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Discussion Starter · #1 ·

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Grouper come inshore/nearshore down in Florida, unlike the Grouper up here.

That's why at certain times down there every restaurant, no matter what kind it is has a sign outside advertising Grouper sandwichs.........LOL!
 

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Goliath groupah,, or in some circles called Jew fish.
protected animal and have to release them

These are the ones you use jack crevalles or large live mullets to bait for, you pull on a structure (usually no deeper than 30-50 ft) drop it down and keep the motor runnin.
When that heavy rod starts to bow down,,, hit the gas!!! and go!!! or he'll ruin your day and take ya straight into the structure. Awsome near shore fishin and will flat wear ya out.

They say there are some off the NC coast.. I've yet to hook one within the last 11 years, but they say they're here off the Eastern seaboard.

bet that was one heck of a fight for them boys off a pier. That's a average size goliath, they can and do get upwards to 500 lbs especially with the past restrictions and protections placed on them.
 

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Catching something that stout and compact and weighing 300 pounds must be like pulling up a Volkswwagon.

Did you see the 110 pound squid on the news today they are catching in Calif.?

Dave you would only need 1 a year cut into little pieces for the Mahi.
 

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Grouper come inshore/nearshore down in Florida, unlike the Grouper up here.

That's why at certain times down there every restaurant, no matter what kind it is has a sign outside advertising Grouper sandwichs.........LOL!

I bet every mom and pops grill or restraunt has Grouper burgers as well.
 

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Yup that would make a few sandwiches. I hope it made it back in the water alive - looks like they took some measurements and stuff.

I've never caught or seen a goliath grouper here in NC but occasionally there is a Warsaw grouper caught, they are closely related but have 11 dorsal fins instead of 10. They get real big too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
You are right Dave. That species of Grouper is more commonly called Jew Fish and they are protected. I have caught them in Florida but nothing anything close to that size. And yes every mom and pop joint from italian to soul food and everything in between run grouper sandwiches as their special at certain times. A lot of times what you are actually eating is a Mangrove Snapper and not grouper. They do grow them big down there. Even the Amberjack has a cult following in Florida.
 

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I used to fish with some guys that would load up big reels with 100lb line or bigger and put them on harrington 550 rods and pull in some in the 60-80 lb class from the Jetty in Port Aransas, TX. I think a couple of 125 lb class fish were caught when I wasn't there. Not really sure about how big the biggest was. That was a long time ago.... I never gave it a shot cause I didn't want to buy a $200 rod just to break it. I also felt like targeting an endangered fish was not my cup of tea. Now they don't seem very endangered. Still protected though.
 

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They were over fished in Fla and were endangered, but have made a very good come back and are frequent catches now. Mostly a shallow water fish, but can catch them now in deeper water, just have to properly vent them to help with their survival.

My father inlaw dives (mainly in Massachussetts for lobster), but dove alot of Venice, Charlotte harbor area and said the goliaths at the Bay Ronto wreck were big enough to keep a distance from as they were large enough to suck in a diver.
Most folks think they hook structure or reef balls or the wreck and cut the line or break off.. alot of the times they hook one and dont realize it.

Whole jack crevalle in the 2-5 lb range is a perfect bait for them.
 

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Nuthin' like kickin' back at Bo's Fish Wagon in Key West with a cold beer and a hot Groupah sammich!!
 

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I might catch a lot of flack about this but I was reading an article a few days back that said the best way to ensure that 100% of the fish you release die is to "vent them". He was a fisheries biologist for the state of Mississippi if I remember correctly. I should have book marked that article because I don't remember seeing any other biologist say what I have believed for years. I guess the jury is still against my beliefs but I don't see how 'busting a fishes bubble " will help him.
 

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I have read several articles on studies that say just the contrary. By venting the fish you give him back his mobility and thus a chance to survive a predators interest. When the fish has his air bladder pushing his stomach out through his mouth, it's real hard for him to escape being noticed and eaten.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
It makes me so mad when you go out on a headboat and pull a grouper out of 100' depth only to have to throw him back because he is a inch or two short knowing that there is no way he will survive!
 

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Al, just my experience.. I've never seen a vented grouper floatin, and they'll always swim off.

Alot of folks will pop a hole in their bellies as they're stickin out of their mouths.. but I believe that's worse.. so I wont do that, I'll vent them behind the fin and send them on their way.

I've been doing that now for a while out in this one area and it doesnt appear to have a negative affect on the amount or quality of fish (grouper) that we're catching... I'm hopeful venting helps them at least get back to the bottom.

Agreed though... it's probably not best for the fish, but it's alot better to me to see them swim off than float across the surface when their an inch short.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Al, just my experience.. I've never seen a vented grouper floatin, and they'll always swim off.
I hope that you are right Dave but I have been on plenty of headboats and be on a hole with a lot of folks catch'n short groupers and a bunch of them float'n. I am sure that most of them are not being handled with the greatest of care and hopefully they eventually are able to swim off.
 

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I think the key is venting them properly. I use a syringe type instrument - it has a hollow center and I insert at the base of the pectoral fin - Like Dave said, don't pop their bellies or try to push it back inside - it will go back on its own once the air bladder deflates.

Check out this site for more info and an interesting scientific study
 

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I hope that you are right Dave but I have been on plenty of headboats and be on a hole with a lot of folks catch'n short groupers and a bunch of them float'n. I am sure that most of them are not being handled with the greatest of care and hopefully they eventually are able to swim off.

That's why I try to protect my groupah #'s.
I have reliable spots I know I can pull up and catch grouper
The ones we pulled up this year and late last year that were 22-29 inches (red or black) are hopefully from the practice of venting them a couple/few years back.
We've relaibly fished certain areas for the last 5-6 years out of Masonboro and the current stock seems to be getting better in my opinion,,, but I'm no expert.. I just fish for groupah's.

To me,, the only thing worse than a banana on the boat is a floatin grouper....
 
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