This is the most shallow grouper of about 14 species in the Gulf and Atlantic, spending perhaps its entire life in less than 100 feet of water. Our boats were small and we weren’t very far offshore—the serious divers with bigger boats always passed by, heading for blue water much further out. Copyright 2018 Silviu Agotici. Even with a gaff, it was difficult dragging both fish into my 15-foot Thunderbird boat; the gaff almost straightened. In federal water, legal means for these species include spear guns. But they’re still out there and their population should be rebuilding. I’ve seen one video of a hooked cownose ray circling under the boat, and a huge goliath rising to inhale it near the surface. Our staff is made up of the most experienced... READ MORE, Order your Subscription to the best Texas Saltwater Fishing Magazine! Return to record search | Submit your record!. When the behemoth was finally brought alongside, we took pictures and twisted loose the 20/0 circle hook. ... Texas Fish & Game is the largest and most popular outdoor publication in the Lone Star State. Just wondering if it is possible to catch Goliath Grouper in Texas?, if so on land? Texas' Only 100% Pure Saltwater Fishing Magazine. Back in our serious spearfishing days at the platforms off Sabine Pass, or the South Padre jetties, we’d see big goliaths, but our light spears practically bounced off them. The Texas state record for goliath grouper is still about 550 pounds, and that will be hard to beat. Goliath grouper can grow to 10 feet and weigh up to 800 pounds, though this one was in the 300- to 400-pound range. That grouper was way bigger than he was. When we did, we soon landed a pair of big goliaths. The name changed only a few years ago, but the jewfish’s name origin apparently dates back to 1697 and before. In Texas waters there should be plenty of goliath grouper; they're protected by murky water, the Feds, and a general lack of knowledge by many of today's fishermen. Goliath grouper is a long-lived and late-maturing serranid. Data and formulas are from studies conducted by TPWD and other scientific groups All lengths are total lengths unless fork length (FL) or lower jaw to fork length (LJFL) is indicated. Had a break in the weather window and we geared up and headed out to the flower gardens in hope of some fishing action !!! Please note game fishes in state waters may be taken only by pole and line. Smaller goliath grouper in the landing net, about to be released. In the Clearwater area fish caught between 100 – 400 lbs is fairly common. The Goliath is a protected species, leaving the Warsaw as the largest of the family that can be harvested. However, there has to be plenty of old wrecks off the beach that could harbor a big, residential fish that doesn’t move much, just sits there and inhales passing bottomfish, which are plentiful enough. Apparently, goliaths are crazy about platter-sized stingrays, like we see so often in shallow water.A goliath will scarf one down like a boneless steak. The Lore & Legend of Texas Saltwater Fishing. Texas Grouper? We get anglers traveling from all over the world to take on the mighty Goliaths. However, the water was salty at high tide. A friendly competition between two brothers led to a massive fishing haul for one Atlanta family. WARSAW GROUPER Second in size only to the Goliath grouper (formerly known as the jewfish, Epinephelus itajara), the Warsaw grouper is the behemoth of the Gulf fishery. Eventually the behemoth was caught. I talked to several old-timers years ago, and they always advised me to use stingrays for bait. A … Alex Newman of Bonita Springs caught a … But a goliath? It was like fishing a cove at Toledo Bend, the water was so calm with lots of shade trees. Aside from illegal harvest, an inshore fish of that size is pretty rare these days. No other publication matches our coverage of hunting, fishing, guns, gear, tackle, conservation, outdoor news, and wildlife subjects Lip-gaffing one of these heavy fish and holding it up might pop a vertebrae behind the head. They have to be down there after so many years of protection. The Lore & Legend of Texas Saltwater Fishing. The smaller of the two fish dragged me endlessly through bottom murk and pipes overgrown with barnacles like an underwater obstacle course. If memory serves, it weighed 300 pounds or so. Species Weight Length Date WaterBody Angler Bait/Lure; Amberjack, Greater 133.00: 68.00: Aug 4, 2019: Gulf of Mexico: Tricia Conner : Angelfish, Blue 2.90: 14.75 We knew we would need a bigger boat and heavier gear. Pacific goliath grouper, a species of fish found in the Pacific Ocean; Goliath tiger fish; Roller coasters. What a region: That incredible maze of sheltering mangrove islands stretches for about 70 miles, from Flamingo to Naples, now the center of the universe for goliath grouper. After that, we never speared another. Shooting at a variety of fish species, we became very accurate with the short 3-band guns we had; I even speared pompano a few times. Before coming on this trip, Justin's biggest fish was a 30lb carp. Filleting each fish was like cleaning a hog, and I wasn’t impressed with the quality of the meat, with lots of fatty strips. Perfect habitat for juveniles but also hiding some big ones, too. Best consider a 6/0 or 9/0 reel. Texas used to be known for catching monster “jewfish,” which today are called goliath grouper. The goliath grouper is the largest grouper species in the Atlantic Ocean weighing up to 800 pounds. Probably because these fish have been federally protected since 1990. The goliath grouper is the largest of the groupers and can weigh up to 800 pounds. We used live pinfish on “knocker” rigs, which is just a one-ounce egg weight knocking against the hook. The biggest and baddest of the grouper species. It was Gus Pangarakis, a Houston firefighter, who caught our state record goliath grouper at Galveston’s north jetties. The goliath grouper is found primarily in shallow tropical waters among coral and artificial reefs. https://www.sportfishingmag.com/10-heaviest-world-record-groupers When it comes to fishing the Gulf Coast, Texas Saltwater Fishing Magazine is the premiere resource for anglers. On a previous trip we stopped at a channel marker in Florida Bay just south of Flamingo and I tossed out a live, 2-pound jack crevalle, and a huge goliath inhaled it within 10 seconds. The species depends on mangrove habitat during its early development, and recovery of the species may be impacted by habitat loss and degraded water quality along the coast. We kept it in the water; it’s now considered uncool and I think prohibited in Florida, to drag goliaths into the boat for hero pictures. When they’re hungry, they simply inhale whatever bottom fish is passing by. ... is unequaled in Texas and, arguably, the nation. It was a savage battle at close quarters, more like fighting a manatee, and we had to crank the engine and motor away from the pilings about 40 yards. He said: The Jew-fish is a very good fish, and I judge so called by the English, because it hath scales and fins, therefore a clean fish, according to Levitical Law.”. Nada. We caught eight of these fish up to 25 pounds without moving the boat, while anchored near Shark River in the Everglades. Select fish and enter length in inches: So, imagine drifting a fresh stingray deep around the end of a Texas jetty, when the tide has slowed. That was the summer of ‘79 and we’ve left them alone ever since, at least while underwater. They have to be down there in the depths somewhere, around old shrimpboat wrecks, the jetties, and murky waters around old Gulf platforms in state waters. The frozen rays worked just fine with goliath grouper. The old-timers knew how to catch them, but years later it has become something of a lost art. Sawfish were pretty much wiped out by nets in Texas, and the goliath population laid low perhaps for other reasons. In his book published that year, William Dampier the explorer logged an expedition to Jamaica, where the Jewish minority there favored the grandest kosher fish. A big one might lurk right under the dock, at least in warm weather. There are countless shrimpboat wrecks off the beach offering shelter to these giants, and Texas probably has the biggest series of fish-sheltering rock jetties of any coastal state. Fishes of Texas Project, The University of Texas at Austin. In Florida I’ve hooked a few goliaths in recent years, often in water as shallow as 12 feet. These fish are said to age very slowly and deserve protection. Years ago I scuba dived the end of one jetty, and saw four big goliaths cruising by, averaging about 150 pound each. Goliath Grouper can weigh hundreds of pounds and they are eating machines. Over 2,000 pounds of Goliath grouper caught by a father and his sons in West Palm Beach. The scientific name of the species, “Epinephelus itajara,” translated from a native Brazilian Indian language means “Lord of the Rocks.” Photo by Karen Fischbein-Christopher. The rod and reel Texas record for Goliath Grouper on a rod and reel is 551 lbs caught in 1937 by a Greek fireman named Gus Pangarakis from Houston that my family knew.....The hand line record is 660lbs. Hyporthodus nigritus, the Warsaw grouper is a species of marine ray-finned fish, a grouper from the subfamily Epinephelinae which is part of the family Serranidae, which also includes the anthias and sea basses. A Florida man has caught a huge black grouper that could break the world record set 12 years ago off the Texas coast. Copyright © 2017 Texas Saltwater Fishing Magazine. Thanks. Wilson Chandler, of the Denver Nuggets, reeled in a 350-pound Goliath grouper on August 20 according to Twitter and Instagram posts. Copyright © 2017 Texas Saltwater Fishing Magazine. The largest caught in Florida was a 680-pounder in May 1961. Receive both the printed Magazine mailed to you monthly as well as access to all our... READ MORE, Over the years, Texas Saltwater Fishing Magazine has been the source of some of the most valuable advice, articles, tips and reviews related to fishing the Gulf Coast... READ MORE, Our user's privacy is important to us at TSF Magazine. We set both fish in the bow, so we could get the boat up on plane, the Johnson 70 horse outboard straining with the heavy load. But hey, catching one of these giants on a hook and line would liven up any fishing trip, even if they do have to be released. The name changed only a few years ago, but the jewfish’s name origin apparently dates back to 1697 and before. They said when the shrimp boats docked, they would soon dump buckets of shrimpheads overboard, and they’d see the big grouper come up and inhale gallons of heads. Length/Weight Conversions for Marine Fishes of Texas. The guys estimated the fish at seven feet and perhaps 400 pounds. And, pictures of guys on a Florida pass using heavy tackle and frozen stingrays for bait. What information do we collect? Texas used to be known for catching monster “jewfish,” which today are called goliath grouper. Justin from the YouTube channel LakeForkGuy flew from Texas to join Josh on a goliath grouper trip. Back at the Sportsman’s Supply in Sabine Pass, the two fish weighed 165 and 210 pounds on the store scales. All Rights Reserved. There is a story from years ago of a big one that lived under the dock at Clark’s Marina in POC. We offer 4,6,8 and 12 hour fishing trips and 1.5 hour dolphin and sightseeing tours. Online Etymology Dictionarywww.etymonline.com/index.php?term=grouper, Fish Basewww.fishbase.org/Summary/speciesSummary.php?ID=16&AT=goliath+grouper, Encyclopedia of Lifeeol.org/pages/212570/overview, Florida Museum of Natural Historywww.flmnh.ufl.edu/natsci/ichthyology/gallery/Descript/GoliathGrouper/GoliathGrouper.html, ARKivewww.arkive.org/atlantic-goliath-grouper/epinephelus-itajara/, Ocean Research & Conservation Associationwww.teamorca.org/cfiles/goliath_myths.cfm, IUCN Red Listwww.iucnredlist.org/details/195409/0, International Game Fish Associationwww.igfa.org/species/138-grouper-goliath.aspx?CommonName=138-grouper-goliath.aspx, Florida Fishing Charters & Guideswww.lagooner.com/fish-species/index.php?species_id=20, New England Aquariumgalleries.neaq.org/2012/10/goliath-grouper-fun-facts.html, Florida Fishing Reportswww.fatcatfishingcharters.net/florida-saltwater-fishing-blog/goliath-grouper-facts, 10 Newswww.wtsp.com/story/news/2014/06/04/goliath-grouper-are-making-a-comeback/9947807/#, When it comes to fishing the Gulf Coast, Texas Saltwater Fishing Magazine is the premiere resource for anglers. Note: For Gulf of Mexico records, eligible catches may be taken from both state and federal waters. All RecreationalAnglers need a saltwater recreational fishing license or registration from any state or U.S. territory except Hawaii, Puerto Rico, or the U.S. Virgin Islands. With a 50-pound mono leader.The water was shallow with little current. Our staff is made up of the most experienced... READ MORE, Order your Subscription to the best Texas Saltwater Fishing Magazine! Per the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, goliath grouper can get astonishingly bigger, as the largest one ever caught off the state’s coast was 680 pounds.That catch occurred off the coast of Fernandina Beach in 1961, which coincidentally is a part of the Jacksonville metropolitan area. Operating nurse FISHING from Texas catching monster fish in Florida including Goliath grouper and bull sharks. We hear nothing about them. This is not a picky fish. He had a talent for catching huge fish; he also landed the state record sawfish at better than 700 pounds. Goliath Grouper Fishing Charters Clearwater, FL. Our 6,8, and 10 hour trips include some trolling, drift fishing, and bottom fishing for red snapper,grouper, triggerfish, amberjack, vermillion snapper (bee-liner), king mackeral. Receive both the printed Magazine mailed to you monthly as well as access to all our... READ MORE, Over the years, Texas Saltwater Fishing Magazine has been the source of some of the most valuable advice, articles, tips and reviews related to fishing the Gulf Coast... READ MORE, Our user's privacy is important to us at TSF Magazine. How to Catch Grouper in Texas Grouper are classic bottom fish and tend to stay in or around bottom ledges. Predators of goliath grouper include large fish, such as sandbar and great hammerhead sharks, barracuda, king mackerel, moray eels, and other grouper. The powerful Goliath Grouper is one of the most sought-after game fish from Tampa to the Florida Keys. But in Texas? Sensing time was running out, I pulled myself up the cable onto his back and finally steered him up to the boat; the water was only 30 feet deep. For inquiries please contact sagotici@gmail.com https://www.silviuagotici.com With these fish, it’s brute force stopping them or they reach their rocky lair, where they can wait out most anglers. Post by SurfKing » Sat Feb 07, 2009 3:15 am . If you’re making grouper your target on your next Texas deep sea fishing trip, then you’ll have several different approaches you can take to catch them. State Saltwater Records: Other Methods. POWER FISHERMAN Site Admin Posts: 7609 Joined: Sat Jun 23, 2007 12:06 am Location: South Padre Island, Texas. These guys would gig and then freeze an entire flat of stingrays, and then peel off a few for their beach trips. The best part about these monster grouper is the close proximity to shore in which they live. Mike Kessler has fished southwest Florida waters for nearly 50 years and said the Goliath Grouper population is … After getting hooked, these fish would make a power dive into the nearest hole unless stopped with heavy tackle. It is found in the Western Atlantic from Massachusetts to the Gulf of Mexico, Cuba, Trinidad, and south to Brazil (Rio de Janeiro). In Florida, with this protection, they’ve become something of a problem, eating countless hooked fish, even blacktip sharks. Those big puppies would have been real happy to find a fresh stingray, of which Texas bays are in plentiful supply. The Texas Black Grouper record is about 124 lbs. Your first option would be to do straight bottom fishing for grouper. The bigger fish dragged both of us around until my buddy’s scuba air ran out, leaving me alone. We collect information from you when you register on our site, place an order... READ MORE. We collect information from you when you register on our site, place an order... READ MORE. Large adults have very few natural predators, and they, in turn, will prey on the same large fish that once hunted them, including sharks and barracuda. Back in the 1930s, huge ones were landed at the Aransas and Galveston jetties. And make no mistake, goliaths are perfectly happy in murky, even milk chocolate muddy water. 12 to 18 hour trips for tuna, wahoo, mahi-mahi, and marlin can be arranged. The typical snapper tackle of old, like a Penn 4/0 reel, would not suffice here. What information do we collect? All Rights Reserved. The water was a very rare blue and the incoming tide had almost stopped. They were once so overfished in the southeastern United States, they were considered for listing under the Endangered Species Act. / The rays were easily collected while flounder gigging. Grouper Black grouper Daily Bag: 4 Min Length: 24 inches Max Length: No limit Gag grouper Daily Bag: 2 Min Length: 24 inches Max Length: No limit Goliath grouper (formerly called Jewfish) Daily Bag: 0 (catch and release only) Nassau grouper Daily Bag: 0 (catch and release only) Texas' Only 100% Pure Saltwater Fishing Magazine. Top.