The scamp grouper is a much sought-after fish. In North America, it can be found from the Gulf of Mexico to North Carolina. Several methods are used to catch the scamp grouper, including drift fishing, bottom bouncing, saltwater jigging, night fishing, and still fishing. Live baits are the best option for snagging these feisty fish.
Habitat: Ocean, Coastal Waters, Estuary
How to identify Scamp Grouper
The scamp grouper has long rays that extend out from its caudal fins, similar to broomtail groupers. Scamps share the same body shapes as other groupers; however, scamps are khaki/brown and have dark markings. Like other groupers, scamps come into the world as females, but turn into males as they get bigger. Once they reach 12 inches, they are considered sexually mature. Females are smaller than males. Most will weigh under 10 pounds when fully grown, while some will grow as large as 20+ pounds.
Where to catch Scamp Grouper
These fish are abundant in the Gulf of Mexico and extend from Florida up to North Carolina. They prefer water that is from 100 to 300 feet deep, though they can be found in shallower waters during spawning season. These fish hide in reefs, rocky ledges, and shipwrecks, where they strike at prey that dares to get too close. Young scamps prefer the shallows around mangroves or jetties.
The following are habitats where you can catch Scamp Grouper:
- Coastal Waters
- Jetties and Breakers
- Man-made Structures
- Piers, Docks and Pilings
- Reefs, Wrecks and Shoals
How to catch Scamp Grouper
The scamp grouper is considered by some to be a prized fish. They can be caught with light tackle even though they’ll put up a fight. Scamps are often caught by drift fishing, anchored, or chumming heavily. Other effective methods include bottom bouncing, night fishing, saltwater jigging, and still fishing. Look for them in areas near the coast, such as breakwaters, docks, wrecks, mangroves, reefs, jetties, and piers. Medium to heavy conventional rods are recommended. A fishing weight can help to get the bait to the bottom. In shallow water, light spinning tackle is effective. Because these fish can put up a pretty good fight, rods should be equipped with braided line.
The following are effective fishing methods and techniques for catching Scamp Grouper:
Best Lures, Bait & Tackle to catch Scamp Grouper
Live baits work best for catching scamp groupers. Some good choices include cigar minnows, threadfins, croakers, grunts, scads, and sardines.
The following are fishing lures, bait and tackle that can be used to catch Scamp Grouper: