The Yellowedge Grouper fish identification, habitats, characteristics, Fishing methods
The yellowedge grouper is a large (to 18 kg) grouper that inhabits hard bottom and rocky outcroppings in depths of 190 to 220m. Yellowedge grouper live at least 15 years and grow to longer than 1m. Adults feed on bottom dwelling animals, including squid, octopus, crabs, eels, lizardfish, seahorses, scorpionfish, and searobins.
Yellowedge grouper, Epinephelus flavolimbatus, family Serranidae, also known as Deepwater Yellowfin Grouper, Cherna Del Alto in Mexico, is a deep water reef associated marine fish, widely distributed from offshore of North Carolina along the continental shelf break to southern Brazil, including Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean; not reported from Bermuda. It is much more abundant in the western Gulf of Mexico than in the Atlantic.
Body depth is distinctly less than head length, 2.7 to 2.9 in standard length (for fish 13 to 64 cm standard length). Eye diameter is equal to or greater than interorbital width in fish less than 45 cm length. Nostrils subequal. Lateral body scales are ctenoid (rough). Dorsal fin's 3rd or 4th spine longest, and fin membrane slightlly incised between anterior spines. Rear margin of caudal fin is convex in fish smaller than 30 cm and truncated or even slightly concaved in larger species. Preopercle angular, with serrae at angle distinctly enlarged and, in large fish, coalesced into a flat serrate lobe.
Dorsal fin has 11 spines and 13 to 15 soft rays.
Anal fin has 3 spines and 9 soft rays.
Pctoral fins have 18 rays.
Lateral scale series 82 to 99.
Lateral-line scales about 65.
Maximum total length is about 46in (115 cm).
Maximum weight is 30lbs (20 kg).
Gill rakers on first arch are 23 to 25.
(8 or 9 on upper limb, 15 to 17 on lower limb).
The body and head are light tan to grayish brown along the back and upper sides. The lower sides and belly are whitish. The dorsal, pectorals, and sometimes the caudal fins are trimmed in bright yellow (caudal fin could be white). A prominent blue line is from eye to corner of preopercle. Juveniles (less than 20 cm length) are usually speckled with pearly white spots arranged in a grid of 4 longitudinal rows and 7 vertical columns and possess a black brown saddle blotch on the caudal peduncle. The black spot does not reach below the lateral line. A similar spot is found on young snowy grouper, but it is positioned lower. This spotted juvenile pattern gradually disappears with growth and is faint to absent in fish larger than 30 cm. Adults generally immaculate, but sometimes (momentarily) they display the white-spotted grid pattern.
Yellowedge are best found in waters 250-650 feet deep, but most common in waters deeper than 300 feet. Concentrations of these fish will hold at the continental shelf break, where the bottom is characterized by a series of troughs and terraces and by precipitous dropoffs.
A deep-water species occurring in rocky areas and on sand/mud bottoms in depths of 64 to 370 m and on soft bottoms, in or near trenches or burrow-like excavations. This grouper does not seem to be oriented toward high-relief bottom such as reefs and rock piles, but rather seems to prefer relatively flat rock bottoms encrusted with living growths (live bottom).
Yellowedge groupers are aggressive predators that feed on large, bottom-dwelling creatures. These foods include squids, octopuses, crabs, eels, lizardfish, seahorses, scorpionfish, and searobins. This species feeds on a wide variety of invertebrates (mainly brachyuran crabs), squid and octopuses.
Yellowedge are protogynous hermaphrodites, they all start their lives as females, and when older and larger, they convert to males. Females begin turning into males over a wide range of sizes, but has usually occurred by the time a fish reaches 23 inches (85 cm) and 13 years of age. Significant numbers of sex conversions do not occur until 32-34 inches of length. After 37 inches and 24 pounds, almost all species are males. Yellowedge grouper normally mature between ages 5 and 6 (45 to 47 cm). Females mature at about 16 inches (53 to 60 cm) of length and 2 years old, at the earliest. By 24 inches in length, all females are become mature. Females outnumber males by almost two to one. Some spawning occurs from January through October, with most activity occurring from May through September, with a peak in August and September. All eggs and larvae are pelagic. They live to at least 35 years as long as 85 years.
Its preference for deep water and relatively low-profile bottom makes this fish very hard to target by recreational fishermen, in spite of its relatively large size and good table qualities. Yellowedge grouper primarily caught with hooks-and-lines. Additional types of fishing gear include cast nets.
Yellowedge are caught infrequently throughout their range by commercial and recreational fishermen. Most are landed from waters 450 to 850 feet deep, where the bottom is very irregular. Depth recorders and lorans are required to locate good fishing grounds. As is true with fishing for other deep-water reef fish, the bait (cut fish or squid) must be fished directly on the bottom. Heavy sinkers are required to negate the effects of strong offshore currents.
Yellowedge are excellent food fish. The white, flaky fillets may be baked, broiled, basted over charcoal, or prepared in fish chowder. The bones are large and easily discarded. Nutritional Information per 100g of raw Yellowedge fillet: Calories 92g, Total Fat 1.02g, Total Protein 19.3g, Omega-3 0.25g, Cholesterol 39mg, Sodium 53mg.
Baked Yellowedge Grouper in Sour Cream
For 2 to 3 pounds of fish fillets the ingredients are: 1 cup of sour cream, 2 tablespoons of chopped dill pickle, 2 tablespoons of chopped green pepper, 2 tablespoons of chopped onion, 1tablespoon of parsley flakes, 1/4 teaspoon of dry mustard, and 1/4 teaspoon of sweet basil. Mix all the ingredients together and pour them over the fillets in a buttered pan. Bake at 375°F for 20 to 25 minutes.
More great easy Grouper Recepies.