Family Starts Off With a Friendly Fishing Competition–and Ends Up Catching Over 2000lb Haul

August 2, 2019 Updated: August 6, 2019

When father and fishing enthusiast Robert Poirier encouraged his sons to engage in a little friendly competition out on the waters, he likely never expected that the kids would be able to pull in quite the haul they did during a recent fishing expedition—and as a result, they’ve managed to go viral.

Poirier explained to Fox News that his two sons had started to compete with one another back in April when his elder son Max managed to snag a 9-foot, 250-pound (approx. 113-kilogram) hammerhead shark. In return, younger brother Brendan made sure that he was able to reel in an even bigger hammerhead later in the summer—and the pair kept up the friendly competition until a recent, mind-boggling outing to catch some goliath grouper.

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The goliath grouper, or itajara, is one of the most massive fish you can reel in while out patrolling the shallower waters in the Atlantic Ocean. They can be upwards of 800 pounds (approx. 363 kg) and over 8 feet long, making them bigger than a handful of sharks and certainly not a ton of fun to run into if you’re out for a dive.

Due to the goliath grouper’s critically endangered status, most fishermen don’t bother trying to reel in these behemoth sea creatures; after all, there isn’t much to gain by fighting for an hour just to catch and release a fish that can be five times heavier than some full-grown adults. Unless, of course, you’re in the midst of a tightly fought competition with your brother, trying to bring home the biggest catch of the week—in which case, you might spend a day showing off just how many of these big baddies you can heave over the deck before you head back to shore.

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The father-and-sons trio knew they were in for a fun day when they tossed their bait, some 10–15 pounds (approx. 5–7 kg) of bonita fish, into the water and managed to attract a whole swarm of goliaths and sharks.

“We had 20 to 30 goliath groupers under the boat and 10 to 15 sharks circling the boat,” Robert explained in his interview with Fox News. “To have that many around the boat. It was unusual.”

The family took advantage of this, though, and spent the day truly pulling in some spectacular catches. They were able to boast seven different goliaths by the time they were finished, amassing a collective 2,250 total pounds (approx. 1,021 kg) of fish to truly make “a ton” of catches.

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They didn’t just spend the time taking photos for bragging rights, though, which made the entire ordeal even more special. According to Poirier, he and his sons made sure to not only remove their own hooks from the fish before tossing them back but also removed the other hooks that had been left by previous fishermen during prior catches.

Each brother caught two goliaths, so the pair have insisted that they’re even in the competition now.

But as for whether it’ll stay that way? It sounds like the competition isn’t over just yet. “They keep asking when we’re going to go again,” their dad explained. “We’ll be back. Can we top this? We’ll try.”

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