Nearshore, Reef, Deepwater
150 - 440 pounds
65" - 92"
The Warsaw grouper is a western Atlantic Ocean species of the Serranidae family. They are found from Massachusetts to Southwest Florida to the Gulf of Mexico, and south to Brazil. They are the only grouper species that has 10 dorsal spines and have an elongated second dorsal. They are grayish-brown and dark reddish-brown background with numerous small and irregular white marks on both sides. The color looks a lot lighter around the neck and around the back edge of the gill. The entire fins are dark brown, apart from the white-splotched spiny part of its dorsal fin.
Warsaw grouper is a species with slow growth and long life that can reach 41 years. Their maximum size is 7.7 feet in length and 430 pounds in weight. The world record for the largest Warsaw grouper ever caught in Florida was 436 pounds.
They are born and mature as females but can change their sex when needed to aid in reproduction.
Juveniles stay closer to shore and can be caught by inshore fishermen.
Warsaw Groupers are the second largest in the grouper family coming in behind the Goliath Grouper.
The smaller Warsaw Grouper is considered a good tasting fish. the larger ones may carry worms and possibly Ciguatera poisoning.
The fish has a huge mouth that allows it to swallow prey whole after capturing it. They feed on lobster, crabs, shrimp, and fish.
Due to their big size, the Warsaw Grouper is a sought-after catch. Great strength is their fighting power and any angler who hooks one will know he has a battle ahead. Good baits to use include halved bonito, whole fish, squid, and other cut pieces of bait when dropped within the gulping range.
Bridling bait is a useful tactic as the Grouper tends to engulf their prey rather than bite it. The best methods are still-fishing and drifting. They are caught mostly with hook-and-line and bottom longlines.
Warsaw Groupers are caught on bottom rigs baited with squid or cut pieces of fish. Due to the water depth, five-pound weights are used on the bottom rigs.
Warsaw Grouper inhabits drop-offs, notches, valleys, and rocky bottoms occurring in the continental shelf with a depth of 350 to 650 feet. the juveniles are sometimes seen on shallow-water reefs and jetties.
Warsaw Gruber has a wider distribution throughout the southern United States than any other big grouper. They range from North Carolina to the Florida Keys and all over the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico to the north coast of South America.