Grouper (Scamp)


The ‌Scamp, scientifically known as Mycteroperca phenax, is⁣ a welcomed sight for any angler. Belonging to the Serranidae family, this⁢ hard-pulling fish⁤ is often referred as a prized catch for seafood enthusiasts across several parts of ⁤the world.

Conservation Status

The current status of the Scamp is ‘Least ⁢Concern’ according to the international conservation organizations due to its wide distribution and lack of major⁣ threats. Conservation efforts include the implementation of fishing‌ regulations and size limits, but the species is not currently prioritized for conservation initiatives.


To better know and‌ identify the Scamp, let’s go through its basic biological statistics:

Length (Average) 42 cm
Length (Range) 30-50 cm
Weight (Average) 1.5-2.5 kg
Weight (Range) 1-5 kg
Average Lifespan 15-18 ​years


The Scamp is found throughout⁣ the Western Atlantic​ region, extending from the Gulf of Mexico to⁢ Brazil. It does not exhibit any significant seasonal or long-distance migration​ patterns.


Scamps reside in‌ a variety of water types, including brackish and salt water. They prefer a depth range ⁣of 30-110 meters. They are predominantly found in tropical and subtropical areas where the temperature range is between⁢ 20°C and ⁢28°C.

When and Where to See

Scamps are year-round residents of their habitats, hence, anglers can reliably ⁢find them at any time of the year. The best time⁣ to catch a ⁤Scamp is usually at dusk ⁣or dawn.

Best Fishing Locations

These species⁤ are abundant ⁣in ‌various locations, with top spots ⁣being:

  • Florida Gulf Coast, USA
  • Campeche‍ Bank, Mexico
  • Bahia, Brazil
  • Northwestern ⁢Cuba
  • Northern coast of Colombia

How to Catch

Scamps can be caught with a variety of baits including squid, small crabs, or fish like pilchards​ or pinfish. Fishing techniques range from bottom fishing to light​ tackle trolling. Success is usually met during dusk or dawn, though they can also be caught during the night.

Identification Guide

Scamps are grey-brown in colour, but can darken or lighten depending on their mood. They ‌have distinct blue lines on their head⁣ and body, with an elongated triangular dorsal fin. Scamp groupers can be distinguished from other ⁣groupers by‌ the⁣ shape​ of their jaws; they have a more pointed lower jaw⁤ compared to other similar species.


Scamp is prized for its firm white flesh and mild, sweet flavor. It can be served in a variety of ways, including grilling, baking, or frying. Classic recipes include grilled scamp with lemon-garlic ‌butter or scamp ceviche. ‌Furthermore, it⁣ is a ⁣nutritious food source, high in protein and low ‍in ‌fat.

Additional Information

Scamps ‌are solitary creatures with territorial tendencies. They are ambush predators, hiding in⁤ rocky crevices until prey comes into range. Their primary natural predators are⁤ larger fish and sharks,⁤ while their human-induced threats mainly consist of overfishing.

References and Further Reading

For a more in-depth understanding and knowledge about the⁤ Scamp, the following resources are‍ recommended:

  • The University of Southern Mississippi: Scamp ⁤Biology and Fisheries
  • The Florida Museum: Scamp Grouper, Mycteroperca phenax
  • The ⁤Reef Guide: Florida, the Bahamas, the Caribbean by Humann and DeLoach

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