I have been down to Florida for quite a few years and have been chasing the goliath grouper a few times. Last year I got one that went about 100 pounds but couldn't get the ONE that I have been after. Each time I have been out with Captain George Howell in the Fort Myers, FL area. He knows where these fish are and how to catch them. Not only the goliath grouper but really any species in the area (tarpon, reds, snook, shark, etc.)
Well...Friday 6/8/12, everything was aligned to get the job done!
We started fishing for some jacks for bait but couldn't get one landed so we decided to go for some catfish to use as bait. Right at the end of catching some catfish I caught a juvenile goliath grouper weighing about 5 pounds. We then went to the bridges between Sanibel Island and Fort Myers. We got many bites but just couldn't get a hook in one. Finally we got one to bite but again was only about 75 pounds. We caught it on a sail catfish that weighed about 5-7 pounds. It was the largest bait we had and decided to put it right back on the hook and go after another one.
Not too long after we got another goliath on the end of the rod. This one was a bit more in weight at around 120-130 pounds and put a much better fight. George still wasn't happy with this fish and asked if we still wanted to go after another one since the bite had picked up. The wife/son wasn't too happy with my decision making as I said YES.
Went to one piling under the bridge support in about 12 feet of water. We had been using his Humminbird 898 to look under the pilings to see if there were any down there. On this piling we just winged it since the other three pilings had fish hanging on them and we had action from each one. One bite and off...drop right back down and another quick bite and off. Captain George backed away and reset the boat to get a better angle as he moved closer to the piling and it didn't take long for the fish to bite. We estimated her at 350#. It was caught on a 7'6" XH Migizi trolling rod with the shrink wrap handle. Enjoy the video and I will have more video and pics to come. http://youtu.be/_1eRJFyp0HA