Grouper boast the reputation of being the most big-shouldered battlin’ bottomfish in the south Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. And this takes on a whole new level when grouper reach world-record caliber dimensions.
Alex Newman and his crew were dropping lines in the Gulf of Mexico for the 3rd Annual Offshore Rodeo Fishing Tournament, when Newman got slobberknocked by a behemoth black grouper.
According to the News Press, Newman exclaimed, “When we were lifting it up we couldn’t lift it. I fish the Gulf a lot and this is the biggest fish I’ve caught. When that thing popped up it was like a dinosaur.”
The big black grouper eventually hit the scales and pulled the mark down to 124.18 pounds, which is technically a mere .18 pounds heavier than the standing present 12 year old world record of 124 pounds even, making Newman’s catch a potential world record. The massive grouper also taped out at 57 inches long and had a whopping 48-inch girth.
The Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean are home to many grouper species, including, black, red, goliath, snowy, gag among many others. Grouper generally average in the 5- to 20-pound class, but large and in charge grouper can always be found hanging around out of the way “secret” wreck spots or unpressured areas offshore. So when targeting large groupers, look for ledges, reefs, wrecks, and structure that’s off the average angler’s radar. These spots will tend to hold larger fish that have had time to grow without interference.
You can fish waters as shallow as 30 feet or as deep as 200 feet. Heavy duty tackle is preferred when winching up grouper from the depths. A 6-foot stout heavy action rod rated for 50- to 80-pound test, matched with a high speed retrieve reel such as a Shimano Torium 30, spooled with 80-pound braided line will start you off right.