Is It Time To Let Fishermen Keep Goliath Grouper Again? [POLL]


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?

goliath grouper on dock
Old school pic of some young men showing off their goliath grouper

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 poll
A group of men and their Goliath Grouper for the day. Note: Goliath Grouper are not afraid of men in Speedos either… (which proves these fish aren’t very smart).
  • 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.

Related Post: “How To Make A Grouper Rig That Saves Time, Money, And The Environment” (watch it here 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!

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do some research
6 months ago

bro what? they are not taking over any coral reefs. the population is not even climbing out of the endangered species category I encourage you to read scientific articles and not just go off of what your friends who want to hunt groupers have told you.

6 years ago

No! period.

6 years ago

According to the studies that I have read the fish that will be harvest size will not be edible. Goliaths that have reached an adult size have too much mercury in their flesh to be safe to consume. Symptoms of mercury poisoning are “acute ataxia (severe loss of coordination), numbness in the hands and feet, visual distortion, and temporary and even permanent hearing and speech impairments,insanity, paralysis and coma followed by death.”
The main complaint seems to be that this fish is eating everything on the reef. If you bother to go down where they live, you will see them surrounded by fish. Many videos and pictures online show this also. They steal fish off your line. Dolphin and shark do the same.
You can’t safely eat them and all studies (and pictures) show that they are not the reason why there aren’t as many fish as there used to be.
Be happy they are there for catch and release. Some fishermen out there are not as careful with them on the release and some are outright poaching them. In twenty years they might be gone when they ignore the majority of people going to the hearings and ok the harvest.

6 years ago

look at how well the lotto tag has worked with alligators, NOT!!! The alligators are still wayyyy too many.

7 years ago

As the Government issues a license for 1 Elk or 1 Moose, why not 1 Goliath per a short time period & the money to go to Fishing conservation but just to open it up to all would be the death nil for Goliath

joseph galea
7 years ago

I totally agree with Anthony Castaneira. Let nature run the show. Be sure that if the season were to be open we will drive the species down to red levels.

7 years ago

The only argument against, is that they might be eating lionfish.

Lauro Garza
7 years ago

No catch and release

7 years ago


Richard Johnston
7 years ago

Yes, it is time to reopen Goliath grouper season again


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