If you have cable or dish TV, you might have seen this show. What caught my attention was episode 49 from 5/6/2009 talking about “killer” fish.
The first segment of the show was about the Goliath Grouper also know as Calcutta Jewfish. They started the show by talking to a man that got attacked by a Goliath Grouper he estimated to be in the 100 lb range. Thing bit him on the head. Said the bottom jaw was in his mouth and the top jaw was on the back of his head. Pretty big fish in my opinion. So, they focused their search off Jupiter Florida. According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission the Goliath Grouper has a range from California down through Central America, the Gulf, and the Atlantic as far as Western Africa. The average size for the Grouper is 300 lbs and are believed to be as big as 800 lbs and 8 feet long. The New York Times references two groupers caught in 1895, one being about 1500 lbs and the other being 954 lbs. That’s a lot of fish.
Which brings us to Monsterquest’s search for the “killer” grouper. They didn’t find the really big one. They did find a couple of 300 pounders that they chased around the reef. Yours truly spent several years skin diving off the coast of South Florida and I’ve seen groupers, but nothing close to 100 lbs let alone anything bigger. Doesn’t mean they’re not out there. The one thing Monsterquest did find was a huge Moray Eel. They estimated it to be 6 to 8 feet. From my experience I’d have to agree with that size. Anyone that has run into a Moray also knows they have no sense of humor, especially if they are grabbed with a lobster hook. This I have from personal experience.
Researching the Goliath Grouper, I came across an article on a website called Live Science that said a new species has been discovered. The Goliath Grouper, Pacific Species, up to 6 feet long and 1000 lbs. Used to be the same as the Atlantic Species, but has separate and distinct genes. Was the same fish 3.5 Million years ago before the Atlantic and Pacific were separated by Central America. This is actually more than I wanted to get into, but I thought it interesting.
Monsterquest also mentioned that Grouper attacks are not unusual. I was not aware that this fish was this aggressive, so those of you diving, be careful out there. I know I wouldn’t like my head in some groupers mouth.
Next time I’m going to talk about Monsterquest part 2. Till then remember:” A bad day fishing is better than having your head in a groupers mouth”.