Dustin Lester of Milbank went fishing and returned home with a real fish story. That fish tale has gone viral!
Dustin and his friend, Heather Cusack, traveled to Florida for a fishing trip to celebrate Dustin’s 29th birthday on November 4. As an avid fisherman, Dustin contracted a nearshore guided fishing tour with Andrew and Mallory Herzog of Big Bully Outdoors. The group headed out for a little Goliath Grouper fishing near the Boca Grande Pass along the Gulf of Mexico.
They spent a full day fishing and Dustin caught a red grouper, lane snapper, and yellowtail snapper. Then, everything changed. Dustin hooked a Goliath Grouper at approximately 1 p.m. According to Captain Andrew’s story on the Big Bully Outdoors website, the massive fish took Dustin’s line in and out of the bottom structure testing it’s 1,000 pound capacity. Suddenly, the fish yanked Dustin into the water. “I was mad and scared when I went overboard,” Dustin said. “But I was determined to get back up and reel it in.” That’s what he did. He got back into the boat. He never let go of the rod and continued to reel in the fish. “I was pretty shocked to see what was on the other end of the pole.” Everyone else was stunned. Dustin had reeled in a 7 foot and over 500-pound Goliath Grouper. “It was amazing. I had never even seen the ocean before, let alone fish there.”
The Goliath Grouper is the largest of the grouper family, and can reach up to 800 pounds. The species has been strictly catch- and-release in Florida since 1990. So, after basking in the glory and snapping a few photos, Dustin released the fish.
Big Bully Outdoors posted a video and story about the catch on their website, You Tube, and their Facebook page. The story has exploded. Dustin Skyped an interview with Good Morning America and also signed a release for the video and story to other news and media outlets including: The Weather Channel, NBS-2 News, Fox4 News, ABC News, Ridiculousness Grind TV, and UK News. “There were so many different news and radio stations that wanted to cover it. I don’t even know them all,” he noted. According to Dustin, the video and story might also air on the Ellen DeGeneres Show.
Photos and video courtesy of Big Bully Outdoors. Click play to watch the video.