Late every summer Goliath Groupers start meeting up off the coast of Palm Beach to do their thing. The meet in mass to find the mate, or mates. I have been doing some reading on this and am making this a TO DO this year. From what I hear, they like a BIG party!
Goliath grouper is the largest of the western north Atlantic groupers. They reach about 800lbs and can be over 2 meters in length. They have a big broad head, round tail, small beady eyes and short dorsal fins. All the ones I have seen look like rubble in coloring. They have been brownish yellow with darker spots or greenish gray with spots. A mature fish is about 5 or 6 years old and is approximately 1 meter in length. Some adults have lived to 37 years! They are found in the warmer waters off Florida both in the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico. I have seen many of the beasts in the keys. They are also found in Caribbean and off the coast of Brazil. Most of the adult population is found off shallow reefs. The form large spawning groups called “aggregations” at regular sites from West Palm to Boynton Beach in those shallow reefs with deep rock ledges from late July to end of September.
When they have mate, the eggs have a larval time of about 6 weeks. These eggs settle in a shallow mangrove in the mangrove leaf bitter first and then in amongst the mangrove roots. The juvies stay there for 5-65 years and then make their way to the shallow reefs off shore.
I found a few sites like the Shipwreck of Castor in Boynton and Mispah off Singer Island are good spots to meet and greet these colossal beauties.
In a single dive, it is possible to see more than 50 of these monster sized Goliath Groupers, lazing around the shipwreck, or trying to get lucky. Divers have reported seeing more than 50 of these big guys and gals in a dive!
Goliath Groupers are now a protected species and fishermen are unable to harvest them when they are at their weakest or least attentive. I have been blessed several dives to see these creatures from Key West to Lauderdale by the Sea. I have even seen them snorkeling and they are amazing fish. To me, they look like big dinosaurs. I will be posting some places to stay and dive with over the next couple weeks. I am thinking this may be a nice anniversary surprise for the hubby.
You can only see these guys from now to end of September, Mid October at latest so be sure to put it on your list now.
The Hilton on Singer Island for $99 night for divers going to the Mispah
The Delray Beach Marriott for $120 night for Castor site. This is a 4star hotel with dive resort amenities.
out of Boynton (561)577-3326. I am liking the sounds of this. It is a 6pack boat 34′.
728 Casa Loma Blvd, slip #13
Boynton Beach, Fl. 33435
Exit 57, Boynton Beach Blvd. Go East as far as you can go. The road will make a right turn around some brand new high-rise condominiums, and you will find yourself in the Boynton Beach Marina. The Explorer is located in slip #13.
Charter only, 2 tank $65
Charter only, 3 tank plus lunch $90
Charter only, 1 tank night dive $55
Charter only, 2 tank night dive $70