January 31, 2013
KEY WEST, Fla. – Sure, it’s likely baseball star Mike Trout has some groupies. Now he has a grouper. A huge one.
Trout, the center fielder for the Los Angeles Angels and the 2012 American League Rookie of the Year, caught and released a huge goliath grouper while fishing off Key West this month.
Trout, an avid angler, was vacationing in the Florida Keys with his family and booked a trip on the Coolwater, skippered by Capt. Bill Wallace.
"After I picked him and his party up at the Casa Marina, I asked what they wanted to fish for," Wallace said. "They said they wanted something really big, so I decided to target goliath grouper."
Wallace ran the 32-foot SeaVee to a favorite wreck in the Gulf of Mexico, in 60 feet of water, about 25 miles west, northwest of Key West.
He butterflied a cero mackerel and rigged it to 50-pound-test conventional tackle.
It didn't take long for the big grouper to bite. After a 30-minute tussle, Trout was able to bring the fish to the boat where it was photographed and released.
Wallace estimated the fish weighed between 500 and 600 pounds.
"He did a great job with the fish on 50-pound-test tackle," Wallace said of Trout's angling prowess.
Ironically, Wallace had no idea of Trout's MLB baseball affiliation until three days after the trip.
"I saw a Major League Baseball wrist band on his forearm, but I thought he was just a college ball player because he looks so young," Wallace said. "But he's a real cool guy and he had a great time fishing."