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Grouper research

One of the most recent success stories in the Florida Keys has been the come back of the goliath grouper. In 1999 a total ban was put on the taking of goliath which were on critical low numbers and now just thirteen years later we have a thriving population again. On the wish list of guys on my fishing holidays a very big fish is very high up the list. Well the goliath does this and then some fish over 100 lb are very common and we have now had them over 500 lb. Lucky for me they are not seasonal and we now have four wrecks in shallow water were they are there ever day.  I still have to thank Jim Whippy for coming up with the Whippy walk a proved method to get the big ones back to the boat. After a recent talk to a diver at N.O.A.A  National Oceanic and Atmosphere  Administration he has asked if we would like to get involved with research on these fish. When we get back to the Keys I will be getting the necessary permits to tag these fish and take a few basic details and check for recapture.  As we now only use large 22/o  circle hooks and nearly 100 % are hooked in the corner of the mouth and the barb is crushed all go back very strong.

 

 

 

 

It is ironic as a boy I wanted a career in marine biology and some 40 years later I am getting a start and it will be nice to put something back. As a sport fish they are right up there no long runs but the power is something else more than once I have seen a fish drag two yes two men right down my boat to the transom and take drag on a 80 lb braid reel locked down. Just how big was that fish at Bahia Honda the other week we will never know, there are fish down there close to if not over 1000 lbs awesome or what ? It is now hoped that they will come back on the take list and the local talk is of a one fish per boat limit with a tag system as per deer and a very large slot size we will see and if my data helps in any way  I will be more than pleased.