Malabar Grouper ( Epinephelus malabaricus )
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 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 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.