White Grunt

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.

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