This fish is the glue, the foundation, the bridge to some of my closest relationships and best times. I far from did it justice this morning but anyone that fishes for black-bellies will understand – putting your time in and punishment eventually yields a good one. Pencil and marker on paper.
Gag grouper have a brownish-grey colored body with a dark wavy pattern on their sides and a pale belly. Older males develop a dark black patch on their belly. Gag is often mistaken for black grouper, which has darker coloring and spots all over. Gag have a large mouth and broad, slightly concave tail fin. The gag grouper, like many other grouper, are all female when young, then select fish turn male to take over that role. If the big male is removed from an area, a female will change sex to take its place. Grouper are slow growing and highly sought after. Gag grouper are bottom dwellers. Adults live near reefs, rocks and any manmade structures in suitable offshore waters of the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. Juveniles grow up in inshore waters on structures, mangrove roots or grass beds. In Louisiana, gag grouper are caught on oil rigs, artificial reefs and natural bottom structures.