DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. -

A monster fish that has eluded Port Orange fisherman on the Dunlawton Causeway for more than a month has been caught.

Chris Higbee, 28, caught a goliath grouper, estimated to weigh more than 75 pounds, early Wednesday morning under the river span.

Since the goliath is a protected species, Higbee could not remove it from the water.

Higbee told Local 6 that the grouper had dozens of hooks in him from people trying to catch it. Hibee said he pulled out the hooks and released the fish back in the river.

Friends snapped a photo of the goliath's head as proof of the catch.