southwest Florida

‘A Big Old Fish!’ 350-Pound Warsaw Grouper Caught in Southwest Fla.

Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission

A Florida fisherman’s gargantuan catch is reeling in a lot of chatter online.

“A big old fish!” the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation exclaimed on Facebook, next to a photo of the fisherman standing by the 350-pound Warsaw grouper.

A big old fish! This 350-lb Warsaw grouper was caught by hook-and-line on December 29th 2019, off Southwest Florida in...

Posted by FWC Fish and Wildlife Research Institute on Friday, January 10, 2020

The massive fish was caught by hook-and-line in Southwest Florida, according to the FWC. It’s estimated to be 50 years old, making it the oldest sample collected for the FWC’s program.

The grouper was caught in 600 feet of water, biologists said. Warsaw groupers are usually found in waters over 200 feet deep, although juveniles can be found inshore, around jetties and shallow-water reefs.

Warsaw groupers can grow up to 8 feet long and can weigh nearly 600 pounds. The biggest Warsaw grouper caught in the state weighed 436 pounds and was caught near Destin.

The FWC says they do not encourage the targeting of the Warsaw grouper since the status of the population is the Gulf is currently unknown.

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