Massive grouper reeled in off Florida; ‘We caught a monster’
Anglers caught on a sport fishing charter in Florida and released several giant Goliath groupers last week, including a "monster" grouper that weighed perhaps 500 pounds.
"We all started screaming and yelling when the fish came to the surface," Joshua Jorgensen, owner of BlacktipH Fishing, told For The Win Outdoors. "It was the largest Goliath grouper we've seen all year."
Brent Fielder poses with Goliath grouper. Photo: Josh Jorgensen
Jorgensen was chartering out a charter for Brent Fielder and John White of Alabama and North Carolina, respectively, last Wednesday when they sonarized a school of large groupers.
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"We fished out of southeast Florida," said Jorgensen. “We used fake albacore tuna as bait. In total we caught over 10 Goliath groupers. But this fish was by far the largest, weighing an estimated 450 to 500 pounds. "
Fielder, shown with White in the water with the colossal grouper pictured above, was credited with the catch.
For comparison, the all-tackle world record for Goliath groupers is 680 pounds. This fish was caught off Fernandina Beach, Florida, in 1961.
Goliath grouper needs to be released as soon as possible. Photo: Josh Jorgensen
Today, Goliath groupers are protected and harvested in state and state waters off Florida. Heavier fish cannot be pulled out of the water for release or photography.
Jorgensen is a seasoned grouper angler and last February he and a friend teamed up to land a 294 pound Warsaw grouper cannons. "
Fishing for Warsaw groupers is strictly regulated, but limited harvests are allowed.
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