It is the catch of a lifetime, and the lure? Nothing fancier than a number 11 Stanley wrench. Ryan Hein of St. Petersburg, Florida caught this massive, 400-pound Goliath grouper last week near Tampa Bay. An impressive catch, but made with some inexpensive equipment. Hein said he turned a rarely needed number 11 wrench into a lure, and dangled it off a $50 rod.
“Some jigs can cost $20,” he told WFTS. “I was just looking for a way to make a jig without spending so much money.”
However, fielding cheap equipment also meant that Hein caught himself a challenge. The angler said that the battle to bring the massive fish in was chaotic and felt like he had little control. Using only a 50-pound test line, Hein admitted that he never expected to catch a fish of this size.
“I couldn’t believe the gear held up and we landed the fish. That was just as unbelievable for me as using the wrench itself,” he said.
You can watch an interview with the angler below:
Hein jumped into the water to release the giant fish, which got its revenge by chomping down on some of the angler’s fingers. Hein suffered only a mild cut and was able to release the fish without any further altercations. Next time, he says he’ll bring stronger equipment—and perhaps a number 14 wrench.
You can see the fight in its entirety below.