Grouper are the largest of the reef fish commonly encountered in the waters offshore Galveston. Fishing for the bigger grouper generally requires deeper water in this part of the Gulf. Grouper are conservatively managed by NOAA Fisheries due to their slow growth. Aside from the fully protected Goliath Grouper, the Warsaw grouper is the big boy encountered grouper fishing out of Galveston.
Warsaw grouper up to 50 pounds are common, and 100 pounders are not rare. Warsaw grouper can grow to sizes of nearly 800 pounds but these jumbos are almost uncatchable on common fishing tackle due to their size and their propensity for line cutting structure. Fishing for Warsaw grouper out of Galveston requires large bait, heavy fishing gear and an angler up to the challenge!
The distinctive Scamp grouper, with its “broom tail,” is possibly the second most boated grouper encountered when fishing out of Galveston. This grouper is a game puller which can weigh as much as 30 pounds.
Spanish and Cero Mackerel are basically smaller versions of the Kingfish. Maxing out at around 20 pounds, 2-5 is common, with a few ten pounders, especially of the larger Cero mackerel. These guys are usually found closer inshore, at the jetties and on the beachfront out of Galveston. They are great sport on light tackle, sharing the King’s sporting qualities. Better food fish than Kings, I consider them quite good.