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359lb Louisiana Grouper

Summary:
Email claims that attached photographs show a huge 359lb grouper caught by J.J. Tabor of Thibodaux, Louisiana (Full commentary below).



Status:
True

Example:(Submitted, February 2008)
Subject: 359lb Grouper

i dont think it would have lived anyway after the fight....and no way i would eat a fish that big and old! full of mercury!

Why would anyone want to kill a fish of this size???

Who would be in charge of skinning and cooking that thing

Medical student lands 359-lb grouper

The giant hauled in by J.J. Tabor of Thibodaux is 12 ounces above the previous Louisiana state record, a state biologist confirmed.

It's been cut down to fillets. The first fillet weighed 53 pounds, Tabor said. He caught it near an oil rig 70 miles south of Fourchon, in 400 feet of water. He won't give a more specific description.

Giant Grouper in Boat

Giant Grouper hanging with smaller fish





Commentary:
According to a message that is currently circulating via email, blog and forum posts, attached photographs show an exceptionally large grouper caught by J.J. Tabor of Thibodaux, Louisiana. As is usual with any photographs that depict unusual or exceptionally large creatures, some self-proclaimed experts have suggested that the grouper images have been "photoshopped".

However, in this case, the images are genuine and the information in the message is factual. An article on FOX19 Cincinnati notes:
A fisherman usually uses his hands to describe how big of a catch he's landed. J.J. Tabor would have to borrow every hand in his hometown of Thibodaux to describe the grouper he caught near an oil rig off the Louisiana coast, 70 miles south of Fourchon. It's taller than he is and weighs considerably more.

A state biologist confirms the fish is a warsaw grouper that weighed in at 359.1 pounds, just three-quarters of a pound above the old Louisiana state record for that type of fish.
The story is also confirmed by another article on the ABC7 News website. Tabor caught the giant Warsaw Grouper in November 2007.

Although unusual, grouper of that size are not unprecedented. The world record for a Warsaw Grouper is listed as a 436lb giant caught in Florida by Steve Haeusler in 1985.

References:
350 Pound Fish Caught In Louisiana
La. Medical Student Lands 359-Lb Grouper
Warsaw Grouper
Fishing World Records

Last updated: 28th February 2008
First published: 28th February 2008

Write-up by Brett M. Christensen

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