Is It Time To Let Fishermen Keep Goliath Grouper Again? [POLL]
By: Joseph Simonds on December 12, 2016
The Goliath Grouper… aka The Jewfish…
This behemoth fish that can no longer be harvested in Florida has many anglers, divers, and even ocean researchers questioning if we have protected them for too long.
With complete protection from humans and no real predators once they reach full-size (except for a few brave sharks), they seem to be taking over many of the reefs and wrecks in Florida.
Are we ready to open up the Goliath Grouper Season again?
Here are a few things we have been hearing from fellow anglers:
- Some have said these protected groupers are getting out of control, eating everything in site.
- Some have said that they are hurting the underwater ecosystem by overrunning many of the reefs and structure that would normally have all kinds of saltwater species.
- And some have even gone as far to say the Goliath Grouper now associate boat motors with a “dinner bell” and they now come running to the boat ready to attack any and all hooked fish.
On the other hand, back in the day (prior to 1990 when it became illegal to harvest or possess Goliath Grouper in both state and federal water off Florida), the following issues happened:
- Goliath grouper aren’t the smartest fish… Because they don’t fear many things in the ocean due to their size, they don’t fear divers and spearfishermen like other saltwater game fish do.
- Because of this, it was incredibly easy for good spearfishermen to have a field day spearing Goliath’s prior to 1990.
- Even though Goliath grouper are opportunistic predators, they have recently been seen as very aggressive fish when it comes to struggling fish on the end of a fishing line. Because of this, it also became easy for hook and line anglers to load up once they found a Goliath honey hole. They will keep on attacking any cut bait or hooked fish even after many of their friends get caught.
- Without protection, these massive grouper saw populations drastically decline in the 70s and 80s due to increased pressure from commercial and recreations fishermen and divers.
Goliath Grouper Harvesting Poll
So what do you think?
Should anglers be able to harvest goliath grouper again?
Place your vote by clicking below now.
P.S. – If you think your fishing friends would like to weigh in on this Goliath Grouper harvesting poll, please Tag them or Share this with them. You Rock! Pa-POW!