Bonaci Arara Aguaji
Sometimes encountered in the deep Gulf and upper Atlantic, but common
only in South Florida, the Keys and the Bahamas.
Blacks of many sizes are commonly found around the edges of coral reefs,
from about 30 feet of water out to the deepest drop-offs. Even big fish,
however, may roam to much shallower patch reefs, especially in cooler
seasons. Small Blacks may also frequent creeks, especially in the
Overall color is dark gray. Markings are blacker than those of the Gag,
and form box-like patterns. Fins are black; their edges also black or
The largest of our groupers, the Black
frequently exceeds 50 pounds in weight and can top 100. World record 114
FLORIDA RECORD: No Record
because of confusion between this and Gag, also known as black grouper.
Excellent; firm white flesh; little red.
Considered best of the Groupers.
TACKLE AND BAITS:
For all-around work, ocean gear with lines of 30-pound test or higher
gets the call. Light-tackle fishermen in South Florida, however, have
caught many Blacks over 50 pounds. One key besides a huge helping of
luck is to hook the fish while drifting, instead of at anchor. The drift
of the boat adds to the power of the tackle and just might help drag the
big fish far enough away from his rocky "hole" that he cannot get back.
For drifting or still fishing, the best baits are frisky live fish, such
as Blue Runners or other small jacks. Pinfish and Pilchards are good
too, as are Mullet heads and other large cut baits. Best casting lures
are leadhead jigs, weighing from 1-4 ounces, depending on depth.
Trolling over the reefs with rigged, swimming Mullet, feather-and-strip
combos, and large plugs also takes many.
FISHING TECHNIQUES: Drifting;
Still Fishing; Trolling.