Viral: Florida Man Catches ‘Monster’ Golitah Grouper

July 26, 2019 Updated: July 26, 2019

The moment a Florida man captured a Goliath grouper, which are known to eat small sharks, has been immortalized on YouTube.

“Josh and Dr. Robert Borrego headed offshore to a shallow water wreck on the east coast of Florida. Josh started off playing with a large congregation of monster bull sharks,” the description read.

“Several cobia came up with the sharks. Josh hooked one of the cobia and fought it for several minutes. The cobia was being chased by a bull shark. Josh tightened the drag and palmed the spool, breaking off the cobia,” he added.

Then, the grouper appeared.

“After a struggle, the 200lb+ goliath grouper was boat side. The hook was removed and the grouper was quickly released. Josh started playing with the groupers and a monster goliath attacked the bonito on the rope (probably over 500lbs)!” he wrote.

The fishermen managed to get the grouper on the boat before it was quickly released.

The goliath grouper is the largest of the grouper species in the Atlantic Ocean, and they can weigh up to 800 pounds, according to NOAA’s website. However, there have been reports of much larger groupers.

“They were once so overfished in the southeastern United States, they were considered for listing under the Endangered Species Act,” according to NOAA.

They’re found in shallow tropical waters near coral reefs, and its range extends from the Florida Keys to the Gulf of Mexico. But it’s also found in the Bahamas, the Caribbean Sea, and off Brazil.

But, “On some occasions, goliath grouper have been caught off the coast of New England in Massachusetts and Maine. In the eastern Atlantic Ocean, goliath grouper are found off the coast of Africa from the Congo to Senegal,” says NOAA.

“Threats to the species include commercial and recreational fishing, harmful algal blooms (red tide), and habitat loss,” says the NOAA website.

‘Just Sucked it In’

The moment a Goliath grouper eating a shark was captured on camera as shocked fishermen look on.

The Everglades Fishing Company said the grouper was probably about 500 pounds.

“Watch this. You guys are going to freak out,” Jimmy Wheeler of the Everglades Fishing Company warned.

“He just sucked it in,” Michelle Wheeler told Fox News. “I don’t remember ever seeing anything this crazy.”

“That same grouper later swallowed a stingray — or manta ray,” Michelle added. “[Goliath groupers] have become a nuisance, according to a lot of fishermen. They’re eating everything.”

According to the report, groupers have been protected under Florida state law since 1990. They have to be returned to the ocean after being caught.

The fishermen indicated that they were planning to catch and release the Goliath grouper.

“Large goliath groupers should be left in the water during release. The skeletal structure of large goliath groupers cannot adequately support their weight out of the water without some type of damage,” the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) stated on its website. “If a large goliath is brought onboard a vessel or out of the water, it is likely to sustain some form of internal injury and therefore be considered harvested.”

They can get to be 8 feet in length.

“We snorkel and see they’ll just go by a fish and suck it in. They’re huge. They didn’t get that way from not eating,” Michelle told Fox.

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