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Old 07-12-2018, 07:25 AM   #1
Eibwen
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Goliath Rodeo

Went out yesterday with Bonedaddio. We started out in around 45-50' which had decent vis (in the morning). Some nice sized gags and other smaller assorted fish (we couldn't find a legal hog though).

The reef wasn't very big but it had an enormous goliath grouper that called it home. I came side to side with it and it was at least as long as me (6ft).

Unfortunately both of us got some nice gags snatched by the goliath. She (assuming goliath is female) was somewhere behind/to the side of me and within a second of when I shot a nice gag the goliath had closed the distance and sucked the gag into its mouth along with 1/2 the spear at which point she took off and started head shaking every so often trying to dislodge the spear from the fish. After taking a nice drag behind the goliath for awhile it managed to tear the flopper through the gag and my spear came free. The spear was bent up pretty good the first 8 - 10 inches or so up the tip.

First experience with a goliath this big. Lesson learned when it comes to spearing anywhere close to one.

In the mid-late afternoon the current became extremely strong and vis dropped to piss poor all the way down to the bottom.

As an additional personal note on last dive I got swept a decent way behind the boat during my safety stop (despite swimming against the current the entire time) and had a tough time making it back to the boat. I'll be purchasing a PLB and maybe a few other things (dye packs, etc) to carry on me while diving.
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Old 07-12-2018, 11:57 AM   #2
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Re: Goliath Rodeo

Yeah, you’ve got to watch those thieving bastards! They can be worse than the sharks. We have some spots that we don’t even dive any more because the goliaths are so thick.
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Old 07-12-2018, 05:20 PM   #3
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Re: Goliath Rodeo

Yep, those "THUGS" are getting more bold at mugging speared fish on some of the reefs. I saw a posted video where a THUG sneaked up behind the blind side of a free diver. Soon as the diver speared a fish. The THUG darted past the diver and stole his fish.
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Old 07-12-2018, 05:33 PM   #4
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Re: Goliath Rodeo

Anybody have any proven ways to run them off without killing them? I've punched them, jabbed them and they don't seem to give a shit.
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Old 07-12-2018, 05:47 PM   #5
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Re: Goliath Rodeo

Quote:
Originally Posted by chawk25 View Post
Anybody have any proven ways to run them off without killing them? I've punched them, jabbed them and they don't seem to give a shit.
Bondaddio tried his best to move the goliath away from where he was to no avail.

Once they get big enough I imagine they don't have fear of anything. Certainly they don't fear spearo's at all.

If they open up tags there is going to be some retribution meted out although that seems unlikely to happen based on what I've read.
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Old 07-12-2018, 09:17 PM   #6
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Re: Goliath Rodeo

Quote:
Originally Posted by chawk25 View Post
Anybody have any proven ways to run them off without killing them? I've punched them, jabbed them and they don't seem to give a shit.
True that. You can at least jab a big nurse in the snout and they'll run...these thug don't aren't affected by such. They'll just chew up your spear w/o even thinking about it. I remember a Moose tale whereby one grab his leg and drug him thru a wreck. I give them more respect than most anything out there...bastards. You've got to avoid feeding them though lest you encourage their thugishness.
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Old 07-13-2018, 04:48 AM   #7
grey2112
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Re: Goliath Rodeo

I've been lucky and never had one do any of that to me - I make sure of my surroundings and don't spear too near them. I also clip my stringer to my BC. Some people I know leave their stringer with fish on the bottom and move away to go get fish - then the goliaths move in for the stringer.

As to your other issue of drifting - this is why we no longer anchor. We have someone up top following bubbles and then goes and picks up the diver when they surface.
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Old 07-13-2018, 08:48 PM   #8
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Re: Goliath Rodeo

Tick, tick, tick....clock ticking now since Eric/grey cursed himself. It's just a matter of time with how much you dive based off of how much I see you post!

They are ambush predators. Last two times they grabbed fish from me I never saw them before they erupted from underneath a ledge!

I hope your luck holds up, but I'd say it'll happen. You just get immediately pissed, but nothing you can do about it.
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Old 07-13-2018, 09:01 PM   #9
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Re: Goliath Rodeo

Knew a diver out of Crystal River that had his wife save his life by pulling him up onto their boat. A huge Jewish kept attaching him, broke several ribs in the process. Best to keep a weather eye on all of them. Can't wait for the time when we can harvest a few.
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Old 07-14-2018, 08:18 AM   #10
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Re: Goliath Rodeo

As I mentioned in a post on another thread, I was recently freedive spearing in a location that probably gets little spearfishing and diving pressure. I shot 2-3 lb snappers right under the nose of adult GG- and they showed ZERO interest.

A huge difference from many of the well trained ones I have dealt with elsewhere which are literally coming up off the wrecks to meet a freediver in the water column during their initial descent; they are clearly stalking the freediver's fish.

I suppose if they can be trained to take fish, they may be able to be trained to do otherwise. It is not so unusual to see jewfish with a little white mark on the head- and to be honest, these ones seem to be much less interested in me.

The State of Florida has made it very clear that they are NOT going to open up even a very limited fishery for these fish. Hundreds of thousands of dollars (i'm sure) were spent studying this option in the last year, and the decision was to "go with the tree huggers" so to speak.
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Old 07-14-2018, 01:22 PM   #11
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Re: Goliath Rodeo

I care not to give up my dominion. I make a very reluctant victim.
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Old 07-14-2018, 04:10 PM   #12
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Re: Goliath Rodeo

In the 20 or so years that i've been diving their behavior has changed. My dad dove the same areas but was allowed to shoot them and he says a lot of times they'd leave the area when a diver came in and swim off into the sand. These are all mostly small ledges and rock piles. For many years there just weren't many GG around these areas but now they seem to be on most of them. I've never lost a stringer to anything but try an stop one of these guys from taking a fish you shoot 10ft off an tell me how that goes. Bastards are faster than you think.
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Old 07-14-2018, 05:08 PM   #13
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Re: Goliath Rodeo

Act like a door mat, get treated like one. If it was up to the PC tree huggers, we'd all be dead. They place the life of anything above yours. I'd wish they'd stop being so hypocritical and just stop breathing.
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Old 07-15-2018, 03:44 PM   #14
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Re: Goliath Rodeo

My philosophy is, "What happens underwater stays underwater." If I feel threatened . . . . well, let's just say it won't end well for what is threatening me.
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Old 07-15-2018, 04:27 PM   #15
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Re: Goliath Rodeo

Agree with all the replies and insights above.
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