Florida man catches 350 pound grouper with a hook and line

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/01/13/florida-man-catches-350-pound.html

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I’ve got a soft spot for Groupers; they seem quite smart for fish and remind me of Lockjaw.

Extracting the Otolith sounds like Frankie and Benjy talking about Arthur Dent’s brain. Poor fish.


Given the size and age of this animal, shouldn’t we treat this the same way as big game trophy hunters?


Call me a jaded skeptic, but that looks potatoshopped. Especially the lower right portion of the fish you can see the seams! This is either a half-assed PS job, or someone got a small fish and just held it out in front and has a nice camera/depth of field skills.

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A fisherman isn’t setting his sights on a particular animal and popping it. A lot of times it’s casting the line and seeing what bites.


I totally think we should be offended by this.


I get your distinction but how is that a mitigating factor?

This article has more pics. You can see that it’s really big, but not quite as big as the photo with this post makes it look. They have it hanging in the foreground while the fisherman stands further back to force the perspective.


Many times, the catch looks good but we wouldn’t eat it. I gave up on grouper years ago because of this:



What my dad lacks for in large catches, like a 350 grouper, he makes up for in quantity. I think he caught about 3000 crappie last year (nearly all were catch and release).


Maybe - maybe not. I’ve gone back-and-forth about it since I read this article elsewhere.

One one hand: Fish that big/old usually don’t taste very good. Big female groupers produce a staggering number of eggs, often thousands of times the number of younger & smaller females. But unlike with other fish, a specimen this size could be male or female. Groupers can change sex willy-nilly. Warsaw groupers are threatened, so it was not good to kill an old one like this.

On the other hand: If this was a male, it wouldn’t affect the population dynamics much. Another one will fill in quickly. Catching it from a depth of 600 feet might have killed it outright due to barotrauma, so release might not have been a viable option. Finally, the value to science for a relatively rare and difficult-to-find fish like this might outweigh (ha!) it’s loss in the population.


350lbs. as the article points out, is not crazy big for a grouper. Goliath grouper fishing vids regularly show fish like this (always catch and release) being caught, and sometimes on hand lines.

ETA: he is indeed standing behind it, but if you look close he is touching a spine on its dorsal fin. So he can’t be too far behind it, and it cannot be too terribly close to the camera. His arm is bent as well, so it is unlike those fish pics where the person has their arm obviously extended in front.


Try this if you (as I) can’t access the Telegraph site:

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Yeah but you shoulda…

…never mind.

50 years of doing your thing out in the ocean, until she/he made that one bad judgement call and snapped that dangling something in front of her/him.
Just so The Gap people on that boat can do these evil-grin photos.

No. Groupers aren’t endangered.

There is nothing wrong with ethical fishing nor hunting.


One could argue big game hunting for trophies (rather than for population control or subsistence) is inherently unethical.

Likewise, angling for and killing slow-growing, threatened fish like a big white sturgeon would also be unethical.

It’s not clear that is the case with this grouper, but it is very possible.

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How do you filet that thing?


The thing about grouper and large slow fish in general is that if they’re of any size they will be loaded with parasites–and I mean packed, with hundreds of tiny worms fleeing on all sides of a filet during cooking. Learned this while working in seafood restaurant back in my university days. Highly recommend avoiding it.


Right, not all hunting (big game or otherwise) or fishing (sport or otherwise) is done ethically. IMO a lot of commercial fishing is not ethical. Some of it isn’t even legal, but they do it anyway.

But to the point I was replying to, this isn’t the same as big game trophy hunting.

It seems to me that while the size of the grouper is remarkable, catching and eating a grouper is not.

Huh, that would be in interesting thing to see; how you prepare it.

Er… well, maybe not.