How To:

How To Catch Goliath Grouper

Author: Albert Acosta

Goliath Grouper
Beast in the Gulf

How to Catch Goliath Grouper!!

So this is part two of the Summertime Backcountry Fishing trip I had a few weeks ago. We already had some great snook action and now we were going after the big boys. The Goliath grouper is one of my favorite saltwater backcountry fish to go after. From the first time I ever saw one of these majestic beasts I was in awe. They are a magnificent powerful beast but beautiful at the same time. I have engaged these fish in combat many times...yes combat! This is not your regular fishing...this can be dangerous and will punish your tackle, gear and your body. Let me rate this fish for you on a scale of 1-10 ...10 being the highest in a few areas. Let’s start with Power ...20.....Strength 20....Ferociousness 20...Hunger 20....Stamina...20...Intelligence...8..ok they are not that smart but their brute force makes up for the brain department. So you get my idea these fish do not mess around and you need to be physically and mentally ready for what you get into. Let’s start with your tackle. I am using a very light set up for going after Goliath grouper. I am using a Penn International 16VS 2 speed on a St Croix 6’”6 Fiberglass rod I picked up at a garage sale. The rod is from the late 70’s...this rod is like trying to bend a telephone pole. The rod is rated for 80lb line . I loaded the Penn International 16 VS with Bullbuster 100lb mono attached to a Bullbuster swivel that is 600lb rated then a Bullbuster grander 300lb leader about 10’ long attached to a 10.0 Owner circle hook.

Bullbuster Goliath Tackle
Goliath Tackle

Bullbuster Ready for Action
Penn International 16VS Loaded with Bullbuster 100lb Mono

Now as far as bait is concerned they love big live bait...I mean like big baits 3-8 lb jacks, bluerunners, lookdowns and ladyfish. They also eat a big chunk of dead bait as well. On this day I was using big live bait. I call this rod/reel set up “DoomsDay”. Now listen to what I am saying man...this is light tackle for these fish. My set up is no match for the God Tier Goliaths. Will talk about these guys later. When I attach the hook to the Bullbuster 300lb mono I like to use a snell knot. This knot is very good for big game fish and is very strong.

Hook for a Giant
Snell Knot

So now that you have a good description of my set up I use for Goliath’s lets get back to the fishing that day shall we. Jorge, Luis and I saw an entire squad of these Goliath under my boat...they were big and hungry. I grabbed “DoomsDay” and raised him high into the sky and said a prayer...The Goliath Prayer. Oh you never heard of the Goliath Prayer...well it goes something like this.....Oh god almighty as I embark into battle with the Goliath demon please guide my reel, fishing line, and my body to glory...and please almighty do not let the demon Goliath drag me down under straight to his underwater lair for all eternity amen. Lol...yes its real...this fish can drag you into the water if you are not ready and paying attention to what the fish and your gear is doing during this fight. So I gabbed DoomsDay and opened the live well and selected my bait...a nice Lookdown. They love these fish and find it very hard to resist. I hooked the unlucky terrified bait and tossed him in the water. 

The Goliaths Were Frantic Trying To Grab The Terrified Bait!

But they were very cautious....they new something was not right. They are smart...but their hunger overrides their brain...and one of the big Goliaths we nicknamed a while back Invictus swallowed the poor helpless bait...the battle was on! I set the hook true and deep into this monster Goliath and the Goliath went was him or me one of of us was either going into the water or coming boatside. The Goliath made a dash for the rocks that are near by and I knew if he made it there I was done so I locked the drag and held on for dear life! The St Croix rod and Bullbuster mono and leader were stretching to their limits but they held....the rod was bent in a U and I was holding on with all my might with the butt of the rod deep into my side. See when I found this rod in a garage sale I knew it would be great for one thing...Goliaths...I said one day this is going to come in handy...a Goliath Slayer. So the rod was holding but I was barley holding on as the Goliath tossed me around the boat trying to get away. He turned and made a dash for the other side of the boat and after about 25 minutes I was wearing arms and back could not hold on anymore....DoomsDay was in danger of being sucked down into the depths with Invictus. I had to make the decision to hand the fight over to Luis or Jorge. Jorge and Luis looked at each other and saw what I was going through and they decided Jorge would take the fight over. Luis had never seen or fought one of these beast before so he wanted to see it first and see what this was about. Jorge grabbed DoomsDay and held it like Thor’s hammer and fought Invictus hard. Invictus knew he was in trouble and made a few hard powerful runs for the rocks but Jorge held fast....soon we could see some color and Jorge raised  the powerful Goliath to the was Invictus! 

Jorge with Goliath
Invictus the Goliath on Bullbuster 100lb Mono and 300lb Grander Leader

He was not happy and made another dash to try to get away but it was not his day...we had him. We brought him boatside and grabbed the Bullbuster 300lb leader. The leader was in was torn up everywhere and cut up from Invictus’s fins and spikes and the rocks below....but the Bullbuster 100lb mono and 300lb leader held on! That Bullbuster fishing line is some seriously strong abrasion resistant fishing doubt about it. Once we had Invictus subdued we all took pictures with this beautiful powerful fish and then gave it a few good pats and set it free. 

Goliath Boatside
Albert with Goliath

Invictus swam back to his lair knowing he was beaten this day...we tagged teamed him and brought him in. Jorge and I were tired it is no joke fighting and landing these fish...if you have never done it you have to try it one day so you can see what it is all about. Here is a short video from that day so you can see some of the action.

Remember the tackle set up I am using is for shallow water from a boat and I know what size Goliaths are in that area..about 50lb to 350lb I have a fighting chance. If you want to go after 300lb plus goliaths you need a different set up...minimum I would suggest would be a 50-80 wide reel with at least 200lb braid and a very good rod. This is without question what you would need for the God Tier Goliaths. We had a great day and had snook, Spanish Mack’s, trout, jacks, Cobia, shark, and Goliath action all day. We were tired but very happy for the great fishing day. Remember Spend More Time Fishing and order your fishing lines and tackle at I hope my article helps you catch more fish now get out there and go get some Goliaths. Remember these fish are protected and must be released unharmed and taking them out of the water is prohibited...lets keep them safe for others to enjoy. Take care. 

We Help Millions Of Anglers Spend More Time Fishing

We hope that you enjoyed this article on the Bullbuster Community.  It is our mission to help millions of anglers spend more time fishing and that starts with YOU!

Tour Our Factory Below

Buy Your Fishing Line Brand Direct Online Now!