Groupers are a regular topic of conversation on the docks here in Destin, Florida. You'd be hard pressed to find someone in the Destin charter fishing industry here that doesn't have an epic fish tale involving this highly prized and delicious species of fish. They may not be as pretty as a red snapper, but they certainly make up for it in other ways. Aside from mentioning what we love about these awesome creatures, we've groupered (see what we did there?) a list of some things you might be surprised to learn. Be fore you book a deep sea charter fishing excursion in Destin, take a moment to check out these fun facts
1) There are a little over a hundred types of groupers
2) Groupers have the ability to change the color of the bright markings on their body to blend in with their background.
3) They swim slowly, but with power. They're not capable of fast breaks or swimming long distances, but anyone who's been on the other end of one on a deep sea fishing charter in Destin can tell you they have one heck of a dive pull.
4) They are born and mature as females, but can change their sex when needed to aid in reproduction. Since they tend to live in groups ranging from 3 to 15 females to 1 male, a female could convert herself to a male so their mating habits don't have to suffer.
5) Groupers have be estimated to live as long as 50 years old, assuming we don't get to them first of course. With that being said, some groupers are classified in a way that limits the sizes, amounts and seasons to which they can be harvested like the gag grouper or listed as protected and must be released like the Goliath grouper.
7) The United States Navy named one of it's submarines after this majestic game fish. It was launched out of Groton, Connecticut on October 27th 1941, then decommissioned and sold for scrapping on August 11th 1970.
If you get an opportunity to jump on a charter fishing trip in Destin, be sure to include a bottom fishing trip so you can tell an epic grouper fish tale of your own. The season for Gag, Black, Red, Scamp Rock hind, Red Hind, Coney, Grasby, Yellowfin and Yellomouth grouper is expected to run from June through December this year. Seasons are subject to change, so be sure to consult the Florida Wildlife Commissions website for the current status.
Florida Wild Life Commission: http://myfwc.com/wildlifehabitats/profiles/saltwater/