Wilson Chandler is an eight-year National Basketball Association veteran and at 6 feet 8 inches tall and 225 pounds, one would imagine that off the court outside of his fellow players he would never meet anything bigger than he is. Until this week that probably held true for Mr. Chandler, which is before he decided to go fishing and hooked a fish that makes up for all of the fisherman’s tales that have been exaggerated to thousands of listeners for decades.

The type of fish Chandler caught that was roughly as long as he is tall and outweighs the Denver Nuggets forward by at least one hundred pounds is a critically endangered Atlantic Goliath Grouper (Epinephelus itajara) which can grow to over 600 pounds when fully grown and can live to be over 30 years of age. Typically, they eat smaller fish, crustaceans, and sea turtles, but they have been known to snack on sharks that they can fit inside their wide mouths.

In combination with their impressive size, they also apparently have a fearless disposition, not afraid to take a charge or a snap at scuba divers who wander into its territory. Unfortunately for the Grouper, people figured out that these not so gentle giants are good eating and due to overfishing and slow breeding populations remain low despite a harvesting ban that has existed in its range since the 1990s. How does this connect to Chandler? The fish he caught is of so few numbers that even if you by chance do catch one of these impressive beasts handling it out of water is illegal, which is why the pictures on Chandler’s social media pages show the fish still in the water which means that after the unexpected photo-op the beautiful fish was released back into its domain to tower over its puny neighbors. No word is available on whether one of the other people in the boat dared Chandler to stick his hand in, near or around the big fish’s mouth.

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