Massive 350 lb. Grouper Caught Off Florida

A massive 350-lb Warsaw grouper was caught by hook-and-line on December 29, 2019, off the coast of southwest Florida in about 600 feet of water.

Biologists from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission Research Institute’s Age and Growth Lab estimated the age of this fish at 50 years old, making this the oldest sample collected for FWC’s fish aging program.

The Warsaw grouper is characterized by an elongated second dorsal spine.

They are the only grouper with 10 dorsal spines – all others have 11.

Although adults usually occur in depths of 180-1700 feet, juveniles are occasionally seen around jetties and shallow-water reefs in the northern Gulf.

FWC does not encourage the targeting of Warsaw grouper since the status of the population in the Gulf of Mexico is unknown.