Outdoors

Fishing captain returns to shore with only one fish, but it was a whopper

Watch 500-pound goliath grouper swallow shark in one gulp

Video shows a goliath grouper chow down on a small shark and swallow it whole. People out on a charter boat caught the action off Everglades City, Florida.
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Video shows a goliath grouper chow down on a small shark and swallow it whole. People out on a charter boat caught the action off Everglades City, Florida.

It’s not often you put out two baits, catch one fish, and go home.

It’s even less likely you do that when you’re 150 miles offshore.

After a unique situation and a monster fish, Capt. Jason Boyll did just just that.

Boyll and crew headed offshore Sunday night into some fairly rough conditions aboard a 30-foot twin engine Concept boat. After a brief stop to assess their situation, they carried on.

“We left at nighttime, around 10 p.m; it was probably three- to four-foot seas,” said the deepwater loving Boyll. “We stopped around seven miles out and I checked around for all our safety gear and we decided to push on.

“With waves coming over both the bow and the stern and a 3700GPH crash pump on the deck, it was the sketchiest trip I’ve ever taken. We pushed on for about seven hours to about 550 feet. The only goal was to get the biggest Warsaw grouper I’ve ever got.”

In the morning Boyll anchored the Concept on a spot nearly 550 feet below. They sent down a pair of big frozen bonita on 80-wide reels with two pounds of lead. Soon, Boyll noticed a problem with something below.

“I got hooked on old longline gear,” Boyll said. “The line was snagged and would give about 75 feet then get stuck. Spencer got bit but the fish spit it. It came back, sucked it down, and we were on.”

When the fight from deep started, Boyll noticed something odd. Instead of running toward the structure the massive grouper below started by seemingly fighting away from it. That’s when Boyll realized what was happening. The same longline he was tangled in seemed to be tangled with the hooked fish.

“Eventually the 150-pound braided line wore through the heavy mono of the longline,” Boyll said. “It took about 10 minutes to get him slacked up. By that time he was stuck in structure. I got on him again and eventually he came out. After one more run he was finally coming up!”

The beast hit the surface after a 30-minute battle. It was a massive Warsaw grouper.

“It was huge. I knew it was bigger than my previously biggest, 269 pounds,” Boyll said. “After we got it in the boat it wouldn’t fit in any of the fish bags or coolers, so we laid it on the deck with block ice underneath it and put ice on top. We headed home after that.”

Arriving back to land that night, Boyll wanted to get a weight on the fish to see exactly how big it was. The first place they visited only had a metric scale, so they attempted to convert the weight from kilograms. According to Boylll, the conversion was around 280 pounds.

Not entirely sure, he purchased his own heavy duty scale the next morning and was able to get the fish weighed where it topped over 302-pounds.

“Whatever weight you want to call her, I call her exceptional.”

It was his first Warsaw grouper over 300 pounds, and a trip he’ll never forget.

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