Goliath grouper can be found across the Caribbean from Central America, around the Gulf, and up the Atlantic to the Carolinas, but they are most plentiful in Florida. Werner caught the record-breaking 583-pound fish while deep sea fishing in … The 500# mono is serious stuff, too hard to cut even with a knife. Sign up as a guide Log in Sign up. He barely finished the sentence when he had to sit down or go over the side. It was a short, furious, and profane battle, a hard fought back-and-forth fish fight, exciting to watch with an uncertain end. They approached with the slow and ponderous demeanor of monsters that get their way. Goliath hunts are available in most Florida ports, and it's often not necessary to go far offshore. The Gulf of Mexico is full of incredible and amazing fish. Above the hook he threaded a couple of sinkers through the mono and tied it off with a uni-knot, one of the few knots usable on mono that stiff. A fearless giant goliath carries the remnants of three different rigs ripped from fishermen. The thrill of hooking these beasts then battling them to the surface is like no other. Press the down arrow key to interact with the calendar and select a date. It was time to up the gear. They make great targets for our captains, and clients love the excitement and anticipation of battling a true sea monster. Popular with anglers looking for Grouper (Goliath) fishing charters in Bimini Captain Brian Charters is designed to make you a better angler. The Atlantic goliath grouper or itajara (Epinephelus itajara), also known as the jewfish, is a large saltwater fish of the grouper family found primarily in shallow tropical waters among coral and artificial reefs at depths from 5 to 50 m (16 to 164 ft). We met at the boat and Capt. His name was Capt. Goliath Grouper Fishing Trips Once considered severely endangered, Goliath Grouper have made a major comeback in recent years. High season is January to March and November to December. Eddie rigged up my big reel — 150# braid with a 500# mono top shot straight to a gigantic #16 circle hook. The best part about these monster grouper is the close proximity to shore in which they live. But catching goliaths is not for the faint of heart — or anglers with bad backs. Eddie sat down on the deck and braced his foot against the rail, I figured we were into a big one. Goliaths can live 50 years and grow to behemoth size. Within 10 seconds, the rod bent over almost to the water, jerked up and down violently for a couple seconds, then was still. And then they appeared, slowly emerging from the shadows of broken masts and rigging. If he couldn't get any line off that reel, he couldn't cut us off in the wreck. The waters from Sanibel and Captiva Island around Ft Myers and Boca Grande is the best place to fish for Goliath Grouper in Florida. English. Either way, we’re gonna have a blast and a lot of laughs! I couldn't stop it. These large fish–the largest goliath grouper on record was caught on the other side of Florida in 1961, at Fernandina Beach, and weighed 681 lbs–experienced a serious population decline through the 1990s. We anchored over Capt. Paul Hartman (left) and Reegan Werner, 16, of Farmington pose by a Goliath Grouper. The fish was gone. Fishing for these Goliath Grouper using stand-up tackle are ‘Stephanie Cohen (one of the strongest female powerlifters in history), Sarah Backman (8x world champion arm wrestler), and Kristen Nun (fitness and social media celebrity)’. But Capt. The goliath, Epinephelus itajara, is the largest grouper in the western hemisphere, and can reach 8 … Eddie brings a 250-pound goliath next to the boat. Something big grabbed it, screamed out about 40 feet of drag, got into the wreck and cut the line on something sharp. I returned to the surface knowing those hooks will soon rust and the line will fall away, and these Goliaths will own this wreck for many years to come. There is no closed season. Florida's had a moratorium on harvesting goliaths for more than a decade, and as our fishery has become catch-and-release only, their population has grown each year, and individual fish get bigger and bigger. Capt. In the Clearwater area fish caught between 100 – 400 lbs is fairly common. USD. It's a serious one-on-one fish fight where it's wise to have somebody next to you ready to grab your belt and keep you in the boat. A few days later, we returned to the wreck and sent another pinfish down, this time on the 200# mono top shot, put the rod in the rod holder, and set the drag to zero. When the wind drops we'll go.". Since Goliath Groupers tended to spawn in large groups, this made them easy prey for mass hunting. I'll find another wreck now to fish for my dinner and leave these guys alone, knowing if I ever feel like getting into a real fish fight, I know where to find one. Goliath Grouper in the Naples area are the largest of grouper family, also known as Epinephelus Itajara, or Jewfish, goliaths are on endangered species so they are not fishable. Fish.Travel. Once fully grown, humans and large sharks are the goliath grouper’s only predators. There are many different species of grouper. What started out as a mystery had become an obsession. One thing was for certain: It was real big. When I told him my story he said, "I'm sure those are goliaths! Thanks for subscribing! With vast amounts shallow flats and deep-water structure, it takes a long time to learn these areas. Goliath Grouper Fishing Charters Clearwater, FL The biggest and baddest of the grouper species. Fishing for Goliath Grouper. We specialize in targeting the beasts of the ocean! Goliath groupers are the largest groupers in the Atlantic and can weigh up to 800 pounds. Eddie prevailed, and suddenly a giant brown fish appeared on the surface and lay at the side of the boat as exhausted as Capt. After a short and furious battle, Capt. By continuing to use our website, you’re agreeing to our cookie policy. The largest one met me head on and stopped just far enough away that I could almost touch it. It was a goliath, about a 250-pounder. But we'd been this far before and never saw the beast. Although a protected species, they are a legal to catch if released, and many charter captains along the Florida coast are rigged up to catch them. Growing to lengths of 8.2 feet (2.5 m), this grouper can weigh as much as 800 pounds (363 kg). Catch a fish Bigger than you? Goliaths can only be photographed on the active of releasing them. This could go either way. Now it seems as though many wrecks are occupied by these fish but unfortunately they are rarely caught off Miami. © 2020 Boat Owners Association of The United States. USD. Captain Carl and Slob City Charters will make sure you have the most exciting trip catching a Goliath Grouper. Make sure this account has posts available on instagram.com. The waters from Sanibel and Captiva Island around Ft Myers and Boca Grande is the best place to fish for Goliath Grouper in Florida. GOLIATH GROUPER GUARANTEE POLICY We are the only guide service around that Guarantees a Goliath Grouper on a half, full, or 3/4 day trip that is specified as a Goliath Grouper Trip. A little shaken, we dropped another pinfish. When Capt. Or if you are interested in focusing on Goliath for your entire trip, the cost will be $750 for a 5 hour Goliath Grouper fishing trip for up to 2 anglers. Eddie said it was time — but we would go to one of his wrecks. I asked the guys in the local bait shops if they knew any captains up for the task of fishing for seemingly uncatchable monsters. Sharks and goliath grouper can reach weights of over 500lbs and can rip 300 yards of line off the spool of a reel in mere seconds! If you’re planning a charter fishing trip around Destin, Florida, it’s just possible that you’ll get to see a goliath grouper. Nothing. The picture of the Florida state record, also the world record, looks like a 680-pound brown largemouth bass — an amazing fish. Up to 3 per person within 3 grouper aggregate. We can spend the day fishing for these exciting species or we can target the giants. Up to 4 people, 4-6 hr trip, out of Tampa Bay. 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. "Goliaths," one guy said. They were once so overfished in the southeastern United States, they were considered for listing under the Endangered Species Act. 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. Catching a goliath is truly the giant fish of a lifetime, and anglers from around the world go to Florida to catch one. The goliath grouper, the monster reef fish that can grow to 800 pounds and nearly disappeared in the 1970s, is off-limits for now. Our BIGGEST fishing video ever! When Capt. OK, maybe we needed a little stretch in the line. Braid doesn't stretch, so we tied an 8-foot leader of 200# mono to the hook with a swivel to the 150# braid, for next time. Goliath Grouper have made a major comeback over recent years after being completely decimated by commercial pressure in the 70s and 80s. The battle was on. We waited. But on this day we were maxed out on gear big enough to crank one of these monsters up ... if only Capt. The goliath grouper is the largest grouper in the western Atlantic. Before the goliath grouper reaches full-size it is preyed upon by king mackerel, barracudas, moray eels, and some sharks. Goliath Grouper Fishing In Florida. We get anglers traveling from all over the world to take on the mighty Goliaths. Goliaths are known to inhabit bridges and even shallow water and canals, and when I watched a fisherman lower a 5-pound chunk of cut bait next to a bridge piling I knew he could only be after sharks or goliaths. It was time to get professional help. English. Eddie's wreck, and he pulled a big Spanish mackerel out of his cooler, the one bait he said goliaths can't refuse. The steel hook, thick as a shoelace, broke off at the eye. Special regulations apply for this species when fishing in Biscayne National Park. Learn More. Goliath Grouper, due to their incredibly large size, have been the target of avid sports fishermen for decades; they were also rumored to be a restaurant-quality fish desired by seafood aficionados. Some other species include Graysby Grouper, Snowy Grouper, Yellowmouth Grouper, Spanish Flag, Yellowedge Grouper, Yellowfin Grouper, Warsaw Grouper and Goliath Grouper. This error message is only visible to WordPress admins, the largest grouper in the western hemisphere, Meat is high in mercury (not good to eat), Found in shallow and deep water (Salt & Brackish), Age is estimated using growth rings (like trees), Very aggressive in nature (attack anything). Subscription to the print version of BoatUS Magazine, 4% back on purchases from West Marine stores or online at WestMarine.com, Discounts on fuel, transient slips, repairs and more at over 1,200 businesses, Deals on cruises, charters, car rentals, hotel stays and more…. International fishing trip booking service. All of these species have been caught in Alabama’s saltwater. » Goliath Grouper Regulations | South Atlantic Fish Management Council South Atlantic Fishery Management Council Conserving and managing America's fisheries from three to 200 nautical miles off the coasts of North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Florida. These powerful fish are an amazing catch! With vast amounts shallow flats and deep-water structure, it takes a long time to learn these areas. Visit BoatUS.com/Rig-Fishing-Rod to learn how to tie a uni-to-uni knot, including a step-by-step video. Goliath grouper fishing, types of gear and methods of fishing goliath grouper, fishing charters for goliath grouper. Eddie. Goliath Grouper Fishing Charters has become a popular activity over the recent years. The oldest verifiable goliath grouper on record is 37 years. He lives with his wife, Lucy, and their English setter in the Wisconsin River valley of southwest Wisconsin. Grouper (Gag) fishing in Cape Coral varies slightly throughout the year. The pinfish barely made it to the bottom. We’re still committed to providing you with the best service possible during COVID-19. Low season is April to October. Everglades Fishing Company captures video of a shark getting eaten by a large grouper. I just couldn't stop it. He stuck it on the big circle hook and explained as the bait went down that he would hold on to the rod, let the fish take it in the wreck, and then he'd pull it out with the 500# mono, which the wreck couldn't cut. Goliaths — five of them — bigger than refrigerators, obviously masters of this wreck. Just think of the thrill of catching your own fish on the beautiful waters of Fort Lauderdale or Biscayne Bay. 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’ve seen a lot of crazy things on the water over the last 5 years that my clients and I will never forget. They knew a couple guys, and they had a good idea of what we were up against. You can fish for them on a traditional charter and pay a guaranteed Goliath "a-la-carte" price of $50 for each fish over 50 lbs. Fishing for goliath groupers is a gut-busting, give-no-quarter fish fight when you have to pull them out of a wreck. This time we spooled a big reel with 150# braid, added a 2-ounce sinker above a swivel, then more 150# braid straight to a #10 circle hook. Be sure to subscribe for more DP videos! The goliath grouper is the largest grouper species in the Atlantic Ocean weighing up to 800 pounds. If I tightened the drag any more, whatever it was would pull the rod and reel over the side — and me if I didn't let go. The monster sulked. Our charters target inshore saltwater sport fish like snook, redfish and tarpon on light tackle with live bait. Due to overfishing, in 1990 they prohibited the harvesting and possession of these fish. When his hat fell off and he started to make grunting sounds, I was sure of it. While they are a powerful fish that puts up a strong battle, grouper are prized by many anglers for their flaky white fillets! Doug Stamm is a U.S. Coast Guard licensed captain, an aquatic biologist turned professional underwater/outdoor photographer, and the author of "The Springs of Florida" and "Underwater: The Northern Lakes." The Goliath grouper, Epinephelus itajara, is the largest member of the grouper family and a times, the bane of offshore anglers and spearfishing divers because of its affinity for eating hooked fish. Catching fish as big as CARS! We pulled it up and everything was intact except the hook. I went over the side to find an old shrimper torn apart by hurricanes and fishermen's anchors, its wheelhouse barely recognizable. This species of gigantic grouper were almost completely decimated in the late 70’s and 80’s due to commercial pressure and overfishing. Many charter captains have only to take you to the nearest bridge to find a giant ready to take you on. One of our most popular specialty charters is our night trips for snapper. Immediately the nearly inch-thick stand-up rod bent over almost to the water, the stern jerked down about 6 inches, and then the line snapped with such a jolt the rod almost jumped out of the rod holder. The most popular species in the United States are gag grouper, red grouper, goliath grouper, and black grouper. Something was living in this wreck 10 miles off southwest Florida, and whatever it was had already beaten us up several times. We came back again the next day — same gear, same ending. This was the guy we needed. It had to be a big grouper, a shark, a giant ray, or maybe a huge barracuda. Eddie sat down on the deck and braced his foot against the rail, I figured we were into a big one. Eddie. Fishing for goliath groupers is a gut-busting, give-no-quarter fish fight when you have to pull them out of a wreck. "Great big giant goliaths.". The rod bent over 180 degrees, the back of the boat went down 6 inches, and the 150# braid snapped like a rifle shot. The goliath grouper is found primarily in shallow tropical waters among coral and artificial reefs. When his hat fell off and he started to make grunting sounds, I was sure of it. It also has five dark body bands or stripes that are most visible on young goliath. Did you know…. If anything was going to break this time, it would be Capt. They are witho ut a doubt one of the strongest fish that swim anywhere in the ocean. This started out innocently enough a few weeks earlier when a couple of fishing buddies and I dropped a live pinfish on 30# mono down on a wreck 50 feet deep looking for a grouper dinner. Something wolfed down the pinfish and took line like the rod was tied to a dragster. We sent another pinfish down, but that was it for the day. Eddie could hang on long enough. Captain Randy Knowles fish for Goliath Grouper. The giant of the grouper family, the goliath (formerly called jewfish) 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. We use cookies to enhance your visit to our website and to improve your experience. Eddie. Please join me for a day on the water while we chase giants or trophy style fish or even just a relaxing day on the flats. 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. Goliath grouper … In Florida, the largest hook and line captured specimen weighed 680 pounds (309 kg). 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. To setup the trip simply contact our Captain and let him know which day you would like to fish. Boca Grande, Englewood, Pine Island Sound … inshore, nearshore, tarpon, goliath grouper fishing charters Enjoy a day on the water with Captains Jesse McDowall and Kelly McDowall of Florida Inshore Xtream charters fishing the renowned waters of Charlotte Harbor and nearby areas of Boca Grande, Lemon Bay, Pine Island Sound, and the Gulf of Mexico. Goliath Grouper Fishing. Fill-in in your info below and we’ll reach out shortly. Goliath Grouper is among some of the most exciting action Tampa Fishing Charters have to offer. It didn't take long. It took another week for the wind to finally lay down, but when it did, Capt. Back to the wreck, we dropped down a pinfish, put the rod in a rod holder, and turned the drag to zero. Eddie looked up at me with a twisted smile and was just hanging onto the rod for dear life. Fish to the boat, guaranteed. Grouper Charter Fishing Trips In Alabama Hiring a professional guide to put you on snook, tarpon and goliath grouper is essential if you want to make the most out your visit to the area. It was a shorter run offshore and a little shallower. The goliath, once called the jewfish, is the biggest member of the grouper family. The powerful Goliath Grouper is one of the most sought-after game fish from Tampa to the Florida Keys. I’ve been lucky enough to have lived here in southwest Florida for over 30 years. We quickly retied a new hook and sent yet another pinfish down. 100 – 400 lbs is fairly common live 50 years and grow to behemoth size, I figured we maxed... Are witho ut a goliath grouper fishing one of these species have been caught in Alabama’s.. Lbs is fairly common and can weigh as much as 800 pounds ( 363 kg ) captains up the! 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