The Warsaw Grouper fish identification, habitats, characteristics, Fishing methods
The warsaw grouper is the only member of the subfamily Epinephelous, Family Serranidae, Sea Basses and Grouper, that has 10 dorsal spines, the 2nd dorsal spine is much longer than the 3rd. Their color is a grayish brown to dark reddish-brown background with numerous small, irregular white blotches on the sides. The color appears much lighter around the nape and along the posterior margin of the operculum. All of the fins are dark brown, except the white-splotched spiny portion of the dorsal fin. The warsaw grouper has a wider distribution along the southern United States than the other large grouper, the goliath grouper. Warsaw are long-lived may reach an age of 41 years, reaching up to 6 feet length and over 300 pounds weight. It has white, flaky meat that is marketed fresh. It is more widespread than the jewfish and caught more frequently.
Warsaw grouper, Epinephelus nigritus, also known as Giant Grouper, Black Jewfish, Garrupa Negrita, is a marine fish range all Florida coasts, Atlantic and Gulf, but not reported from the Bahamas. Widely distributed from Massachusetts to Gulf of Mexico, Cuba, Haiti, Trinidad, Venezuela to Rio de Janeiro; also known (but rare) on the coast of France.
Diagnostic characters: Body depth less than head length, 2.4 to 2.6 times in length (for fish 11 to 58 cm); head length 2.1 to 2.5 times in length. Nostrils subequal, or rear nostril slightly larger; maxilla reaches well past eye; adults with 4 or 5 rows of teeth at midside of lower jaw; juveniles with 2 or 3 rows. Interorbital area distinctly convex, wider than eye diameter for fish larger than 15 cm; preopercle corner rounded, with slightly enlarged serrae and 1 or 2 small spines on lower edge just in front of corner; interopercle and subopercle smooth. Pelvic fins are longer than pectoral fins in fish up to 58 cm and inserted in front of vertical from lower end of pectoral-fin base. Midlateral body scales distinctly ctenoid (rough), with auxiliary scales in adults. The second dorsal spine distinctly elongated and the nterspinous membranes deeply incised. Warsaw grouper are a long-lived, slow-growing species that may reach an age of 41 years. Average lengths for fish 1 year old is 30 cm, for 5 years - 92 cm, for 10 - 119 cm, and for 41 years old is 233 cm.
Dorsal fin has 10 spines and 13 to 15 soft rays.
Anal fin has 3 spines and 9 soft rays.
Pectoral fins have 18 to 19 rays.
Lateral-line scales 62 to 71.
Lateral scale series 99 to 107.
Maximum total length is 235 cm
Maximum weight up to 200 kg.
The rear margin of tail convex or truncate with rounded corners.
Gill rakers on first arch are 23 to 25.
(9 to 11 on upper limb, 14 to 16 on lower limb).
The Warsaw grouper has dark reddish brown or brownish grey to almost black body, occasionally irregularly spotted with several small, white blotches on the sides and the dorsal fins, although these are indiscernible in death. Their belly is dull reddish grey. Juveniles have a yellow tail and a dark saddle blotch on the caudal peduncle and few randomly scattered whitish spots on body. Mottled dark brown, shading to slightly lighter brown on lower portions.
Tenspine Grouper differs from Warsaw grouper in having 8 anal-fin rays, 87 to 92 lateral scale series, body depth 2.3 times in standard length, and pelvic fins equal to or shorter than pectoral fins.
Very deep dropoffs, ledges and seamounts. Seldom encountered in less than 200 feet, and most common in much deeper water. Partyboats working offshore waters of the state's upper half both Gulf and Atlantic seem to bring in Warsaws more often than elsewhere.
The species inhabits irregular bottom, notches, valleys, and drop-offs, occuring in the continental shelf break in waters 350 to 650 feet deep. Other species inhabiting this productive deep-water zone are snowy and yellowedge groupers, tilefish, and silk snappers.
Adults are usually on rough, rocky bottom in depths of 55 to 525 m; juveniles occasionally seen on jetties and shallow-water reefs. Adults feed on a variety of crabs, shrimps, lobsters, and fishes. The specie’s huge mouth enables it to engulf prey whole after capturing it.
They spawn during August through September in the Gulf of Mexico.
Because of its large size, they are considerable importance in the sport fishery for bottom fishes. The species is also common in the western Gulf of Mexico and southern Caribbean (from Venezuela to French Guiana).
They considered as a good food value. Great strength is the hallmark of the Warsaw's fighting arsenal, and the angler who gets one on a manual rod and reel will know he's been in a tug-of-war. Fairly large whole fish, or halved bonito and other hefty cut baits are all productive whenever they can be dropped to within gulping range of a Warsaw. Drifting and still fishing are the best methods. They are caught mainly with hook-and-line and bottom longlines.
The white-flaked flesh contains no intramuscular bones. The extra lean white meat is firm and moist with large flake and a sweet, mild flavor.
Mix 1/2 cup flavored bread crumbs, 1/2 cup Special K cereal and 1/4 cup corn flakes together. Whisk 1/2 cup milk and 2 eggs together well. Dredge 4 grouper fillets (6-7 oz each) through milk/egg mixture and then coat with cereal mixture (if needed press the cereal coating against the grouper). Sautee in heated oil about 4-5 minutes each side. Actual cooking time will depend on the thickness of the fish and the temperature of the oil.
Check more great easy Grouper Recepies.