If Jon Black was to tell his big fish story in the days before cell phone cameras, no one would believe him. But thankfully, he does, proving that he did indeed catch a 552-pound grouper.
What’s even more incredible is that the 552-pound creature was captured while he was in his kayak.
“I thought he was going to kill me,” the Cape Coral, Fla. man said, according to GrindTV.
The grouper – which was released back into the wild as per law – was 83 inches long and 73 inches wide, according to WPTV. So, the likelihood of the gigantic brute actually dragging Jon underwater was pretty high.
Black, who owns the Crazy Lure Tackle Shop, believes his catch is “the largest bottom fish ever (caught) from a kayak,” but there’s no real way to prove it. According to the Daily Mail, the records on this brand of fishing are unofficial. The biggest unofficial catch was 39 inches, but the official all-tackle world record for biggest grouper is 680 pounds. That one was captured in 1961 off the coast of Florida.
In the brief video, the struggle between Black and the 552 pound behemoth is underway. He’s bracing himself as his bent fishing pole is being tugged at violently by an unknown force in the water.
He pulls back the pole, something yanks back. He braces his legs against the kayak and tugs again. People scream encouragement, amazement, and maybe a little bit of fear. The fisherman yanks and grunts again, the hidden monster giving him a brutal fight.
At one point, his pole actually breaks from the struggle, Fox17 added.
“He broke the rod!” he screamed. “Oh Jesus! Holy Cow!”
And then suddenly, the beast emerges at the end of the line to calls of “yeah baby!” and “holy crap!” When the audience gets a look at the fish, defeated for the moment and floating just under the surface of the water, whoops and hollers fill the air, mostly from the man who can claim the victory.
But the fish isn’t exactly ready to give up. Clearly ticked, it whips its fin, sending out a massive splash.
Luckily for the grouper, he wasn’t going home with Jon to be filleted and pan-fried in butter. In Florida, he’s protected from such a fate and was guided to shore to get its impressive measurements, then sent on its way.
The biggest groupers usually only grow to about 400 pounds and are found in shallow tropical waters near coral and reefs, which makes this 552 pound beast quite a remarkable story.
[Photo Courtesy YouTube Screengrab]