SPECIES IDENTIFICATION - GET TO KNOW YOUR FISH!

 
 

FISHING THE FLORIDA GULF WATERS IS SECOND TO NONE!

GREATER AMBERJACK

Greater amberjack is a popular fish because of its sweet, mild flavor and buttery texture. It is harvested by both recreational and commercial fishermen. Greater amberjack are caught within U.S. waters in the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico, from Virginia to Texas, and in the U.S.Caribbean. In 2012, recreational fishermen caught more than half of the greater amberjack harvested in the South Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico. The commercial and recreational landings of greater amberjack in the Gulf of Mexico peaked during the 1980s. During the period of high landings in the 1980s and 1990s, greater amberjack became an important alternative for red drum when concerns of overfishing caused a decrease in commercial landings of red drum. As a result fishing rates for greater amberjack in the Gulf of Mexico were too high, and the stock was declared overfished in 2001. As part of a rebuilding plan, fishery managers reduced catch limits and the stock continues to slowly rebuild. Based on information in the 2014 stock assessment, Gulf of Mexico greater amberjack continues to be experiencing overfishing.

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Seriola dumerili

APPEARANCE:

  • A dark stripe (variably present) extends from nose to in front of dorsal fin and "lights up" when fish is in feeding mode
  • Common at about 40lbs
  • The soft dorsal base less than twice the length of the anal fin base

HABITAT:  Greater amberjack are an offshore species associated with rocky reefs, debris, and wrecks.  They are typically in 60 - 240 feet of water and sometimes caught nearshore in south Florida.  Juveniles are associated with floating objects and may occur in water less than 30 feet deep.

BEHAVIOR:  Great amberjacks are the largest of the jacks.  These fish are thought to spawn offshore throughout most of the year.  Greater amberjack feed on squid, fish, and crustaceans.

FLORIDA STATE RECORD: 142 lb, caught near Islamorada

FISHING TIPS & FACTS:  The greater amberjack is similar to other species in the Seriola genus.

 

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