Category Archives: Grouper (Lapu Lapu)

Fire-Tail Devil ( Labracinus cyclophthalmus )

dottyback fish

Dennis’ Dottyback

Common Name:   Dottyback, Devil Fish

Local Name  **  (Tagalog),  **  (Cebuano)

Max Size:  23.5 cm

Biodiversity: Marine, Reef-Associated

Depth:  2 – 20 m

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

Minimum Size LimitNone

Recommended Bait:  Shrimp, small fish and crustaceans;

IUCN Red List Status:  Not Evaluated (NE)

This is a small reef fish that is found around the islands in shallow reefs.  They look like a cross between a wrasse and a grouper, however are not related to either.  **  We are not aware of this fish’s name here in the Philippines probably because it is usually miss-identified as either a wrasse or a grouper.

Coral Trout ( Plectropomus leopardus )

suno fish

10kg Coral Trout Caught In Cebu

Common Name:  Red Grouper, Coral Trout, Leopard Coral Grouper

Local Name:  Lapu Lapu (Tagalog), Suno, Pogapo (Cebuano)

Max Size:  120 cm  (23.6 kg)

Biodiversity: Marine, Reef Associated, Oceanodromous

Depth:  3 – 100+ m

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

Minimum Size Limit:    12 inches

Recommended Bait/Lures:  Shrimp, Squid, fish or cut bait;  jigs

IUCN Red List Status:   Near Threatened (NT)

 

Honey Comb Grouper ( Epinephelus merra )

epinephelus merra

Honey Comb Grouper Caught at the Marcello Fernan Bridge

Common Name:  Grouper

Local Name:  Lapu Lapu (Tagalog), Lapu Lapu, Pogapo (Cebuano)

Max Size:  32 cm

Biodiversity: Marine, Reef Associated,

Depth:  0 – 50 m

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

Minimum Size Limit:  8 inches

Recommended Bait/Lures:  Shrimp, Squid, fish or cut bait;  jigs, soft plastics, crankbaits

IUCN Red List Status:  Least Concern (LC)

This  is a small species of grouper found throughout the islands.  It Is easily distinguished by its small size and honeycomb like spots covering its body.  These fish, though small are prized as food fish.

sportfishing cebu

Omet’s Honey Comb Grouper

Coral Hind ( Cephalopholis miniata )

fun group activities cebu

Coral Hind caught in Cebu

Common Name:  Grouper, Hind 

Local Name:  Lapu Lapu (Tagalog), Lapu-Lapu Lawihan, Pogapo,  (Cebuano)

Max Size:  50cm

Biodiversity: Marine, Reef Associated, Non-Migratory

Depth: 2 – 150 m

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

Minimum Size Limit 10 inches

Recommended Bait/Lures:  Shrimp, Squid, small fish or cut bait/  small jigs, soft plastics

IUCN Red List Status:  Least Concern

This species is one of the many Grouper or Lapu-lapu species found around the islands.  This species however is not one of the true grouper species.  It is a member of the Hind family which closely resemble the grouper species.  The Hinds tend to be a bit smaller in size than the groupers and are often plentiful in areas around reefs.  This particular species (along with its red grouper relatives) is a highly sought after and highly valued species.  They bring a high price in the market and are said to be better tasting than their darker relatives.  The Hind species however are seen as a little inferior to grouper species as a food fish.  Apparently these fish are most valuable when they are around 1kg.

The fish pictured above was caught here in Cebu off Olango Island during one of our fishing charters.  It was caught at around 100m depth on peeled shrimp.

Bluespotted Hind ( Cephalopholis cyanostigma )

Cephalopholis cyanostigma

Good sized Lapu Lapu caught off Olango Is.

Common Name:  Grouper, Hind 

Local Name:  Lapu Lapu (Tagalog), Lapu Lapu, Pogapo (Cebuano)

Max Size:  40cm

Biodiversity: Marine, Reef Associated

Depth: 1 – 50 m

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

Minimum Size Limit10 inches

Recommended Bait/Lures:  Shrimp, Squid, small fish or cut bait/  small jigs, soft plastics

These are one of the many species of Lapu Lapu (or grouper like species) that can be caught here in Philippine waters.  This species is easy to confuse with its close relative the Bluespotted Grouper because of its dark color and blue spots.  This species has smaller spots and is usually smaller. These relatively small fish are found around shallow reef and are usually caught on bait like squid,  shrimp or even on jigs.  This is an excellent food fish if you are lucky enough to catch one large enough to eat.  They have a creamy white meat that tastes great steamed.  Some popular dishes are Sweat and Sour, and Black Bean Sauce.

If you happen to catch small fish of this species please release them and give them a chance to grow to a larger size.  We recommend that you don’t keep them if they are smaller than 10inches.

The fish in the picture above was caught on shrimp while bottom fishing in around 40m of water off of Mactan Island, Cebu.

Malabar Grouper ( Epinephelus malabaricus )

fish species philippines

7kg Malabar Grouper caught in Cebu

Common Name:  Grouper

Local Name:  Lapu Lapu (Tagalog), Lapu Lapu, Pogapo (Cebuano)

Max Size:  234 cm (150kgs)

Biodiversity: Marine, Brackish, Reef Associated, Amphidromous

Depth: 1 – 150 m

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

Minimum Size Limit12 inches

Recommended Bait/Lures:  Shrimp, Squid, fish or cut bait;  jigs, soft plastics, crankbaits

IUCN Red List StatusNear Threatened (NT)

Epinephelus malabaricus

Here is a nice little Malabar Grouper, known locally as Lapu-Lapu, caught by Rubled in an estuary in Cavite.  There is little if not any differentiation between many grouper species here, so the name Lapu-Lapu can refer to quite a broad variety of species.  This species can be distinguished by  its black and tan spots over its barred sides.    This species is reported to grow up to 150kgs though fish of that size are rarely caught.

These fish can be found in estuaries, coral reefs, rocky shore lines and even in deep water.  The smaller ones tend to congregate close to shore while the larger ones inhabit the deeper reefs.  This one was taken on a medium running pink sardine pins minnow.  They also can be taken on a variety of other lures and plastics as well.  The favorite local bait for these fish is live shrimp.  This is a popular species to target when lure casting around the coast.

Orange-Spotted Grouper ( Epinephelus coioides )

orange sppot grouper

Common Name:  Grouper

Local Name:  Lapu Lapu (Tagalog), Lapu Lapu, Pogapo (Cebuano)

Max Size:  120 cm (15kgs)

Biodiversity: Marine, Brackish, Reef Associated

Depth: 1 – 100 m

Fishing Season:  All Year Long

Minimum Size Limit:  12 inches

Recommended Bait/Lures:  Shrimp, Squid, fish or cut bait;  jigs, soft plastics, crankbaits

IUCN Red List Status:  Near Threatened (NT)

Here is a Orange Spotted Grouper caught by Tony here in Cebu at Porter Marina while fishing the pond.  This is one of the common species of grouper or Lapu Lapu that can be caught here.  This species is know by different names in English including; Orange Spotted Grouper, Green Grouper and  Estuary Cod.  Here is Cebu and around the rest of the Philippines this species and all of the Epinephalus Spp. are known only as Lapu Lapu.  According to Fish Base the max published size of this species is 120cm and 15kgs.  These fish are often caught along rocky shore line, from piers or around reefs.

Tony caught this fish on a Pins Minnow Medium Runner (Sardine Color) which he got from our online store.  Here is a link to that if you are interested:  http://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=403781519673984&set=a.403781493007320.111026.400055840046552&type=3&theater

These fish feed on shrimp, small fish and crabs.  The favorite bait for this species is live shrimp.  They also take lures (as seen above) jigs and more.  If you happen to be fishing along the coastline near  mangroves, rocks, piers or reefs there is a good chance you will catch some of these.

Chocolate Hind ( Cephalopholis boenak )

Lapu Lapu fishing Cebu   I caught this fish today on a small piece of squid while fishing from the rocks along the Northern Section of the SRP near the Malacanang Sa Sugbu building. I caught this and an eel which I will post later.  This species is often mistaken for Lapu Lapu or Grouper.  Here in Cebu this is known as Pugapo (pronounced; pu-GA-po).  It is actually a Hind. These can grow to 20 or 30cm though most that are caught are less than 20cm.  These fish are edible and taste similar to lapu lapu.  These are quite common and abundant along rocky shorelines as well as around reefs.  These fish can be caught in depths from around 1ft to 100ft.

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