What Is a Mystic Grouper?

Among all the different types of groupers, the mystic grouper, commonly known as the misty grouper, is a deep-water grouper. It is a common grouper in South Florida and the Bahamas. This grouper usually lives around 400-600 feet of sea depth.

Mystic grouper is brown with 6–9 brown vertical bars along its sides. You can find the fish near rocky, hard areas on the bottom of the sea.

Other Names for Mystic Groupers

    • Mustache Grouper

    • Misty grouper

Some Facts About Mystic Grouper

    • Scientific name: Hyporthodus mystacinus

    • Family: Serranidae

    • Swimming depth: Typically, 400-600 feet

    • Color: Brown with pale spots and dark bars

    • Physical characteristics: 6 to 9 brown vertical bars

Mystic Grouper

What Type of Fish Is a Mystic Grouper?

Mystic groupers are fish of the family Serranidae, whose scientific name is Hyporthodus mystacinus. These fish are deep water fish, typically found 400–600 ft underwater. They are brown in color with dark vertical spots on their heads and tails.

You can usually find the mystic grouper in South Florida and the Bahamas. The common bait to catch a mystic grouper is crabs, shrimp, lobsters, octopuses, squid, and bony fish. However, this fish is not that picky about food choices. So, it lives on whatever it can catch. The common area to catch a mystic grouper is to search in the rocky areas of the ocean. They are also found on ledges and in deep, hard water areas.

Where Can You Find a Mystic Grouper?

This deep-water species is found in 400–600 ft of water. Typically, they roam around rocky areas of the sea, near the ledges and hard areas.

There are some common geographic areas where you can find these fish. Such as:

    • South Florida

    • Bahamas

    • Gulf of Mexico

    • Caribbean Sea

    • Western Atlantic

    • North Carolina

    • Florida

    • Bahamas

    • Puerto Rico

    • Yucatan

    • The Eastern Coast of Mexico

    • Eastern Central America

    • Virgin Islands

    • Leeward Islands

    • Eastern Pacific

How to Fish for Mystic Grouper?

You can find the mystic groupers under 400-600 ft of water, so you will require special gear to fish. Make sure that you have gathered the gear that will reach that depth and handle the weight of the fish. An average mystic grouper weighs between 15 and 100 pounds.

While fishing for the mystic grouper, go to the right area first. Then look for holes, cones, drop-offs, ledges, and oceanic ridges to find your fish. Once you have fixed your location, position the boat securely. Now you have to set up the gear, keeping the water flow, current direction, and wind direction in mind.

A tip for you is that you can avoid using lights to catch your grouper. Most fishermen claim they catch mystics better when they don’t use a light. Light probably drives the fish away or scares them as deep-water fish.

After setting the line, you can use fresh-cut 8-inch strips of dolphin, wahoo, tuna, or barracuda as bait. If you can set the bait deep enough to reach the fish, you will certainly get your fish, as groupers do not make it too hard to catch the fish.

What Is the Best Month to Catch the Mystic Grouper?

You can fish for mystic groupers all year round, but expert anglers say winter is the best time to catch mystic groupers. Mystic groupers are seen as more active and spawning during the wintertime. If you don’t want to wait till winter, you can fish for them all year. However, you can get the upper hand during winter, especially in Florida.

If you want to know specific times, early mornings and mid-to-late afternoons are the most suitable periods to fish for mystic groupers. They remain more active during these two times of the day because they swim around to hunt.

You can easily have good fortune in your mystic grouper fishing with the right setup. Winter lets you fish in shallower water, which is very convenient considering all the trouble you need to go through while fishing in the deep ocean. However, one problem is that shallow water groupers are comparatively smaller than deep water ones. As groupers mature, they go to deeper water. So, unless you want to set the ship in the middle of the ocean, you can try it out in the winter, placing it in shallow water.

A Few Tips on Mystic Grouper Fishing

Use the Right Bait

Although mystic gropers are not that picky about their food, making the bait specific will give you an upper hand. Mystic groupers usually fall for crabs, shrimp, lobsters, octopuses, squid, and bony fish. You can also use chub mackerel, sardine, and white crabs as your bait to get the fish.

Fix The Boat Placement

As mystic groupers are found in the deep ocean areas, the currents and tides there are quite reckless. You have to notice the wind direction as well. You have to place the boat in such a way that it doesn’t drift when you set the bait. A lot of measurement and expertise is needed to get lucky here.

Remain Slow and Steady

The boat may bump and shake often but ensure you don’t get too impatient. You can use the engines to decrease the boat’s drift. You don’t have to lock up the drag if the boat moves. Instead, remain in the same place and let the fish detect the bait.

Don’t Get Afraid and Lose the Grip

Mystic groupers may weigh more than 50 pounds at times, but that doesn’t mean that you have to get afraid. They might be aggressive, but you must know how to expand the line and lift. Try to bring the line halfway up, and it will get easier.

That’s All About the Mystic Groupers

Mystic groupers are very tasty and available all year round. When you want the best experience in grouper fishing, this fish is the most suitable target you can set. The weight may vary, but you must be well prepared before starting.

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