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Goliath Grouper Under Bridge

author
Ellen Grant
• Thursday, 31 December, 2020
• 8 min read

There’s a good chance angler Jay Cross has spent more time on the Skyway Fishing Piers than anyone else over the past few years. Over the past few weeks Cross has seen quite a few big gags coming over the rails of the fishing pier.

span bridge week specks baitfish shiny incredible marine those grouper goliath hanging wasn vis amount panama fl last comments imgur
(Source: www.reddit.com)

Contents

In addition to smaller grouper, Cross, and his friends who frequently fish the pier known as the Skyway Misfits Crew, enjoy playing tug of war with the bigger Goliath that now frequent the pier. He makes 400-pound wire leaders that are 10-feet long, giving the abrasiveness needed against massive sharks like bulls and hammerheads they target.

On a recent night, Cross’s friend Jake Covington borrowed one of his leaders, but found himself tangled up to another one of the bridge ’s Goliath. Cross, who was working at the time, closed up the bait shop and went to assist the release of the massive goliathgrouper.

“We have a rope that we used to pull in big sharks up to 400 pounds on the bridge to release them. In a scene that looked like it was from the movie “Mission: Impossible,” Cross dangles from the rope around his waist with pliers in hand.

The fish kicks away, and Cross is pulled back to the bridge. I knew with that long heavy leader it probably would have gotten tangled up in the structure and died.

Normally, we don’t use that tackle on Goliath so it presented the problem when it ate the shark bait.” When targeting Goliath, Cross uses a 900H Diana on a broomstick-esque rod allowing him to winch them up.

grouper bridge
(Source: www.youtube.com)

He pinches the barb down on those hooks, allowing an easier release on the Goliath he’s landed up to 300 pounds. Rating is available when the video has been rented.

This area is for general discussions about fishing, rigging, baits, etc. I haven't yet, but for the 2nd time while fishing in the BBC we were taken to school. Back in 2006 I was dragging a live bait and something took it.

We follow the slow pull around for 10 minutes back and forth along the bridge. This year(Friday) my buddy is dragging a mud minnow, and he gets a couple “taps”.

He makes a few quick cranks on the reel and a 30-inch Goliath surfaces for a split second and then goes down and under bulkhead and cuts him off on the oysters. Saturday we're back in the same area and both he and I have similar scenarios from the day before except we can't get the fish to surface.

A wise person pays attention to correction that will improve his life...... Proverbs 15:31 ICB <”)))))>*< BAD BEHAVIOR Site Sponsor Posts: 2516 Joined: April 26th, 2007, 4:08 am Location: Adel/Cairo, GA by BBB June 19th, 2008, 5:22 pm. BB, were you with AJ when something grabbed his redfish at St George.

grouper bridge skyway goliath fishing pier handline catch
(Source: www.saltstrong.com)

Bbb Posts: 998 Joined: May 16th, 2007, 8:31 pm Location: Bainbridge/Tallahassee by BAD BEHAVIOR June 20th, 2008, 3:58 am Bbb wrote: We had 3 sets of eyes that saw the fish that surfaced.

BB, were you with AJ when something grabbed his redfish at St George. I think AJ put some bad mojo on me or something cause I'd never even heard of it happening until I saw that pic.

A wise person pays attention to correction that will improve his life...... Proverbs 15:31 ICB <”)))))>*< BAD BEHAVIOR Site Sponsor Posts: 2516 Joined: April 26th, 2007, 4:08 am Location: Adel/Cairo, GA by Ty one on June 20th, 2008, 12:01 pm. There are more Jewish around then people think. Here are a couple of photos of the pier/pile layout at the four main channel piers.

They consist of 15, 54” concrete cylinder plies, all outside piles are battered to the center. There are more Jewish around then people think. Here are a couple of photos of the pier/pile layout at the four main channel piers.

Ty, so on the new bridge the 4 platforms nearest the channel, 2 on the left and 2 on the right, are supported by 15 smaller columns. There are more Jewish around then people think. Here are a couple of photos of the pier/pile layout at the four main channel piers.

grouper goliath giant fishing bridge
(Source: www.youtube.com)

Ty, so on the new bridge the 4 platforms nearest the channel, 2 on the left and 2 on the right, are supported by 15 smaller columns. Ty one on Posts: 955 Joined: May 24th, 2004, 6:54 pm Location: Weibull, Fla. By Parrot head June 21st, 2008, 2:14 am.

Bbb Posts: 998 Joined: May 16th, 2007, 8:31 pm Location: Bainbridge/Tallahassee Users browsing this forum: Majestic-12 and 62 guests For a fleeting moment, and as line hopelessly disappeared into the tannin-stained water, the angler’s day passed through his memory the way a near-death experience flashes one’s life before his eyes.

He came close to wishing he hadn’t been compelled to cast a top water plug into a raging school of daisy-chaining 40-pound jack crevasses. It was a lot like the first day on the Treasure Coast enjoyed by fishing television show host and professional bass angler Byron Pelvic.

The host of “Guides’ Eyes” set to debut in spring 2013 on The Outdoor Channel had first traveled to Jensen Beach in the fall of 2008 to fish with Flat lined charters’ Capt. The Treasure Coast and its seaside towns of Stuart, Jensen Beach, Port Salerno, Fort Pierce and Sebastian have long-drawn anglers from parts far and wide for stellar angling opportunities.

Commercial fishermen migrated here each winter to feed the nation with Spanish mackerel, bluefish, pompano and more. But the quality of the inshore sport fishing has earned this zone a permanent spot on the Bucket List of anglers seeking rewarding challenges.

jewfish grouper goliath fishing bridge monster
(Source: www.youtube.com)

A deep stable of skilled professionals are eager to steer thrill seekers to a myriad of angling choices using any method desired. Fly fishermen delight in chances to scores nook, tarpon, bruising jacks, bonito and gator trout.

Light tackle specialists can enjoy everything from deep jigging for grouper and amber jacks on offshore reefs to casting spoons into a boiling school of black fin tuna to battling a 30-pound permit or fooling a 15-pound triple tail. Blue water fans can troll, live bait drift or bottom fish for 50-pound dolphin, 50-pound king fish or 20-pound mutton snapper, respectively.

Ironically, the heaviest gear this angler needed during his trip to the Treasure Coast he was employing near one of the area’s many bridges. Using a broomstick stiff boat rod and a 50-wide conventional reel with 100-pound braided line, the guide had stuck an 8-pound live jack on a 12/0 circle hook.

Once the bait had been sucked into the giant’s maw, the angler and guide reeled smoothly and then used the boat’s motor to get the fish out away from the structure. The huge olive and gray mottled fish with rounded tail and pectoral fins buoyed to the surface with a seriously annoyed look in its eye.

I was recently contacted by advocate goliathgrouper protectionist, Ms. Katie Carlsson, who spurned my interest in the debate to “reopen hunting on the species.” I also knew I could share my mother’s plethora of historic St Lucie River “Jew Fish” photos labeled such during the non-politically correct era that was part of my childhood and before. Before presenting you with many links to explore and opinions to read, I will say, that according to the Shook Foundation, “vast technological improvements in spear guns and diving equipment in the 1960s and 1970s made no wreck, cave or hole safe for Goliath grouper to hide.

grouper goliath bridge fishing
(Source: www.youtube.com)

Man with GoliathGrouper, photo of Harold R. Johns family, c. 1925, St Lucie River, from the archives of Sandra Henderson Thurlow. Fishermen with GoliathGrouper, Stuart, Florida photo of Harold R. Johns family, c.1925, St Lucie River, from the archives of Sandra Henderson Thurlow. )“This photograph of Jewish suspended from a pole resting on a Florida East Coast Railway car was taken in what was called the hole, a rail spur that went down to the St Lucie River near the Stuart freight depot.

Joseph Jefferson, a famous actor of the day, also fished in the St Lucie River region” in the early late 1800s. (Photo courtesy of page 51 of “Stuart on the St Lucie” by Sandra Henderson Thurlow.

In the earlier part of the last century, Atlantic Goliath groupers were abundant from Florida to Brazil and throughout the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea. If you have been lucky enough to be in the water with these creatures, then you appreciate their unflappable personality and awe-inspiring size, which reaches up to 8 feet and 1,000 pounds.

Twenty-seven years of protection have led to a population increase, although not a recovery to pre-exploitation levels, in the state of Florida alone. It’s the only place in the world where Goliath groupers are now reliably found in significant numbers, as juveniles in mangroves, and as adults in reefs, solitary or forming spawning aggregations.

People come from all over the nation and the world to see the goliathgrouper spawning aggregations in the late summer, bringing big dollars that boost local economies. Yet, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FCC) is currently considering allowing the limited take of Goliath groupers in state waters.

grouper goliath
(Source: www.youtube.com)

If implemented, the kill will exterminate most of Florida’s breeding population of Goliath groupers, destroying 27 years of conservation management effort. Critics of the goliathgrouper say the species is overeating and responsible for declining fish and lobster stocks.

Yet, actual scientific data from researchers like Sarah Frias-Torres, Ph.D. show that overfishing, not the Goliath groupers, is the reason for declining fish and lobster stocks. Some say that a “sustainable” take of Goliath groupers is possible, but many scientists agree that the current population would not last more than one, or perhaps two years after opening the fishery.

“I repeatedly asked what scientific evidence the FCC has to support killing the Goliath groupers, because all scientific research published to date does not support a fishery for this species and shows the species is highly conservation dependent and highly vulnerable to overfishing,” said Dr. Frias-Torres. Don Maria, a local professional diver, adds, “the annual goliathgrouper spawning aggregations that occur off the coast of South Florida are spectacular natural events on a world scale.

If a hunting season is opened on the goliathgrouper, the FCC has floated the idea of charging $300 per fish killed. Think of that: a single goliathgrouper in the water is supporting local business to the tune of $36,500 per year or more than a million dollars over its lifetime.

But one spawning aggregation alone, made by several Goliath groupers, generates about half a million dollars a year for one dive business. We are aware that the FCC is gathering public input on the possibility of a goliathgrouper killing season in Florida.

grouper bridge goliath
(Source: www.youtube.com)

As such, we have called for our supporters to attend one of the many workshops held in the state in August and October, as well as to submit a public comment on FCC’s website. We will also gather signatures to a petition, which will be delivered to the FCC in anticipation of the goliathgrouper decision coming down later this year.

“Although the species has not recovered to pre-exploitation levels, enough Goliath groupers are showing up at a few spawning aggregation sites that their presence, and the SCUBA divers that come to visit them, bring a much-needed lifesaver to small businesses in Florida, between late August and early October, just when transition between the summer and winter seasons will leave these businesses in the doldrums,” said Dr. Frias-Torres. We strongly urge the Commissioners of FCC to maintain protections for Goliath groupers in Florida and to deny any requests for opening the fishery.

A policy such as this would represent the best interests of the wildlife and humans in Florida, as well as rest on conclusions drawn from the best available science. We strongly urge you to maintain protections for Goliath groupers in Florida and to deny any requests for opening the fishery.

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Sources
1 www.cookingfishmonger.com - http://www.cookingfishmonger.com/grouper-fish.html
2 www.cyberangler.com - https://www.cyberangler.com/fishing-reports/florida/crystal-river/giant-black-drum-grouper-27984.htm
3 www.theledger.com - https://www.theledger.com/story/sports/2020/12/24/saltwater-gag-grouper-biting-offshore-and-around-inshore-structures/4024564001/
4 www.takemefishing.org - https://www.takemefishing.org/fish-species/black-drum/
5 www.cyberangler.com - https://www.cyberangler.com/fishing-reports/florida/bonita-beach/black-drum-invasion-red-grouper-35068.htm
6 www.theledger.com - https://www.theledger.com/story/sports/outdoors/fishing/2020/12/10/saltwater-gag-grouper-phenomenal-around-tampa-bay-right-now/3875251001/