The super-sized fish lives in the deep waters of the Gulf of Mexico, where it’s known as one of the hardest creatures to hook — and even harder to reel in.
Pro fisherman Joshua Jorgensen finally caught the fish on January 22, 2021 after a three-year effort to find one, according to a statement he provided to Fox News.
Jorgensen also shared footage of his struggle to catch the grouper via YouTube, on his BlacktipH Fishing Show channel. We caught a sea monster!” Jorgensen wrote on YouTube.
Jorgensen and his boat captain, Jason Boyll, hooked the grouper near a coral reef off Fort Myers, Fla., in the Gulf of Mexico. He says they used a banded rudderfish as bait and didn’t have to wait long for the action to begin.
After a long battle, it took four men to lift the gigantic fish over the edge of the boat. The grouper measured about 2.1 meters (7 feet) in length, and had spines of up to 60 cm (2 feet) in length along its back.
They had to haul it off the boat with a tractor when they returned to shore, and it ultimately tipped the scales at a whopping 133 kilograms (294 pounds).
Boyll previously helped a client catch a 350-pound specimen in December 2019, in a headline-grabbing achievement that prompted a warning from fish and wildlife officials.
The Florida Fish and Wildlife Research Institute celebrated the capture of the “big old fish” at the time, but cautioned against specifically hunting them.
The Warsaw grouper is among the rarest of its kind, though it’s not the largest. The Goliath grouper, which also lives in the Atlantic Ocean, can weigh as much as 363 kilograms (800 pounds).
Global News California / Crickey Conservation Society 2021.