A Florida angler claims to have landed the “first-known giant goliath grouper” from a standup paddleboard.
Footage of this wild episode, which played out last Thursday, was uploaded to YouTube on Tuesday.
It shows the massive grouper, estimated to weigh 412 pounds, towing Capt. Ben Chancey and even capsizing his board. But the SUP angler climbs back aboard and continues the fight, and ultimately the 7-foot behemoth is measured and released. (Fairly reliable weight estimates can be obtained via tape-measurement formula.)
“That was the first day I had ever stepped foot on a paddleboard, much less fished off one,” Chancey said via email.
Goliath groupers are found in the western Atlantic from northern Florida to Brazil.
They can measure about 8 feet long, and the larger adults average about 400 pounds, although they can be much heavier.
They’re an endangered species and those that are hooked must be carefully released.
Chancey, who hooked the grouper while standing but quickly sat to become more stabilized, said he used a bonito as bait. The power of the fish was such that it pulled the anchor of the large boat, which was tethered to Chancey’s paddleboard.
“The fish pulled so hard, it pulled the boat off-anchor and sunk our drone,” Chancey said Tuesday. “I am still sore today, and we caught the fish on Thursday.”
For the sake of comparison, the world record goliath grouper, a catch made before protections were put into place, stands at 680 pounds. That catch was made off Fernandina Beach, Florida, in 1961.
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