Also known as the Cod. The goliath grouper or itajara (Epinephelus itajara), also called "jewfish", is a large saltwater fish of the grouper family. Starting at 6:30 pm we will have a fascinating presentation by FWC Biologist Derek Cox. I caught this fish last week while fishing from the sea wall at South Seas Resort at Redfish Pass. Nassau Grouper. The florida record is a 680-pound goliath grouper If you find a five hundred pound Grouper at the end of your line you are going to be pretty sure it is the Goliath Grouper. You don't want to keep one by misidentifying it and get a hefty fine to ruin your day! Luckily, Goliath Grouper are strictly protected these days, and you can only fish for them on a catch-and-release basis. However, research now shows that the flesh of Goliath grouper is high in mercury content. Goliath grouper is the largest of the Atlantic groupers. Found singly over clear water lagoons and seaward reefs rich in coral growth. Their … This one wasn’t really a surprise at all. Assist scientists in assessing recovery. 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). A number of adult and juvenile goliath grouper have been tagged in research studies. World record: 38 lb, 8 oz – Bimini, Bahamas. Goliath grouper are everywhere now on the coast of southwest Florida. Another quick way to identify them from the other grouper is by their rounded pectoral and caudal (tail) fins. Even juvenile fish are demonstrating levels considered too high for consumption. We've caught lots of them under shady mangrove trees in southwest Florida, where Naples is the center of the goliath grouper universe. But it’s already unusually bigger than the common reef fish I see. Behavior of Goliath Grouper They feed on crustaceans and fish. Disappearing Goliath Groupers Goliath grouper are the largest species in the grouper family. The smaller tags used on juveniles are placed on the fish’s belly. The White-lined Grouper (Juvenile) is found in the Indo-Pacific region growing up to 65cm in length. Goliath grouper are marked on their sides, from head to tail, with a series of irregular dark brown vertical bars against a light brown or gray background. This giant can reach 800 pounds (455 kg) and over 8 feet (2 meters) in length. Its range includes the Florida Keys in the US, the Bahamas, most of the Caribbean and most of the Brazilian coast. But what if it is a juvenile Goliath Grouper? He will be talking about the habitat use and movement patterns of Juvenile Goliath Grouper in the Southeastern Florida which will increase our knowledge and understanding of the species in the future. Knowing how to identify them will save you a lot of headache in the long run. This is a fine specimen of a juvenile goliath grouper. Nassau Grouper aren’t the biggest fish on this list. They’re not the tastiest or the most colorful, either. Historically, fishermen loved to catch goliath grouper as they were considered to be of fine food quality. Goliath grouper: Formerly called "jewfish" or (even earlier) "junefish", these guys grow to about 800 pounds, yet inhabit depths of only 12 feet or so, on occasion. Adult tags are placed on the fish’s back. Probably, I am lucky that the Goliath grouper (Epinephelus quinquefasciatus) I encountered several minutes when I plunged into the water was still a juvenile.