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Florida Man Fishing in Kayak Reels In Massive, 552-Pound Goliath Grouper

A Cape Coral man on a kayak made quite the memorable catch last week when he reeled in a massive, 552-pound goliath grouper.

Jonathan Black, who owns Crazy Lure Bait & Tackle Shop, was fishing with Capt. Ben Chancey in Sanibel on May 20, when he hooked the fish and was nearly knocked off his kayak.

Chancey, who hosts the fishing show “Chew On This,” posted video of the catch — and Black's colorful reaction — on YouTube, where it has racked up more than 235,000 views since Tuesday. 

He told Stuart Magazine “he had a feeling” the clip would be well-received. Turns out, he was right on the money: He says he’s already fielded calls from ESPN, CBS, NBC, Fox and even news outlets in Norway that were interested in the footage. 

Chancey and Black are actually good friends who have been fishing together for a while. (In fact, he was previously featured in a video titled ”Grouper Slaps Guy in the Face,” one Chancey was all too happy to bring up.) On the day of the catch, Chancey says he caught a goliath grouper that was about 325 pounds. Black went out into the water next, and after missing six or seven fish, he caught hold of the monstrous grouper that eventually broke the rod. 

“They fight as hard as they possibly can, and then they can’t anymore,” Chancey says, adding that the battles often last about five minutes. 

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, goliath groupers are usually found near docks and can weigh up to 800 pounds. However, they are protected and must be released back into the water — a rule that Chancey's perfectly OK with.

“[It] is great because I get to catch them over and over again,” he says.

Soon, Chancey will be off to Stuart, where he rents a condo for July and August and offers fishing charters. The groupers there are huge, he says, and it’s where he’s made some of his biggest catches. 

As for skeptics who say the video is staged or fake, Chancey says the full-length clip should clear up any questions.