Goliath Grouper are amongst the biggest fish you’ll find anywhere in America. The IGFA all-tackle rod and reel world record for Goliath Grouper (formerly known as Jewfish) was a 680lb0oz fish caught in Fernandina Beach, Florida back in 1961, and that record hasn’t ever been tested in America because these fish are protected. You can’t keep them.
This means when you roll up on pretty much any reef in the state of Florida these days you’ll find MASSIVE Goliath Grouper because these fish have been able to grow, unchecked, eating everything in sight. And these fish are everywhere in Florida. From the panhandle to the Florida Keys on up to the Florida-Georgia border.
This video comes from Everglades City and it was captured by Everglades Fishing Co, a local fishing charter down there that fishes the 10,000 Islands and surrounding areas. If you’ve never fished this region I simply cannot recommend it enough, it’s like stepping back in time. All day long you see different species of sharks, dolphins everywhere, different species of rays, and you catch every type of inshore game fish Florida has to offer. Here, an estimated 500-pound Goliath Grouper rolls up on a 3-foot shark and swallows it as easily as your or I eat popcorn at the movies:
“He just sucked it in,” Michelle told Fox News, clarifying that she didn’t witness the scene in person. “I don’t remember ever seeing anything this crazy.”
The fishermen wrestled with the large fish for a few minutes until the line finally loosened and the goliath grouper spit out the shark, which the fishermen planned to catch and release.
“That same grouper later swallowed a stingray — or manta ray,” Michelle recalled her husband telling her. “[Goliath groupers] have become a nuisance, according to a lot of fishermen. They’re eating everything.” (via FOX News)
This is usually the time of year when I start planning my next fishing trip down to Everglades City/Chokoloskee and I think this year I’m going to hit up Everglades Fishing Co. to book my charter since it’s just a short drive south from where I live in Sarasota. After checking out their website it looks like they’re super legit, and put their guests on fish every time out. If you’re interested in fishing that area go check out their website! Or you can go check them out on Instagram!
Shout out to Bad Luck Bryan for sending me this story on Twitter!