Brown Grouper, Broomtail
Description and Diagnostic Characteristics: Related to the gag and other slender-bodied groupers, the scamp are identified by their pronounced anal and soft dorsal ray extensions, a more concave profile of the head, and by color. Light gray or brown; large adults with elongated caudal-fin rays; reddish brown spots on sides that tend to be grouped into lines; some yellow around corners of mouth.
Size: Usually under 10 pounds
Age at Maturity: Mature at the age of 3 years; undergoes sex transformation from female to male as it becomes older.
Range: Florida to Cape Hatteras, sometimes up to Cape Coda
Habitat: Inhabits continental shelf waters. Although the species occasionally congregates over high-profile bottom, such as wrecks and rock outcroppings, the preferred habitat is low profile, live bottom areas in waters 75-300 feet deep. These areas are characterized by profuse growths of soft corals and sponges.
Bait and Tackle: Deeper waters will require more weight and a rod to handle it. When possible though, use spinning and baitcasting gear. Leadhead jigs, either bare or with live or dead baitfish work well. Scamp will eat any kind of small live baitfish, as well as shrimp, squid, and cut baits.
Fishing Method: Drifting, still fishing, trolling
Food Value: Excellent
Daily Limit: Federal Regulations Apply