Massive grouper caught off Florida described as ‘fish of a lifetime’

Massive grouper caught off Florida described as ‘fish of a lifetime’

Outdoors

Massive grouper caught off Florida described as ‘fish of a lifetime’

A Florida fisherman has reeled from the depths a monstrous grouper that he described as “a fish of a lifetime.”

“You have no idea how much that fish means to me,” Brandon Lee Van Horn, a longtime commercial fisherman, told the Panama City News Herald. “I will probably never catch another one that big ever again.”

Brandon Lee Van Horn (left) poses with giant Warsaw grouper. Photo courtesy of Van Horn

The Warsaw grouper weighed 330 pounds at the scale at Greg Abrams Seafood, and 313 pounds after it was gutted.

Van Horn was fishing in the Gulf of Mexico on Monday at a depth of 375 feet. He landed the grouper, with rod and reel, after a surprisingly short 25-minute fight.

RELATED: Florida divers commended for massive harvest of invasive lionfish

Deep-water groupers are valued for their tender white flesh. Van Horn told the News Herald that the flesh was already being processed by Greg Abrams Seafood.

Warsaw grouper weighed 313 pounds… after it was gutted. Photo: Brandon Lee Van Horn

Catches of such large Warsaw groupers are rare, but larger fish have been caught. The International Game Fish Assn. list as the world record a 436-pound, 12-ounce grouper caught off Destin, Fla., in 1985.

That’s also listed as the Florida state record.

The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission states that Warsaw groupers can attain weights of 500-plus pounds.

Van Horn, however, said the average weight for groupers he has caught is about 60 pounds.

Of the 330-pounder he said, “Definitely a fish of a lifetime.”

–Images are courtesy of Brandon Lee Van Horn

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