Goliath grouper eating a black tip shark in one bite off the coast of Bonita Springs Florida. Young Atlantic goliath grouper may live in brackish estuaries, oyster beds, canals, and mangrove swamps, which is unusual behavior among groupers. They may reach extremely large sizes, growing to lengths up to 8.2 ft and can weigh as much as 790 pounds. The world record for a hook-and-line-captured specimen is 681 pounds caught off Fernandina Beach, Florida, in 1961. They are usually around 400 pounds when mature. Considered of fine food quality, Atlantic goliath grouper were a highly sought-after quarry for fishermen. The grouper’s inquisitive and generally fearless nature makes it a relatively easy prey for spear fishermen. They also tend to spawn in large aggregations, returning like clockwork to the same locations, making them particularly vulnerable to mass harvesting.