Goliath Grouper

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Goliath Grouper

Species Information

Scientific Name:Epinephelus itajara
Common Names:goliath, jewfish
Environment:Inshore, Nearshore, Offshore
Ideal Temp:73-82°F (23-28°C)

About Goliath Grouper

The Atlantic goliath grouper or itajara (Epinephelus itajara), also known as the jewfish, is a large saltwater fish of the grouper family found primarily in shallow tropical waters among coral and artificial reefs at depths from 5 to 50 m (16 to 164 ft). On the Western side, its range includes the Florida Keys in the US, the Bahamas, most of the Caribbean and most of the Brazilian coast. On some occasions, it is caught off the coasts of the US states of Maine and Massachusetts. In the eastern Atlantic Ocean, it occurs from the Congo to Senegal.

Young Atlantic goliath groupers may live in brackish estuaries, oyster beds, canals, and mangrove swamps, which is unusual behavior among groupers. They may reach extremely large sizes, growing to lengths up to 2.5 m (8.2 ft) and can weigh as much as 360 kg (790 lb). The world record for a hook-and-line-captured specimen is 308.44 kg (680.0 lb), caught off Fernandina Beach, Florida, in 1961. They are usually around 180 kg (400 lb) when mature. Considered of fine food quality, Atlantic goliath grouper were a highly sought-after quarry for fishermen. It is a relatively easy prey for spear fishermen because of the grouper's inquisitive and generally fearless nature. They also tend to spawn in large aggregations, returning annually to the same locations. This makes them particularly vulnerable to mass harvesting while breeding.

Goliath groupers eat crustaceans, other fish, octopuses, sea turtles, sharks, stingrays, and barracudas. They are known to attack divers, and have even been seen attacking large lemon sharks.

The Goliath Grouper has been under federal protection since 1990 and it is illegal to remove one from the water in the United States, Carribean, and Brazil.



Goliath Grouper Fishing

World Record: 308.44 kg (680.0 lb) off Fernandina Beach, Florida on May 20, 1961
# Fish Caught:22293 documented in database.
Earliest Record:1/1/1860 12:00:00 AM and located at 26.34236, -81.78007.
Latest Record:3/17/2024 3:35:00 PM and located at 25.93197, -80.33045.
Common Techniques:Bottom Fishing, Chunking, Jigging
Popular Lure Types:Bottom Rig, Jigs
Fishing Spots:1068 Goliath Grouper fishing spots.

Latest Goliath Grouper Fishing Reports and Spots

Spring Break 2024 Good Bite Going On! - 3/17/2024 3:35:00 PM

Spring Break 2024! Flamingo Report! 3/ 12-14/ 24 Last week was pretty good Mike Drippe and his son Quinton had some great Fishing over 3 days i (View)

Family Fishing - 2/28/2024 8:33:00 PM

Goliath Grouper caught and released 2/28/24 Title: A Memorable Family Fishing Adventure in Key West Florida Picture this: a crisp late February (View)

Slammen the Backcountry! - 1/27/2024 7:18:00 PM

01-27-24 It’s been kind of slow but I still need and want to be on water. I can always call my buddy Mike to help me stay on the fish Mike keep (View)

Winter in South Florida! - 1/14/2024 12:29:00 PM

When you think of winter you think of cold and snow up north but in South Florida it’s not that way. Most of the cold fronts this year affect u (View)

Change in Season! - 10/31/2023 11:15:03 AM

The past week or so the weather has changed. We have had hard NE winds which pushed the mullet through Biscayne Bay. I got out with my son Jame (View)

Take Stock In Children Tournament! - 9/26/2023 11:52:43 AM

The "Take Stock in Children Tournament" sounds like an event focused on fundraising and support for the "Take Stock in Children" program which (View)

Business is slow Bite is not! - 9/11/2023 9:36:56 AM

August into September is usually slow but I still fish a lot. I fish family and friends doing some R&D. I have fished from N. Biscayne Bay to K (View)

"Slammin" in thePark! - 7/6/2023 2:46:00 PM

07-06-23 The last few days have been fun fishing. I fished with 2 of my favorite people Ross and Mindy on Thursday at Flamingo. Ross loves Tarp (View)

Flamingo was Red Hot this week! - 5/22/2023 8:51:17 AM

Flamingo was Red Hot this week I was down there 4 days and caught everything that swims. On Monday and Tuesday I fished with Paul Davis His fri (View)

Snook were biting this week! - 5/8/2023 9:50:43 AM

050223 I had 2 good days at Flamingo this week and then headed to Key largo for a couple days. I fished with long time customers and friends Bo (View)