Goliath Grouper


Description: Goliath Grouper are the largest members of the sea bass family. This huge fish is generally brownish yellow, gray, or olive colored with small dark spots and irregular dark, vertical bars present on the sides of the body. The tail, pectoral and caudal fins are rounded and the first dorsal fin is shorter than the second dorsal.  The Goliath Grouper has very small eyes in proportion to their size. Adults can grow to a massive size, 800 lbs. and greater. The widest part of the Goliath Grouper body is more than half its length.

Aliases: Jewfish, Giant Sea bass

Habitat: INSHORE around docks, in deep holes, on ledges, wrecks and isolated patch reefs; juveniles are often found in estuaries, especially around oyster bars

Tackle Used: Conventional heavy tackle, bottom or drift fishing

Fight: Fighting a Goliath Grouper is more like a game of tug of war. They are heavy, slower moving fish that will attempt to dive to the bottom and cut the line on nearby structures. The keys to success are the patience and strength of the angler and the skill of the captain navigating the boat.

Vital Stats: The largest grouper in the western Atlantic, Goliath Grouper have a lifespan of 30 – 50 years and can grow to just over 8.2 feet, weighing as much as 800 pound.

State Record: 680 lbs near Fernandina Beach (1961)

Limits: Goliath Grouper are protected from harvest in Florida waters

Flavor: Protected species. Not for human consumption.