The Yellowfin Grouper fish identification, habitats, characteristics, Fishing methods
A highly colorful coral reef grouper, the Yellowfin Grouper is found throughout the western Atlantic, the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. Coloration can vary from a light brown to an intense red. Often found in shallow waters during cooler periods, the yellowfin grouper feeds in and around the coral reefs.
Yellowfin grouper, Mycteroperca venenosa, also known as Red Rockfish, Spotted Grouper, Bonaci Cardinal, princess rockfish in Bermuda, bonaci cardenal, arigua, bonaci de piedra in Cuba, cuna cucaracha, cuna cabrilla in Venezuela, is a marine fish most common in the Bahamas, also distributed in Bermuda, North Carolina, south Florida, Gulf of Mexico, West Indies, Honduras, Nicaragua, Venezuela to São Paulo, Brazil.
Diagnostic characters: Body depth contained 2.9 to 3.2 times, head length 2.6-2.9 times in standard length. Nostrils are equal or rear nostrils about twice diameter of the front nostrils in larger fish. Interorbital area convex; preopercle evenly rounded or with a slight notch, but no projecting bony lobe at angle. Mid-lateral body scales are ctenoid in juveniles and smooth in adults, with numerous auxiliary scales. Soft dorsal and anal-fin margins rounded; no exserted fin rays. Caudal fin truncate in juveniles, concave in adults;
Dorsal fin has 11 spines and 15 to 16 soft rays.
Interspinous membranes are distinctly indented.
Anal fin has 3 spines and 10 to 12 soft rays.
Pectoral fins have 16 to 18 rays.
Lateral-line scales 72 to 81.
Lateral scale series 111 to 125.
Maximum total length is 100 cm
Maximum weight up to 10 kg.
The rear margin of tail convex or truncate with rounded corners.
Gill rakers on first arch are 24 to 27.
8 to 10 on upper limb, 17 to 18 on lower limb
including 4 to 7 rudiments on each limb.
Yellowfin Grouper shows various colors, including two major phases, a deep-water reddish form and a shallow-water greenish form; head and body with oblong dark blotches overlying groups of small black spots; ventral part of head and body with dark red spots; soft dorsal, anal, and caudal fins with dark margin and white edge; distal 3rd of pectoral fins abruptly yellow, the basal part of fin with small irregular dark spots. During a deep-water phase it is difficult distinguish from the Black Grouper were it not for the bright yellow trim of the pectoral fins. In its other major color phase, the Yellowfin is the prettiest of all the Groupers. They are overall bright red color with dark red or brown box-shaped blotches and, of course, the yellow pectorals. In both phases, yellow may be obvious on other fins, as well as the pectorals.
Juveniles occur in shallow turtle grass beds; adults are usually found on rocky and coral reefs in depths of 2 to 137 m, but also been found in trawls overmud bottoms in the northern Gulf of Mexico. The food at 18 to 75 cm standard length was 95% fishes (mainly coral reef species) and 4% squids. One of the most abundant groupers in the Caribbean has lengths at least 100 cm.
They are protogynous hermaphrodite. Spawning occurs at Bermuda in July, in the Florida Keys during March, in the eastern Gulf of Mexico from March to August, at Jamaica from February to April and off Puerto Rico in April. Males mature at length 54 cm.
Yellowfin grouper have an outstanding game quality, among the best of the groupers. The smaller species have an excellent food value. This is a good-size Grouper that frequently runs to 15 pounds or so, and sometimes to 30 or more. The smaller ones, from 3-10 pounds, are apt to be the most brightly colored. They could be caught with traps, spears, and hook-and-line using Drifting, Still Fishing and Trolling fishing methods. Heavy bottom-fishing outfits to spinning and bait-casting outfits that are used for jigging. Live baits are the best for Yellowfins, large cut baits also work pretty well. Many are caught by trolling, especially with heavy feather-and-strip combinations. They also take plugs and spoons.
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.
Grilled Margarita Grouper
Combine 1/3 cup Bianco, Silver or Anejo tequila, 1/2 cup of triple sec, 3/4 cup of fresh lime juice, 1 tsp of salt, and 2 tsp of vegetable oil. Place 1 1/2 lbs grouper fillets in a single layer in a flat dish. Pour tequila mixture over, and marinate for 1/2 hour at room temperature, or 2-3 hours in the refrigerator. Just before serving, combine 3 medium diced tomatoes, 1 medium finely chopped onion, 1 tbsp minced jalapeņo or serrano chile, 2-4 tbsp chopped fresh cilantro, 1 pinch of sugar, and salt to taste to make fresh tomato salsa. Remove fish from marinade (reserve it for later), and pat dry. Brush fish on both sides with oil, and grind pepper over it. Cook on greased grill over high heat until flesh is opaque (approx. 4 minutes per side). Boil sauce in a saucepan for about 2 minutes, remove and discard the garlic cloves, and spoon over fish. Serve alongside fresh tomato salsa.
Check more great easy Grouper Recepies.