Rock Hind

Often found near ports, the rock hind is native to the western Atlantic Ocean. They can be caught using various methods, including bottom bouncing, bottom fishing, saltwater trolling, and drift fishing. They respond best to both live and cut bait.

rock hind

How to identify Rock Hind

Rock hinds, or “rock groupers”, are generally a dark greenish tan color with prominent orange-red spots covering their body and fins. They are similar to appearance to the red hind, but with additional 1 to 4 large, dark blotches along the back, below and behind the dorsal fin, and below the soft rays of the dorsal fin.

rock hind identification diagram

Rock hinds have very distinct dorsal markings that can be dark or light. The tail and anal fins are wide with white edging. They have the ability to turn lighter or darker at will.

Rock hind grow to 2 feet in length and 9 pounds.

Identifying characteristics:

  1. Greenish tan or brown coloring
  2. Orange-red spots covering body
  3. 1 to 4 Large, dark blotches
  4. Wide anal and tail fins with whitish edges

Where to catch Rock Hind

The rock hind is the most common grouper found on the coast of Texas. They are solitary fish and can be found in the western Atlantic, Gulf of Mexico, and from North Carolina to Bermuda. They prefer to stick near jetties, snapper banks, roman-made reefs, shipwrecks, rocks, and other structures close to the shore in waters as deep as 150 feet.

Range: South, Northeast
Rock Hind Fishing Map

The following are habitats where you can catch Rock Hind:

How to catch Rock Hind

The best time to fish for rock hinds is when it is coldest – from September to March. Look for them in breakwaters that form near ports. Anglers catch rock hinds by bouncing jigs on the bottom while drifting near structures. Another method that is popular is trolling. In deeper waters, bottom-line fishing can be successful. These fish will fight hard once they are hooked. They are also known for getting anglers’ lines tangled into rocks. Anglers are advised to let the fish tire itself out before trying to reel it in. Caution should be used when handling these fish because their gill covers are sharp and jagged.

The following are effective fishing methods and techniques for catching Rock Hind:

Best Lures, Bait & Tackle to catch Rock Hind

Rock hinds respond best to live bait, such as squid, sardines, white crabs, and chub mackerel. Cut bait, such as octopus, works as well. Rock hind also respond well to jigs.

The following are fishing lures, bait and tackle that can be used to catch Rock Hind: