There has been no retention of Goliath grouper allowed in Florida or federal waters since 1990, but Florida has decided to open a very limited season next year.

It appears that only 200 in the 2-3-foot range will be involved in a permit system. Originally known as jewfish, these shallow water giants held their own in the past even with no regulations at all before spear fishermen discovered their spawning areas where they were sitting ducks for power heads. Since the closing they’ve made a great comeback and are now considered to be a pest by many anglers as it’s become difficult to get any decent-sized grouper or snapper up from a wreck before a Goliath takes it first.

Though there’s a small craft warning up through tonight, the upcoming forecast is very good. Friday’s prediction is for northwest at 5-10 knots before turning southwest in the afternoon.

The Ocean Explorer from Belmar plans to sail for cod on Saturday.

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