My first post here so hello all, hope everyone is having a great holiday season. I'm 24yrs old and work/live in MN. We fish a lot around MN(walleye, panfish etc..) and Lake Michigan(salmon trolling), and and my granparents in Southwest FL(grouper, kingfish etc).
Either way I have a question on a new tackle purchase. Just wondering if anyone has experience with gear for going after big goliath grouper(200-400lbs). We were out about 17 miles and stopped to tangle with some of them. Wow, hooked up twice with a TLD-20 and 6'XH rod, I had the drag locked down and thumbing as much as I could but there was no stopping that fish!
Either way after that we decided we definately need some gear more up to the task. I'm a big okuma fan as we have a bunch for great lakes salmon trolling, thinking the makaira 20 with a 50-80 or 60-130 roller guide rod? Planning on clamping down the drag all the way so more than 55lbs might be tough for just standup. A lot of guys are running 400lb main line with 400lb steel cable as a leader, any worry that you may break the rod with the reel at full drag like that? I haven't used big gear like this before so the help is much appreciated.
Zoinks! Them are BIG fish! The Okuma Makairas are GREAT reels and I am not familiar with this type of fishing, but I think that the 30 or the 50W would be more suitable reels due to the extra line capacity (you're using BIG line) and the cross bar frame (a LOT of stress on the frame). Also I think you'd want a XXH or XXXH rated rod for that type of fishing. Maybe a Seeker 3x5? Lot of lifting power and rod shuts off quick! Good luck and let us know when you land that beast!
I have seen a video by Capt Ben Chancey where he explains the equipment he is using. He has an Avet TRX 50w spooled with 400# mono. The drag is 100# at strike and 116# buttoned down. He's says in the video it's straight leader spooled on (I have no clue what he means). The rod he said he was using was a Penn Newport standup 30-80. He hooks and LANDS an est. 600# Goliath. The video shows him getting the rod on the edge of the gunwale and snaps the rod about a foot or two above the reelseat. The video is on Blip TV.
First of all, The goliath grouper is entirely protected from harvest and is recognized as a critically endangered species by the World Conservation Union (IUCN).That being said, I think a Seeker 3x5 with a Maraira SE or a T-rx in the 50 range should stop most anything.
I have an avet trx 50 topless it is a beast. I use it for sturgeon in the great lakes and out on long range trips. I have not had the oportunity to test the drag on cow tuna yet but this fall i hope to put it to the test. For the money the trx is well worth it i have taken mine apart once and avet has exellent construction.
Sorry haven't checked this thread in quite some time. I ended up going with a Makaira 20 reel and Makaira 40-100lb roller rod. Have made a couple trips and this seems to do the trick. Havent landed anything huge yet but a couple 50-100lb fish and one right around 200lbs were caught with this setup, pretty sweet reel!
Also Agate, they are protected from harvest in FL, but are not critically endangered. In fact they are debating on opening a season on them as there are on just about every reef and wreck, and local fisherman complain about them ruining spots by eating all the fish.. This last trip we were loosing every other fish to them at spots. I think they'll eventually have a tag system similar to deer hunting etc. One tag, one fish..
Plan on getting another Makaira as we plan on doing some nightime swording south of the Dry Tortugas, thinking either a 30 or 50..
I'm sure the season on GG will remain closed until tourists are eaten on the beaches. Maybe a slot would be the best solution. Recreational fisherman are more likely to release the larger and often worm infested fish. For swordfish go with the 50 IMHO. I often use an 80 spooled with mono for the stretch factor. Swords have soft mouths and 11-12lb drag settings are the norm.