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Pic: 250-pound fish caught by Florida teenager

The Matanzas River and Bridge of Lions in St. Augustine, Florida. (Kevin Ruck/Dreamstime/TNS)
February 09, 2024

A 250-pound goliath grouper was caught last Saturday by a 17-year-old high schooler at Turtle Beach in Sarasota, Florida.

Fox 13 Tampa Bay reported that 17-year-old Isaac Francis, a junior at Riverview High School, caught a goliath grouper weighing almost 250 pounds at Turtle Beach in Sarasota while fishing with his friends. The teenager’s father, Stu Francis, confirmed the catch to Fox 13 Tampa Bay.

While Stu Francis told Fox 13 Tampa Bay that his son’s goliath grouper catch was “lucky,” he gave credit to his son’s fishing skills and many years of fishing experience. Stu Francis explained that his son has been an avid fisherman since he was young.

Fox 13 Tampa Bay also noted that Isaac Francis had help from several of his friends from Riverview High School as he brought the fish in on Saturday.

Fox News shared a picture of the 250-pound goliath grouper in a post on X, formerly Twitter, showcasing Isaac Francis with his enormous catch.

According to the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s website, goliath grouper fish must be “immediately released alive, unharmed, and with proper fish handling techniques” when captured.

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The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission also warns fishermen from removing goliath grouper from the water since “the skeletal structure of a large goliath grouper cannot support its weight out of the water and if brought aboard a vessel or removed from the water, the fish may sustain fatal injuries.”

The goliath grouper was previously called the “jewfish” and is known as “a giant of the grouper family.” The fish has brown or yellow patterns with black spots on its fins and head.

While Isaac Francis’s recent 250-pound catch was an impressive fishing achievement, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s record remains a 680-pound goliath grouper that was caught near Fernandina Beach in 1961.