Eddie looked up at me with a twisted smile and was just hanging onto the rod for dear life. Something was living in this wreck 10 miles off southwest Florida, and whatever it was had already beaten us up several times.
But on this day we were maxed out on gear big enough to crank one of these monsters up ... if only Capt. This started out innocently enough a few weeks earlier when a couple of fishing buddies and I dropped a live pinkish on 30# mono down on a wreck 50 feet deep looking for a grouper dinner.
Something big grabbed it, screamed out about 40 feet of drag, got into the wreck and cut the line on something sharp. Something wolfed down the pinkish and took line like the rod was tied to a dragster.
It had to be a big grouper, a shark, a giant ray, or maybe a huge barracuda. The rod bent over 180 degrees, the back of the boat went down 6 inches, and the 150# braid snapped like a rifle shot.
I asked the guys in the local bait shops if they knew any captains up for the task of fishing for seemingly unwatchable monsters. The Goliath, once called the Jewish, is the biggest member of the grouper family.
Goliath's can live 50 years and grow to behemoth size. The winds of spring kept us inshore for a couple of weeks, so we enjoyed the opportunity to fish the bridges for pompano and sea trout.
It finally took a rig spooled with 150# braid, a 500# mono top shot, and huge #16 circle hook under 2 ounces of lead to bring a Goliath to the surface. Eddie's wreck, and he pulled a big Spanish mackerel out of his cooler, the one bait he said Goliath can 't refuse.
It was a short, furious, and profane battle, a hard fought back-and-forth fish fight, exciting to watch with an uncertain end. Eddie prevailed, and suddenly a giant brown fish appeared on the surface and lay at the side of the boat as exhausted as Capt.
On the next calm day I returned to my wreck lying now in water so clear you could see its dark silhouette on the white sand bottom 50 feet below. I went over the side to find an old shrimper torn apart by hurricanes and fishermen's anchors, its wheelhouse barely recognizable.
And then they appeared, slowly emerging from the shadows of broken masts and rigging. A fearless giant Goliath carries the remnants of three different rigs ripped from fishermen.
Three fishing rigs hung from his mouth, one still with its sinker, medals of recent battles won, and then I recognized one of my rigs, the 150# braid to a black swivel to 200# mono, hanging out of the left side of his mouth. There was the proof: These were the bad boys that had beat us up, and a few other fishermen, too, by the looks of it.
I returned to the surface knowing those hooks will soon rust and the line will fall away, and these Goliath's will own this wreck for many years to come. Goliathgroupercan be found across the Caribbean from Central America, around the Gulf, and up the Atlantic to the Carolina's, but they are most plentiful in Florida.
Deals on cruises, charters, car rentals, hotel stays and more… One of the tastiest and most famous fish of the sea, GoliathGrouper, is the largest form of the species of Grouper.
These fishes weigh up to 900 pounds, making them very difficult to catch. Red Grouper : These fishes are found in and around the Florida coasts.
These fishes prefer to live in rocky areas where there are a lot of holes and caves. They use these caves and holes to make it their home and hide if they sense any form of danger.
These fishes are very lonely and prefer to live in very deep waters, from 20 to 200 meters. They are known to have big mouths with very distinct lips and brown bodies with white spots.
They have very powerful jaws, which they used to hunt small fishes and octopuses for their food. They are territorial fishes and cover an area of about 500 square meters.
Before you learn about the art of catching a GoliathGrouper, it is crucial to know when youcancatch them, best bait & lures and what equipment you will need. Harvesting, it means that you cannot kill them since they are a federally protected species.
Now the thing is, due to their size and difficulty to catch them, more often than not, when you manage to catch them, the pressure created due to their size and strength of their resistance, can break their skeletal system and hence killing them. During winter, ranging from September to March is the perfect time to fish groupers.
Due to their size and strength, conventional fishing techniques cannot be used to catch a GoliathGrouper. On the other hand, having all the best and the right equipment will also not help you to win the battle against a grouper.
This kind of trolling with lures like butterfly jigs, feathers, or anything which can mimic a shellfish can attract a Grouper and is very effective. This is very effective because, once the Grouper comes out of its shelter to take a bite, they are so far off their home that once caught, and they cannot swim back in.
Frozen and natural baits such as squids, sardines, pinkish, grunts, blue runners, white mullet, squirrel fish, etc. If you use light or less strong tackles, there will be chances to break off, which will be a problem for both you and the fish.
When it comes to line and fishing Goliath Groupers, you must use monofilament instead of braid. Goliath Groupers are caught using live or dead bait with an artificial lure.
These fishes are very strong and are keen to hide in their homes when they sense danger. To do that, you just anchor somewhat close to a cave, wreck, or reef where groupers usually reside.
Now all you have to do is to bounce off your bait the bottom so that these fishes can hear the sound. Make sure you do not anchor too far away from the reefs to prevent the Goliath Groupers from returning to their home because if you are too far, they will never come out to your lure.
Growing up on the south shore of Long Island, Chum Charlie has always had a passion for fishing. Off the water, he enjoys blogging and sharing his favorite fishing tips & tricks that he has learned over the years.
The giant of the grouper family, the Goliath (formerly called Jewish) has brown or yellow mottling with small black spots on the head and fins, a large mouth with jawbones that extend well past its small eyes, and a rounded tail. The skeletal structure of large Goliath grouper cannot adequately support their weight out of the water without some type of damage.
If a large Goliath is brought on-board a vessel or out of the water, it is likely to sustain some form of internal injury and therefore be considered harvested. Goliath grouper populations declined throughout their range during the 1970s and 1980s due to increased fishing pressure from commercial and recreational fishers and divers.
At their July 2014 meeting in Key Largo, this committee reviewed the most up-to-date scientific information on goliathgrouper and recommended a new stock assessment for this species. As a result, the most recent stock assessment, conducted by the FCC was completed in June 2016 (Sedan 47).
The stock assessment indicates abundance in south Florida has greatly increased since the fishery closed in 1990. However, in the final step of the review process, the assessment was rejected by an independent panel of scientists for use in federal management due to a lack of reliable indicators of abundance outside south Florida.
Goliath are also susceptible to large scale mortality events such as cold temperatures and red tide blooms. When not feeding or spawning, adult Goliath groupers are generally solitary, sedentary and territorial.
Before the goliathgrouper reaches full-size it is preyed upon by barracuda, king mackerel and moray eels, as well as sandbar and hammerhead sharks. Calico crabs make up the majority of their diet, with other invertebrate species and fish filling in the rest.
Reproductive maturity first occurs in fish 5 or 6 years of age (about 36 inches in length) due to their slow growth rate. Males mature at a smaller size (about 42 inches) and slightly younger age than females.
These groups occur at consistent sites such as wrecks, rock ledges and isolated patch reefs during July, August and September. Studies have shown fish may move up to 62 miles (100 km) from inshore reefs to these spawning sites.