Fishing in Cape Canaveral, Florida: Goliath Grouper
Fishing in Cape Canaveral, Florida, can be marvelously exciting. Or wonderfully relaxing. Or just unbelievable. The latter is today’s topic of conversation, the goliath grouper. This member of the grouper family is an Eastern Atlantic fish, and the good news is this: they like shallow, tropical waters (depths of 16 to 164 feet). Can you come into contact with a goliath grouper here in Cape Canaveral? Absolutely.
In fact, this just happened to Dr. Sam Gerson right here in Cape Canaveral a year ago. He was out on a fishing charter with Fired Up Charters at 726 Scallop Drive. Unfortunately, he didn’t get to pull the fish up onto the boat, but with the size of the fish, one can understand why.
In general, the fish can grow up to around eight feet and weigh as much as 800 pounds. The world record for a caught fish is 681 pounds (in Fernandina Beach, FL). Typically, the adult fish is around 400 pounds. They eat crustaceans, fish, turtles, sharks, and barracuda. They also are known to attack divers.
The fish is delicious and is historically sought for food, although they are a protected species now. If you catch one, it’s required that you return it to the water alive and unharmed. Larger sized goliath gropers shouldn’t even be brought out of the water. Also, when photographing, make sure that you take images during the release—taking photographs that delay the return of the fish to the water is prohibited.
They’re easy to catch, as they are rather fearless and always return to the same locations to spawn. As a result, their populations have been hunted to dangerously low levels. They are protected throughout the US and you can’t target them, but you never know when one may just cross your path while you’re out fishing in Cape Canaveral.
Sharing Great Florida Coast stories from the Cape Winds Resort in Cape Canaveral,