Game Fishing > Grouper Family, Serranidae > Rock hind

Rock hind

Rock hindThis grouper is one of the most bizarre and greatly colored in the family Serranidae. It was first accurately described by Osbeck, in 1757, from Ascension Island, which accounts for its specific name, adscensionis, as bestowed by him.

It is very widely distributed over both hemi­spheres, being known from Ascension and St. Helena Islands, Cape of Good Hope, and is abundant from the Florida Keys to Brazil. In outline it resembles the other groupers, having a robust body, but little compressed; its depth is a third of its length, its head is as long as the depth of the body, is pointed, with a profile straight from the snout to the nape, thence curved regularly to the tail. The mouth is large, with the lower jaw more prominent or projecting than in any of the other groupers; the teeth are in broad bands, with short and stout canines.

Its ground color is olivaceous gray, with darker clouds; the head and entire body are profusely covered with red or orange spots of varying size, those on the lower part of the body the largest; nearly as large as the pupil of the eye; parts of the body and fins have irregularly-shaped, whitish spots or blotches. ; there are several ill-defined, clouded, blackish, vertical, or oblique blotches across the body, some of them extending upward on to the dorsal fin, with the interspaces lighter; the fins are likewise spotted with red and white.

The groupers known as "hinds" as the red, rock, brown, speckled, spotted, or John Paw hinds, are so named from being spotted, and resembling somewhat in this way the hind or female red deer. They are all good food-fishes, and are found regularly in the Key West market, though not so plentiful as the snappers, grunts, etc., but bringing a better price. The rock hind, as might be inferred from its name, frequents rocky situa­tions about the channels between the keys, feeding mostly on small fishes and marine in­vertebrates. It grows to a length of eighteen inches. Its spawning habits have not been studied, though it probably spawns in the spring. A light bait-rod, similar to a black-bass rod, with corresponding tackle, with hooks Nos. 2-0 to 3-0, on gimp snells, will answer for this fish, using sardines or anchovies, which are abundant along the shores, for bait.