Some secret beast lurking within a favourite wreck keeps snapping lines. Two tenacious fishing buddies are established to victory this fish fight.

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Fishing because that goliath groupers is a gut-busting, give-no-quarter fish fight once you have to pull them out of a wreck.


When Capt. Eddie sat under on the deck and also braced his foot versus the rail, ns figured we were right into a huge one. As soon as his hat dropped off and he began to do grunting sounds, i was certain of it. Yet we"d been this far before and never observed the beast. Capt. Eddie looked up in ~ me v a twisted smile and also was simply hanging ~ above the rod for dear life. This can go either way.

What began out together a mystery had become an obsession. Something was living in this wreck 10 miles off southwest Florida, and also whatever it to be had currently beaten us up number of times. One thing was because that certain: the was real big. However on this particular day we to be maxed out on gear large enough come crank one of these monsters up ... If only Capt. Eddie can hang on long enough.

Meet The Kraken

This started out innocently enough a couple of weeks earlier when a pair of fishing buddies and also I dropped a live pinfish on 30# mono under on a wreck 50 feet deep searching for a grouper dinner. The pinfish barely do it to the bottom. Something big grabbed it, screamed out around 40 feet the drag, acquired into the wreck and cut the heat on other sharp. I couldn"t prevent it. We sent an additional pinfish down, yet that to be it because that the day. The monster sulked.

We came earlier again the next day — exact same gear, exact same ending. Something wolfed down the pinfish and took line choose the rod to be tied to a dragster. I just couldn"t stop it. If i tightened the drag any type of more, every little thing it was would pull the rod and reel over the side — and also me if ns didn"t let go. It had to it is in a big grouper, a shark, a huge ray, or maybe a vast barracuda. It to be time come up the gear.

This time us spooled a huge reel through 150# braid, included a 2-ounce sinker above a swivel, then much more 150# braid straight to a #10 one hook. Earlier to the wreck, we dropped under a pinfish, placed the rod in a stick holder, and turned the drag to zero. If the couldn"t get any kind of line off the reel, he couldn"t cut us turn off in the wreck. We waited. It didn"t take it long.

The stick bent end 180 degrees, the ago of the watercraft went under 6 inches, and the 150# braid snapped like a rifle shot. A small shaken, us dropped another pinfish. Nothing. OK, possibly we required a tiny stretch in the line. Braid doesn"t stretch, so we tied one 8-foot leader that 200# mono to the hook with a swivel come the 150# braid, for next time.

A couple of days later, we returned to the wreck and sent an additional pinfish down, this time ~ above the 200# mono top shot, placed the pole in the rod holder, and collection the traction to zero. In ~ 10 seconds, the rod bending over almost to the water, jerked up and also down violent for a pair seconds, then to be still. Us pulled it up and also everything was intact other than the hook. The stole hook, thick together a shoelace, broke off at the eye. The fish to be gone.

We quickly retied a new hook and also sent yet one more pinfish down. Automatically the practically inch-thick stand-up rod bending over almost to the water, the stern jerked down around 6 inches, and also then the heat snapped with such a jolt the rod virtually jumped out of the pole holder. It was time to get expert help.

O Captain! my Captain!

I request the males in the neighborhood bait shops if lock knew any type of captains up for the task of fishing because that seemingly uncatchable monsters. They knew a couple guys, and also they had a good idea the what us were increase against. "Goliaths," one man said. "Great large giant goliaths."

The goliath, once called the jewfish, is the best member the the grouper family. Goliaths can live 50 years and grow come behemoth size. Florida"s had actually a moratorium on harvesting goliaths for an ext than a decade, and also as our fishery has become catch-and-release only, their population has grown every year, and individual fish acquire bigger and bigger. The photo of the Florida state record, additionally the world record, looks like a 680-pound brown largemouth base — an exceptional fish.


The winds that spring maintained us inshore for a pair of weeks, for this reason we took pleasure in the possibility to fish the bridges because that pompano and also sea trout. Goliaths are known to inhabit bridges and also even shallow water and also canals, and when ns watched a fisherman reduced a 5-pound chunk of cut bait next to a bridge piling i knew he might only be after sharks or goliaths. This was the guy we needed. His surname was Capt. Eddie. When I said him mine story he said, "I"m certain those space goliaths! as soon as the wind fall we"ll go."

Master Fish Fighter

It took another week for the wind to lastly lay down, yet when the did, Capt. Eddie stated it to be time — but we would certainly go to one of his wrecks. It was a much shorter run offshore and also a little shallower.

We met in ~ the boat and Capt. Eddie rigged increase my huge reel — 150# braid with a 500# mono top shot directly to a huge #16 circle hook. Above the hook that threaded a couple of sinkers through the mono and tied that off through a uni-knot, one of the couple of knots usable ~ above mono that stiff. The 500# mono is major stuff, too hard to cut even through a knife. If anything was going to rest this time, it would certainly be Capt. Eddie.


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It finally took a rig spooled through 150# braid, a 500# mono peak shot, and substantial #16 circle hook under 2 ounces of lead to lug a goliath come the surface.


We anchored over Capt. Eddie"s wreck, and he traction a huge Spanish mackerel out of his cooler, the one bait he stated goliaths can"t refuse. He stuck it top top the large circle hook and explained together the bait went down that the would hold on come the rod, permit the fish take it it in the wreck, and also then he"d pull it out through the 500# mono, which the destructive couldn"t cut. He barely finished the sentence when he had to sit under or walk over the side. The battle was on.

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It was a short, furious, and profane battle, a hard battled back-and-forth fish fight, exciting to watch through an unsure end. However Capt. Eddie prevailed, and suddenly a huge brown fish showed up on the surface and also lay in ~ the next of the boat as worn down as Capt. Eddie. It to be a goliath, around a 250-pounder.