A Texas man fishing about 35 miles off the coast of Louisiana reportedly hauled in the third largest grouper ever caught on a hand crank according to Louisiana records.
KETKNBC.com reported that Cullen Greer, 28, from Houston, caught the 6-foot, 6-inch, 297-pound Warsaw Grouper using small tuna as bait, after a 30-minute fight sometime in May.
Greer, who was on an overnight fishing trip out of Louisiana with business colleagues, was fishing near an oil rig and at first thought he was snagged early Saturday morning.
"I told the captain, "I think I'm stuck," he said. "He put a couple of cranks on it and said, 'Yeah, that's a fish."
The fish gave him a strong fight, but eventually ballooned and its massive dark body floated to the surface.
"It was unbelievable," he said. "Even though we were going for grouper, we had no idea what it was."
The fish is considered one of the largest groupers ever caught. According to the report, a 359.1-pound grouper was caught back in 2008.
Greer's catch needs to be verified by the Louisiana Outdoor Writers Association and would reportedly be the fifth-largest ever brought back to a Louisiana port.
The Warsaw Grouper is commonly found on the Gulf's rocky floor.
The crew used an external freezer once they hauled the fish onto the deck and headed back to the Louisiana dock. Greer said the fish had more meat on it than he could ever pack onto the plane home. So he distributed some of the meat to boat hands and the boat's captain.
"I'm getting married in a few weeks and I told my fiancee that we should use some of the meat at our ceremony," he said. "That didn't go over so well."
FOX 13 / WTVT-TV
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