Nearshore, Offshore, Reef
-13 - 32 pounds
12" - 42"
The scamp grouper (Mycteroperca phenax), also known as brow grouper, abadejo, or broom tail, is a saltwater fish mostly found in the Gulf of Mexico and southern Atlantic waters. It may look a little like its other grouper cousins because of its shape.; but can easily be identified though its elongated rays protruding from its tail fin, its deep tan to chocolate brown color, and the darker reddish to brown blotches that run along the sides of its body.
Even though this grouper eats anything that it can fit into its mouth, it mainly eats other smaller fish as well as crustaceans and octopus. Spawning season starts in February and usually ends around mid-May, peaking at around early March. And although it usually spends most of its life in the deeper parts of the water, it will head for shallower waters once spawning season starts.
Though Scamp Groupers are slow swimmers, they are known to be strong. So if you happen to hook one, expect a long and tiring battle with the fish as even experienced anglers have had problems pulling it in. Also, Scamp Groupers are not that big as their relatives as average sizes only measures less than three feet and weighs four to six pounds.
Scamp Groupers can be found hiding under structure such as rocks, ledges, wrecks, or reefs where it usually ambushes unknowing victims. They also live near the bottom of the water at around 75 to 300 feet deep; but, as already mentioned, they would be found in shallower waters during spawning seasons.
The scamp grouper is mainly found in the southern Atlantic waters as well in the Gulf of Mexico where it is most abundant and some of the huge ones have been sighted. However, smaller ones have also been sighted in Florida and northward along the East Coast to North Carolina, and as far north as Massachusetts.
Thinking about Scamp Grouper fishing soon? Here are some tips that would help you catch this prized fish: