Queensland Groper (Giant Grouper) (Epinephelus lanceolatus)

Queensland Groper (Giant Grouper)

  • Size 1-2 meters
  • Food Value None
  • Game Qualities None
  • Habitats Backcountry, Inshore, Nearshore, Offshore, Reef

Queensland Groper is also known as Brown Spotted Cod, Brindlebass, Bumblebee Grouper, and Giant Grouper (not to be confused with Goliath Grouper). This is one of the largest bony fish on the planet, and the most widely-distributed of the Grouper species. Given its impressive reputation, it’s no surprise that this mighty fish is the aquatic emblem of Queensland, Australia. This giant of the sea is best admired from a distance, however, given that it’s carnivorous and has been known to attack humans!

How Big?

Scientists know that Queensland Gropers/Giant Groupers grow to 2.7 m (close to 9’) in size and can easily weigh over 400 kg  (880 lbs). On average, these fish weigh 70-200 kg and measure 1-2m in length, but they’re still the biggest and baddest fish on the reef! They even eat other large fish and small Sharks, but they’re favorite food is Crayfish. The IGFA all tackle record was a 179.5 kg (395 lb 11 oz) Groper landed in Tanzania, but there are unofficial records of even larger fish.

Where and When

Despite their name, Queensland Gropers inhabit waters well beyond Queensland. In fact, it’s common for anglers to hooking this fish all around Australia, mainly along the southern coast of Western Australia around the north of the country and down to the southern coast of New South Wales.

You can find this species throughout the Indo-Pacific region (excluding the Persian Gulf), from South Africa to the Hawaiian Islands. Anglers and scientists have recorded Queensland Groper in Malaysia, Indonesia, the Philippines, Japan, and China.

Juvenile Queensland Gropers inhabit estuary systems and shallow inshore reefs. Once they become adults, they move to deeper water and inhabit reefs in water 5-50m deep. This species is known to live in water as deep as 100m.

Queensland Groper / Giant Grouper

Queensland Groper is also known as Brindlebass or Brown Spotted Cod, due to its mottled pattern

Regulations

Queensland Gropers have been severely overfished and are now protected in many waters. It is illegal to target this species in QLD and NSW. Fishing for Queensland Groper is banned in the Andaman Islands.

Anglers do catch this fish incidentally on occasion, usually because it bites a smaller fish that’s been hooked. If you catch a Queensland Groper, be sure to release it quickly and carefully. When caught in deep waters, it’s necessary to return the fish to the seafloor is quickly as possible. On occasion, this means using release weights or venting the fish (piercing it to release gas from the swim bladder), which should only be done by someone who has experience.

Fish Species Similar to Queensland Groper (Giant Grouper)

Grouper (Black)

Grouper (Broomtail)

Grouper (Dusky)

Grouper (Gag)

Grouper (Goliath)

Grouper (Red)

Grouper (Scamp)

Grouper (Snowy)


Top Queensland Groper (Giant Grouper) Fishing Charters