400lb, 7-Foot Grouper Smashes Record – See The Photos

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Team Double Nickel, a group of seven fishermen competing in the Sarasota Slam fishing tournament drug in an impressive 400-pound warsaw grouper this year and set a new record.

The warsaw was caught on August 6th in 660 feet of water off the coast of Sarasota, Florida. It stretched 88 inches across and Captain Nick Froelich said it was all his team could do to get the monster into the boat.

“It took all seven of us to get it over the gunwale,” Froelich told the Bradenton Herald. “We had gaffs and ropes all over. The boat was listing at the weight of the fish as well. When it finally hit the deck, we couldn’t believe it.”

According to the International Game Fish Association (IGFA), the fish was only 36 pounds short of the IGFA world record. Team Double Nickel said they caught the fish in just under an hour with a bonita on a 16/0 hook attached to a 300-pound test leader and 200-pound line.

“Right when the bait hit the bottom it was eaten,” Froelich said. “Joe Scaraville was on the rod and played a lot of drag at the beginning. We had to pull that fish off the structure and once it was off we could back off the drag a bit. As soon as it was hooked, we knew it was a big fish.” 

Team Double Nickel won first place in the tournament while Team Knot Waste came in second place with a 320-pound Warsaw grouper which also beat the previous record and earned them 2nd place in the offshore division.

Froelich said he suspects the Gulf holds even larger specimens than the ones caught, “There are absolutely bigger Warsaw grouper out there. There are some that have to be absolutely crazy, 600 pounds or more,” he said.

Watch Other Fishermen Catch A Warsaw Below