The 200-Pound Kayak Fishing Challenge

kayak angler pulling in a goliath grouper

Gene’s monster fish—almost as big as his kayak!

Bending Branches ProStaffers and pals, Gene Jensen and Chad Hoover, spent a day on the waters off the Florida coast to attempt to catch a Goliath grouper without falling out of their kayak.

Did they succeed?

This is certainly one of those unforgettable memories with friends. Watch Gene’s video from his Flukemaster channel:

The 200-Pound Kayak Fishing Challenge

Chad explains the challenge: “We’re going to try to be the first person to land a 200-plus pound Goliath grouper from the kayak without getting wet. The No-Wet-but-Sweat Goliath Grouper Challenge!”

They’re out with Chew On This guide service from Cape Coral, Florida. Before the two get into their kayaks, they watch another angler land his first Goliath grouper from the motor boat. This gives them a sense of the power of these mammoth fish. It also gave them a short how-to clinic on how to reel one of them in when their turn came from the kayak.

The captain explains, “Goliath grouper can pull up to three times their body weight.” That’s 600 pounds of pressure if you have a 200-pound fish on the line. The line they use, by the way, is 468-pound cable.

kayak angler reeling in a goliath grouper

A screenshot of Chad’s Goliath grouper—massive!

Goliath grouper are the largest of the grouper family, reaching up to 800 pounds. They’re mainly found in the warm shallow waters of coral and artificial reefs in the Gulf of Mexico, Florida, the Caribbean and further along South America. They’re also found in the east Atlantic off the coast of Africa.

It was on the endangered species list for many years after over-harvesting, then taken off in 2006 in some areas, including Florida.

Does Chad Hoover Land His Fish?

Once Chad got in his kayak it didn’t take long for him to get a bite. But it also didn’t take long before he was swimming! The fish stayed on, though, and Chad was able to climb back on his kayak and reel it in.

Watch his video from his Kayak Bass Fishing YouTube channel here:

Does Gene Jensen Land His Fish?

Gene admits, “I’ve never not wanted to catch a fish before!” He was scared. “I’ve never felt more vulnerable in my life. I just felt like I was bait out there. I always wondered what a shad felt like. I felt like I was about to get eaten.”

He fought well, though, and managed to land his fish (they guessed in the 250-pound range) without ending up in the water…that is until Chad dumped him over (See it for yourself by watching the first video above!).

Want More Kayak Fishing Videos?

Want to watch more kayak fishing videos? For tons of fishing stories, fishing tips and more, head over to Gene’s and Chad’s YouTube channels:

What paddle questions can we help you with today? Get in touch with our Wisconsin-based Customer Service Team: 715-755-3405 • [email protected]

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