With an ongoing theme of Grouper! this month, I spent some time — well, okay, I confess, a lot of time — surfing YouTube. I found eight videos I felt were worth sharing. Most show grouper in situ, though one shows anglers boating a fish. (Video of fishing for grouper — not known for aerial acrobatics or as sight-casting targets — is not generally terribly exciting: rod bends hard over, angler grunts and wheezes, eventually grouper is gaffed and pulled aboard.) But anyone who shares my passion for this globally ubiquitous group of fishes should enjoy these eight videos.
Big Grouper Steals Spearfisher’s Catch!
This remarkable half-minute video went viral last year and not surprisingly. Although widely labeled a goliath grouper, anyone who knows his grouper will see right off that the pattern is all wrong to be a goliath; this grouper is longer and sleeker. It’s what’s known as a potato cod or potato grouper from the Indo-Pacific, and like the goliath, one of the world’s biggest groupers. This short video really demonstrates the lightning speed of a short-range attack of which groupers are capable. Given the short but abrasive teeth that line a potato cod’s jaws, this diver is lucky to have come away without serious injuries. Once you’ve watched this, compare it with the next video.
Big Grouper Plays Nicely
Potato cod, part 2: The huge potato cod shown here acts in a much more civilized manner! That’s certainly a good thing for those feeding it. (Four minutes)
Fascinating Grouper Moon
“Grouper Moon” Part 1 offers an in-depth examination of the spawning aggregations and life history of Nassau grouper in the Cayman Islands, as well as new management approaches to protect the highly vulnerable fish when they gather during the spring “grouper moon.” It’s full of stunning footage of big Nassaus in their spawning colors and offers a wealth of insight into the species. (approx 12 minutes)
The Quest for a Big Warsaw
An entertaining, four and one-half minute chronicle of the quest for a big Warsaw grouper by a group of northern Gulf of Mexico anglers.
Coral trout are in fact a species of grouper widespread throughout the Indo-Pacific. They are arguably the most aggressive of groupers, preferring fairly shallow reefs and seldom reluctant to rush to the surface to clobber big poppers. Here is about a minute-and-a-half’s worth of underwater footage showing some very big, impressive and beautiful coral trout on the Great Barrier Reef of Australia.
Grouper 1, Diver 0 in Wrestling Match
Noodling catfish is sport for some, bizarre to many. But if noodling is bizarre, this is just plain nuts, and shows the stupidity of, in effect, sticking your hand into the mouth of a grouper that, while not 1,000 pounds, is probably several hundred. The half-minute video says “diver attacked” but the way I see it, Mr. Grouper was in his home minding his own business when some guy came along and jammed his arm down the fish’s mouth.
Grouper Chases Down a Tuna
For those who perceive grouper as slow bottom feeders, watch this onr-minute, 40-second video of a grouper chasing down an angler’s tuna.
Dance of the Dusky Grouper
Finally, I enjoyed watching and listening to this rather elegant one-and-one-half-minute video of dusky grouper, a wonderful fish found in the Mediterranean, off western Africa and Brazil (and which I’ve caught south of Rio de Janeiro). Watch for the Hoovering in of a hapless, small reef dweller at about 58 seconds — almost too quick for the eye to follow.