The Georgia Department of Natural Resources has announced a new men’s record for red grouper, Epinephelus morio, landed in Georgia by John Wrenn.
On June 11, 2012, John Wrenn of Soperton, Georgia landed a 19-pound 8 oz. red grouper while bottom fishing at Deli Ledge, a popular spot located on the western side of the gulf stream. Wrenn’s new state record catch is the first red grouper caught in Georgia that has been certified through the Saltwater Gamefish Records Program.
Wrenn received a certificate acknowledging his record catch, which will be added to the Georgia Saltwater Gamefish Records list published at www.coastalGaADNR.org and will be included in the 2013 Georgia Sport Fishing Regulations.
Red Grouper are easily recognized by their color and by the sloped, straight line of their spiny dorsal fin. They range from North Carolina to Brazil, including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. It inhabits ledges, crevices, and caverns of rocky limestone reefs and also lower-profile, live-bottom areas. The maximum age of the red grouper is 25 years, with older fish reaching a size of 33 inches and 25 pounds. Red groupers usually ambush their prey and swallow it hole, preferring crabs, shrimp, lobster, octopus, squid and fish that live close to reefs.
The current list of men’s and women’s saltwater fish records is available at www.CoastalGaDNR.org along with information on how to submit a fish for addition to the Georgia Saltwater Gamefish Records. In addition to an accurate weight, it’s important to provide several photographs of the fish along with the application. There are also minimum weights for several species.
Anglers wishing to enter a fish for a new state record must be sure to have the fish weighed on a Georgia Department of Agriculture certified scale in the presence of at least one witness. Certified scales can be found at local seafood markets, grocery stores and feed-and-seed stores. During business hours, anglers can have their catch weighed at the Coastal Regional Headquarters in Brunswick. For more information, contact the GA DNR/ Coastal Resources Division.