How to Catch a Goliath Grouper

Judging by the name, the Goliath Grouper is the largest species of the Grouper. The size
of this species is so large to the extent that you have to employ specialized
techniques in order to catch them. There are some Goliath Groupers that have
been able to achieve a weight of more than 800 pounds. Catching a fish with
this kind of weight requires tactic. Funny enough, Goliath Groupers do not put
up lots of fights. However, whenever they sense danger, they tend to make a
power run to the bottom of the water. If you had successfully hooked one, then
it is nearly impossible for you to drag it up with a standard gear.

If you have ever tried catching a Goliath Grouper, then you can bear witness on how it can
tow you around and how easily they can snap thick rods. They are roughly at the
top of the food chain since they tend to eat all types of fish, whether they
are rays, permits, and even smaller sharks. Some anglers have also observed
that Goliath Groupers have a habit of stealing fish that has been hooked by them.

Anyway, as hard as you may think catching a Goliath Grouper is, there are some anglers
that have done this successfully. Below is a guide on how to catch a Goliath
Grouper. Before we proceed, you should know they are protected in the US, and
they MUST be released. This is because they are categorized to be an endangered
species. Possession and harvesting is against the law. Therefore, the much you
can do is to take selfies with them while releasing them back into the water.

Great video of catching one

Know Where to Find One

They aren’t the kind of fish that you can just find in any water source. They are a bit
rare, therefore before you begin looking for one, ensure that you have
confirmed sightings of these fish in that particular water source. However,
these large members of the grouper family tend to like shallow waters that
range from 5 to 15 meters. They also prefer living in coral reefs. Florida is a
great place to fish for Goliath Groupers. This is thanks to the ban that has
seen to it that the species has increased in number. In other areas, they have
been fished out, the odds of coming into contact with one are slightly thin.

Use the Goliath Grouper Tackle

At the beginning of this article, we did mention how you must use a specialized
technique to catch a Goliath Grouper. First and foremost, you will need a large
reel that can manage up to 90lbs of drag. It should be loaded with preferably a
400lb+ of monofilament. The latter comes in handy in catching the bigger ones. Secondly,
you won’t require a lot of lines. It’s because when it comes to fishing for
these there are only two options you can achieve within the first 25 yards of
line. You can either lose or win the battle. Unlike other types of fish, you
should braid the monofilament since it will be mainly used to drag. Moreover,
you should only stick to specialized rods. Most anglers who go for Goliath
Grouper fishing end up breaking several rods due to the energy used in catching
one. Fortunately, on the market, there are rods built and designed for Goliath
Grouper fishing.

It is highly recommended for you to invest in heavier gear both for your sake and that of
the fish. You will be surprised at the massive number of them which swim around
with a hook in their mouths due to use of light gear. You should also opt for
large circle hooks because they have an easy release feature and don’t hook the

Employ These Techniques

You are probably aware that Goliath Groupers do not have any predators. They are
therefore not shy neither are they afraid of attacking. You can use this to
your advantage by anchoring near the reefs or wrecks. You can use dead or live
bait. However, the latter increases your odds of drawing it out. Ensure that
you keep enough distance that gives you the chance to pull them away before
they make a run for it. If you observe that your bait isn’t being noticed by
the grouper, then you can bounce it off the bottom and create some form of

You can Use a Leadhead Jig as a Lure

When we narrow down to Goliath Grouper lures, you have several alternatives. However, a
leadhead Jig with a feather tail appears to be more productive. This is because
it does have unique colors that are likely to get the attention of a Goliath

The Ideal Bait – Big Live Fish

The good news is that Goliath Groupers eat a variety of fish. Therefore, you can use
live fish as bait. It should weigh more than 5lbs since the Goliath Groupers
aren’t big fans of small fish. Rays are also excellent bait for catching
Goliath Groupers mostly because they do give off a lot of scents that attract

Final Thoughts

With the above guide, you are now ready to begin your Goliath Grouper fishing
expedition. Note that the peak season for catching this species is in between
June to August and remember that it is illegal to keep. You can take advantage
of their aggressive personalities to hook them. Nonetheless, the biggest
challenge is pulling them away from their safety dens. Tackle specifically for
these large fish can make catching it relatively less hectic. Also, ensuring
that you pull it while it’s in shallow waters is an added advantage.

The gear
used also plays a big role. Don’t bring your ordinary fishing equipment. You
should shop for Goliath Grouper fishing rods and lines prior. Big live fish is
the ideal bait to use, and even the heaviest tackle or line/drags cannot hold a
Goliath. If the fish puts up too much of a fight and you don’t seem to be
winning, it is best if you let go of that catch and look for another one.
Alternatively, if the challenge seems too hard for you, you could seek
assistance from professionals who are experienced in catching these monsters. If you are interested in reels for standard grouper take a look here.


  1. Pingback: How Big Can a Grouper Get? | Reel Fishing Guru

  2. Pingback: Are Grouper a Dangerous Fish? | Reel Fishing Guru

  3. Pingback: Do Grouper Eat Triggerfish? | Reel Fishing Guru

  4. Pingback: What Is a Snowy Grouper? | Reel Fishing Guru

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *