Epinephelus Striatus

Serranidae

Perciformes

Nearshore, Offshore, Shallow Reef

30 - 55 pounds

28" - 48"

Nassau Grouper

Also Known As: Hamlet, Rockfish, Cherna Criolla, Day Grouper, Hamlet, Sweet Lip, White Grouper  

Guides Who Fish This Species

Nassau Grouper (Epinephelus striatus) Fish Description

The Nassau Grouper (Epinephalus Striatus) is a popular target for both commercial and sport fishing enthusiasts. It can be easily distinguished from other groupers through its mostly reddish brown color; the dark uneven vertical bars that run across its body; and the uneven white specks scattered all over its entire body—from the head to the tail. Its coloration however changes during spawning season as the males change to black except for the white belly. The females, on the other hand, change their color to mostly black. They also tend to change color when they encounter threats, including other Nassau Groupers.

Nassau Groupers are also known to be solitary predators for most of their life, except when they gather during spawning season. They tend to stay near or within reefs, wrecks, and other underwater structures to either ambush prey or to seek protection from their predators. They are also more aggressive at night when they usually hunt for food and are said to be mostly inactive during the day. They have a unique way of devouring their food as they are known to suck in their prey whole to their wide gaping mouth. Their food mainly consists of small crustaceans including crabs and lobsters; although they are also known to eat a variety of marine animals such as smaller fishes and even snails and slugs.

Because of their size and their rather protective choice of habitat, the Nassau Grouper doesn’t have that many predators. Except for the occasional shark or barracuda that may sometimes wander into their turf, the only predators they mostly have problems with are humans. In fact, due to overfishing, the Nassau Grouper is now on the brink of extinction as the species is now classified as critically endangered. This is why the species population is currently under the supervision of authorities. And though fishing for Nassau Grouper is still allowed f