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How To Catch Goliath Grouper

author
Maria Johnson
• Wednesday, 04 November, 2020
• 8 min read

Goliath's can achieve weights of over 800lbs although specimens that large are almost impossible to catch. These behemoths do not have a lot of stamina and fights are often fairly brief on the super heavy tackle they require, but the first power run they take to the bottom will strain the arms of even the strongest anglers.

grouper goliath catch fishing
(Source: www.howtocatchanyfish.com)

Contents

If you can fish these guys with 90lbs of drag in stand-up gear without a chair or harness you should probably call ESPN about the World’s Strongest Man contest. The largest GoliathGrouper I hooked broke the boat off the anchor, towed us around, and snapped an impossibly thick rod.

They will engulf almost any reef fish you hook in certain parts of Florida, including Snappers, Permit, rays, sharks, etc. In some parts of Florida their primary food source is stealing fish that have been hooked by fishermen.

They have a lot more bulk than most groupers, and only the stoutest of tackle will keep them from reaching freedom. Some huge ones are essentially impossible to land on rod and reel, because no matter how strong your line is and how tight your drag is, they will just pull the boat backwards and break you off in the rocks.

I highly recommend you find one of the few guides who really specializes in this type of fishing and use their gear. That being said, I was able to land a 175lber on heavy spinning gear (100lb braid on a Died Saliva Dogfight reel) when we were fortunate enough to hook it far from a reef.

Smaller Goliath's hang around docks and pilings and can be landed on lighter tackle. Large GoliathGrouper are almost exclusively caught on live or dead bait.

grouper goliath boca grande fish florida biggest species catch fishing author places howtocatchanyfish
(Source: www.howtocatchanyfish.com)

The key to successful GoliathGrouper fishing is anchoring close enough to the reef or wreck so that they will come out to eat your bait, but far enough away that you have a chance of pulling them away before they get back and break you off. Because of the ban on keeping them their numbers have increased significantly, and this is one of the few places you can find a guide who specializes in them.

In most of the rest of their range that I know of they are pretty fished out and not available in sufficient numbers to target successfully. Eddie sat down on the deck and braced his foot against the rail, I figured we were into a big one.

When his hat fell off, and he started to make grunting sounds, I was sure of it. 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.

grouper goliath catch patch fl florida
(Source: patch.com)

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.

grouper goliath fishing fish catch
(Source: www.fishmiamicharters.com)

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. Goliath grouper can 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.

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.

grouper goliath catch fish florida fishing species howtocatchanyfish rod
(Source: www.howtocatchanyfish.com)

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 massive and very strong, with some fishes being a meter in length and 300kgs in weight.

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. 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.

grouper goliath monster pound season catch smc lines line hand martin scott challenge
(Source: www.youtube.com)

That is because, during the summer, they usually reside deep in some cave or hole underwater. Due to their size and strength, conventional fishing techniques cannot be used to catch a GoliathGrouper.

When you go to buy a lure, you must check if it is ideal for deep trolling or not. 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.

grouper goliath monster catching offshore
(Source: www.youtube.com)

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. Many factors go into catching a Goliath grouper, but technique, equipment, and intelligence are the most important aspects.

Now, what are you waiting for, go get the right equipment and take a buddy, because trust us you will need the additional strength, and go off to the nearby reef and catch a GoliathGrouper ! Growing up on the south shore of Long Island, Chum Charlie has always had a passion for fishing.

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Sources
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2 www.pch.com - https://www.pch.com/good-life/fishing/blacktiph-and-dude-perfect-team-up-to-battle-monstrous-goliath-groupers
3 www.espn.com - https://www.espn.com/blog/jacksonville-jaguars/post/_/id/28362/jaguars-ot-jawaan-taylor-hooks-fish-thats-bigger-than-him
4 www.express.co.uk - https://www.express.co.uk/news/world/1211809/shark-news-latest-great-white-attack-goliath-grouper-fish-atlantic-USA
5 www.centredaily.com - https://www.centredaily.com/news/nation-world/national/article247515740.html
6 tv5.espn.com - https://tv5.espn.com/blog/jacksonville-jaguars/post/_/id/28362/jaguars-ot-jawaan-taylor-hooks-fish-thats-bigger-than-him
7 www.newsmax.com - https://www.newsmax.com/TheWire/wilson-chandler-denver-nuggets-fish-grouper/2016/08/24/id/744946/
8 www.dailymotion.com - https://www.dailymotion.com/video/x61pcl2