Monster Grouper Landed On A Packed Beach In Naples, FL

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There are anglers out there who will fish for days or weeks to connect with a true giant. Sure they could catch plenty of small fish but that’s not their goal. The reality is that there are less large fish than small ones and the bigger ones have gotten to their immense size by being wary.

One of the largest fish species in the world is the giant grouper. Anglers who live in coastal areas where this fish frequents know that the grouper is an unrivaled fighter. This beast will outsmart you, spool your reel or bust up your tackle in a hurry if you’re not careful. The grouper also is referred to as brindle bass, brown spotted cod, Queensland grouper and bumblebee grouper.

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Grouper Size and Diet – The largest bony fish that can be found in coral reefs is the grouper. The fish can weigh as much as 880 pounds and reach a length of 8.9 feet. However, the ocean is a vast place of mystery and still holds many secrets. Unconfirmed reports would indicate that some groupers swimming in the ocean are larger still. Some believe that giant groupers can weigh over 1300 pounds and reach astounding lengths of 14 feet. Groupers are opportunistic feeders. They’ll take a swipe at fish, sharks, seabirds, turtles or anything else that appeals to them. Groupers also won’t hesitate to make a meal out of dead animals.

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Overfishing Concerns – Many people believe that ocean fish are not vulnerable to overfishing as compared to inland lakes and rivers. They figure that since the ocean is so large, it would be impossible to wipe out a given species. That belief is actually a myth. In the past several decades, biologists and governments alike have become alarmed at drastic declines in fish populations due to overfishing. Commercial fishermen and hobby anglers caused much of this decrease. By the 1990s, the giant grouper was given a vulnerable status by the IUCN. It should come as no surprise that the largest fish of this species have taken a long time to get that big. When a fish like that is removed from the water, it requires quite a few years to produce another one of that size.

Appearance – During the grouper’s juvenile stage, the coloration of the fish is black and yellow. Once giant or goliath groupers reach adulthood, their appearance changes to grey-brown and green-gray. Black spots also cover the fish and the tail is rounded. The giant grouper has a huge mouth much like a largemouth bass though on a much larger scale. This makes it a formidable predator to many marine animals.

Rods and Reels – Small or cheap rods and reels just won’t cut it with this bruiser. You’ll need to use the heaviest tackle available and thick braided line. A high-quality reel with a flawless drag system is crucial. If your drag locks up while you’re doing battle with this monster, it ‘ll bust your line in a hurry. The fish could also rip the pole out of your hands or even pull you into the water.

Selecting a Bait – If you want to go after a giant grouper, you have to use big baits. If you only fish with small ones, most of the time you’ll only catch small fish. There are a variety of effective baits that you can try for groupers. One option is using a dead bait. There’s no need to worry about keeping your baitfish alive in this case which is convenient. You just throw out that dead piece of meat and wait for a hungry dinner guest. You still can use live bait and there are times when a lively fish will become a quicker meal than a dead bait. The key is to experiment and see what’s working on a given day.

If live or dead baits aren’t your thing, you can use artificial lures to draw a strike from a giant grouper. You’ll need something that can get you down to the bottom of the water source where you plan to fish. Weighted lures are going to be key. Lure options include deep diving plugs, jigs and jerk baits. Favorite colors of fishermen are usually pink and orange.

Where to Fish – Obviously, you’re going to need to head to the coast for groupers. But not just any coastal area will yield giant groupers. As ocean fish go, groupers are shallow-water dwellers who make their home in the tropics. They like to live around artificial reefs or coral. Typical depths that you’ll find giant groupers at is in the 16 to 164-foot range. Specific areas to target the grouper include the Florida Keys, Brazilian coastline, anywhere in the Caribbean and the Bahamas. Although it’s uncommon, the grouper is occasionally found in the coastal waters of Maine and Massachusetts.

Learn the Rules – It’s important to know and understand the fishing laws of the area you plan to target groupers. Recent conservation efforts across the globe have been implemented. Countries and states are different in the specifics of their regulations but all aim to take better care of this giant. The fish cannot be harvested in the Caribbean or the United States, for instance. That doesn’t mean that you can’t practice catch and release, though. You can still snap a picture of your catch before releasing it. Another thing in the fishing world that is growing in popularity is an alternative to traditional fish mounts. You can measure your fish and take a photograph so that a replica of your catch can be made. This allows the fish you caught to live to fight another day but you still get a trophy to hang on your wall.

Give It a Try! – If you’re looking for an angler adventure that includes line-sizzling encounters, grueling battles and amped up adrenaline, the giant grouper should be your fish of choice. Thousands of anglers all across the world love the opportunities that this species of fish offers. If you hook into a grouper, you’ll definitely develop a newfound respect for the species. They are truly one-of-a-kind. Although grouper fishing can be challenging, with the right gear, knowledge and increasing experience, you’ll be way well on your way in the pursuit of this beast.

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About The Author
As a freelance writer for 14 years, Benjamin has contributed articles for news outlets in a variety of industries. Benjamin has covered stories on entertainment, pop music, NFL news, trending celebrity gossip, movie reviews and more.
A graduate in Journalism and a member of the Professional Basketball Writers Association (PBWA), Benjamin loves sports and plays basketball during his free time.
Benjamin is also i big cooking nut. He makes hand made pasta from scratch and his favorite dishes are Italian.
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