming into males. Females transform into males between the ages of 7 and 12. These characteristics make them highly vulnerable to overfishing. Red Grouper actively excavate pits in the seafloor. This activity increases the architectural complexity of the habitat, which attracts other organisms and increases local biodiversity. They start digging in the sediment from the time they settle out of the plankton and continue throughout their lifetime.
Red Grouper are easily recognized by their color and by the sloped, straight line of their spiny dorsal fin. The fin has a long second spine and an unnotched interpine membrane. Most epinepheline Groupers have a notched dorsal spine membrane and a third spine longer than the second. The body is deep brownish-red overall, with occational white spots on the sides. Tiny black specks dot the cheeks and operculum. The Red Grouper is of moderate size, about 125 cm and weighs 23 kg or more. When aggravated (they are highly territorial) or involved in spawning activities, these fish can very rapidly change coloration patterns, with the head or other parts of the body turning completely white, and the white spots appearing more intense.
One of the toughest fighting Groupers around. Although Red Groupers will hide like other Groupers, many are hooked on light and fairly light tackle in areas where cover is well scattered, and this gives them the chance to demonstrate their toughness.
The standard tackle is a boat out- fit with 40-pound line or more, but heavy spinning and baitcasting tackle with 15 or 20 pound(7.5-10kg) line can easily do the job in water less than 100 feet(30m) deep. Red Groupers will hit all the baits and lures recommended for other Groupers, but they are also very fond of crustacean baits, particularly shrimp and crab. They are ready strikers on leadhead jigs, fished with light tackle.
Is found along the continental shelves of the Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic seaboard of the southeastern United States, and the Caribbean Sea south to Brazil(including Anguilla, Antigua and Barbuda, Aruba, the Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Bermuda, Brazil, Cayman Islands, Colombia, Costa Rica, Cuba, Dominica, the Dominican Republic, French Guiana, Grenada,Guadeloupe, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Jamaica, Martinique, Mexico, Montserrat, Netherlands Antilles, Nicaragua, Panama, Puerto Rico, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and the Grenadines, Suriname,Trinidad and Tobago, Turks and Caicos Islands, Venezuela, the British Virgin Islands, and the U.S. Virgin Islands).