Occurs throughout Florida and the Bahamas.
Widely distributed from close inshore in many areas of Florida to ledges
and wrecks in up to 300 or so feet of water. Great majority of sport
catches are made in 10-100 feet.
Overall light or rusty red with whitish spots and large blotches. No
black mark on caudal peduncle fleshy area between tail and posterior
Common at 1-10 pounds; maximum perhaps 40 pounds. World record 42
pounds, 4 ounces.
FLORIDA RECORDS : 39 pounds, 8
One of the toughest-fighting Groupers, pound-for-pound. Although Reds
will "hole up" like other Groupers, many are hooked on light and fairly
light tackle in areas where cover is well scattered, and this gives them
the chance to demonstrate their toughness to best advantage.
TACKLE AND BAITS:
The standard tackle is a boat outfit with 40-pound line or more, but
heavy spinning and bait casting tackle with 15- or 20-pound line can
easily do the job in water less than 100 feet deep. Reds will hit all
the baits and lures recommended for Gag and other Groupers, but they are
also very fond of crustacean baits, particularly shrimp and crab. They
are ready strikers on leadhead jigs, fished with light tackle.
Drifting; Still Fishing.