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Florida Jewfish (Goliath Grouper) taken on beach

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Here is a picture of a Jewfish taken in northeast Florida.

 

 

These guy's estimated the size at approx 500lbs. with a length of 84" and girth at 70".

 

 

They were using Jack/Bonito fillet and 20/0 circle hooks and would paddle the bait out via Kayak.

 

 

The fish was released but I wonder if it would be edible (of course assuming the federal ban on taking them was lifted)?

 

 

 

 

525

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Gami,

 

What is the difference between a Jewfish and a Grouper. And I thought you could only catch them (except for the GAG Groupers) in deeper water around wrecks/structure. Didn't know you could get them from the surf.

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The anglers would not disclose the "exact" location of the catch.

 

I can see why.biggrin.gif

 

They fish for these Grouper like you would from a boat - wearing a harness and gimbel. The picture looks to be a Penn conventional, maybe 6/0.

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Gami,

 

What is the difference between a Jewfish and a Grouper. And I thought you could only catch them (except for the GAG Groupers) in deeper water around wrecks/structure. Didn't know you could get them from the surf.

 

Jewfish are actually more closely related to seabass than groupers. If you look at the tail, it is rounded as opposed to pointed tips. They inhabit waters from the mangroves out to the reefs and a bit beyond. That being said, a lot of grouper come into shallow water and can be caught from the bridges in some areas.

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Jewfish is aka Goliath Grouper, correct? Are these things federally protected or not? I always thought they were, yet you always see spearfishman with them in photos.

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Jewfish is aka Goliath Grouper, correct? Are these things federally protected or not? I always thought they were, yet you always see spearfishman with them in photos.

 

 

The Federal ban on taking Jewfish has been in place since 1990. I do not know how far out the federal waters go, but maybe the pictures you saw were in other parts of the world where the taking of the fish is allowed, or, you are looking at divers who have speared other species of Grouper, i.e. Gag Grouper. They could also be old pictures (pre 1990) or maybe they were flaunting the law.

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Jewfish are actually more closely related to seabass than groupers. If you look at the tail, it is rounded as opposed to pointed tips. They inhabit waters from the mangroves out to the reefs and a bit beyond. That being said, a lot of grouper come into shallow water and can be caught from the bridges in some areas.

 

 

From what I was taught (did much research on the subject) while in Florida, was that it was the largest of the Grouper family. This of course doesn't mean that was totally correct smile.gif I lived in the Homosassa/Crystal River area for 7 years, and as far as them coming in shallow, it was amazing. We were catching babies (75-100lbs) while out fishing for Specks and Reds in less than 15 feet of water (not with the same gear wink.gif ). Now admittedly, the area was a smorgasbord of species due to all the spring fed rivers in the area, but our occasional excursions out for Gags was 20 miles, on a short trip. The Grouper, in general was the only fish I've ever sought, that 80lb equipment, I considered myself underguned biggrin.gif

 

As far as the Jewfish family tree, so to speak, I'm definitely no expert, just what I've heard or read. The short article below speaks of Giant Sea Bass, being called Jewfish in some places.

 

I'm aware of the origin of that photo, and it was caught, along with quite a few more, in NE Florida. My main comment, is everything about them is fun, from the catching techniques, the battle, to the table (Gags only here). One fish I defiantly miss persuing..... HappyWave.gif

 

JEWFISH

 

Jewfish are giant members of the grouper family, found especially on the Atlantic Coast of tropical America. The may attain a length of 8 feet and a weight of over 700 pounds. The Giant Sea Bass of the Pacific Ocean is sometimes called jewfish.

Jewfish are one of the fish that are likely to be contaminated with Ciguatoxin.

The largest Jewfish weighed 680 pounds and was caught in Fernandina Beach, Florida on May 20, 1961.

 

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from fishbase

 

More info | Plus d'info | Mais info | Fishwatchers: Add your observation | Attach your web site to this page | FishBase English | Español | Português | Français | Deutsch | Italiano | Nederlands | Chinese | More Languages... Epinephelus itajara

Itajara

Epinephelus itajara (Lichtenstein, 1822) Family: Serranidae (Sea basses: groupers and fairy basslets), subfamily: Epinephelinae picture (Epita_u2.jpg) by Bertoncini, A.A.

tn_Epita_u2.jpg

speaker.gif AquaMaps | Point map Order: Perciformes (perch-likes) Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) FishBase name: ItajaraMax. size: 250 cm TL (male/unsexed; Ref. 26550); max. published weight: 455.0 kg (Ref. 4841); max. reported age: 37 years Environment: reef-associated; brackish; marine; depth range - 100 m Climate: subtropical; 36°N - 7°S, 121°w - 12°eImportance: fisheries: minor commercial; gamefish: yes Resilience: Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (K=0.13; tm=5.5-6.5)Distribution:

Gazetteer Western Atlantic: Florida, USA to southern Brazil, including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean. Eastern Atlantic: Senegal to Congo (reported as Epinephelus esonue, Ref. 2739, 6809); rare in Canary Islands (Ref. 6808). Eastern Pacific: Gulf of California to Peru. Morphology: Dorsal spines (total): 11 - 11; Dorsal soft rays (total): 15 - 16; Anal spines: 3; Anal soft rays: 8. Head long. Opercle with 3 flat spines, middle one the largest. Pelvic fins smaller than the pectorals. Bases of soft dorsal and anal fins covered with scales and thick skin. Juveniles tawny with irregular vertical bands. Biology: A solitary species (Ref. 26340) occurring in shallow, inshore areas. Found on rock, coral, or mud bottoms (Ref. 5217). Juveniles found in mangrove areas and brackish estuaries (Ref. 5217). Large adults may be found in estuaries (Ref. 5217). Adults appear to occupy limited home ranges with little inter-reef movement. Feeds primarily on crustaceans, particularly spiny lobsters as well as turtles and fishes, including stingrays. Territorial near it's refuge cave or wreck where it may show a threat display with open mouth and quivering body. Larger individuals have been known to stalk and attempt to eat divers. Over-fished, primarily by spear fishing (Ref. 9710). Marketed fresh and salted. Meat is of excellent quality. Important game fish (Ref. 9342). Reported to reach weights of more than 315 kg (Ref. 26938). Red List Status: Critically Endangered (CR) (A1d+2d), 01-Aug-1996, IUCN Grouper and Wrasse Specialist Group (Ref. 53964) Dangerous: traumatogenic , Halstead, B.W.. 1980 Coordinator: Heemstra, Phillip C. Main Ref: Heemstra, P.C. and J.E. Randall. 1993. (Ref. 5222)

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WD, seabass and grouper are closely related. The jewfish has more scientific similarites to the seabass side of the equation. We're comparing oranges to tangerines. wink.gif

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Gami,

 

What is the difference between a Jewfish and a Grouper. And I thought you could only catch them (except for the GAG Groupers) in deeper water around wrecks/structure. Didn't know you could get them from the surf.

 

A Goliath Grouper is the PC version of a Jewfish

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