White Grunt (Haemulon plumieri) OTHER NAMES: Gray Grunt, Key West Grunt, Ronco Arara
RANGE: All Florida coasts and the Bahamas.
HABITAT: Not choosy; inshore to deep sea.
DESCRIPTION: Usually from light gray, almost white, to dark gray. Many small blue and yellow lines on head.
SIZE: Averages 8-10 inches; not too uncommon at 12 inches or slightly larger, especially in deeper waters of the Gulf. Word record 6 pounds, 8 ounces.
FOOD VALUE: Very good, especially as part of the historic Florida dish, “Grits and Grunts.” Usually served whole as panfish, but many Grunts are large enough to provide small fillets.
GAME QUALITIES: Strong if hooked on light tackle.
TACKLE AND BAITS: Spinning and plug casting outfits and light saltwater gear. Grunt fishermen usually choose cut baits, but the White Grunt also bites willingly on small jigs.
FISHING SYSTEMS: Drifting; Still Fishing.