NEW: NOAA Fisheries has announced a closure for the recreational harvest of greater amberjack in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico beginning Aug. 25. Learn more.
Greater Amberjack: Seriola dumerili
||Gulf State Waters
||Atlantic State Waters
|Minimum Size Limit
||30” Fork Length
||28” Fork Length
|Daily Bag Limit
||1 per person
NEW: At their June meeting, the FWC approved the creation of the Gulf Reef Fish Data Reporting System, a mandatory requirement for private recreational anglers fishing from a boat to harvest, attempt to harvest, or possess red snapper, gag, greater amberjack, lesser amberjack, banded rudderfish, almaco jack, red grouper, black grouper, vermilion snapper, or gray triggerfish in the Gulf of Mexico, excluding Monroe County. This requirement becomes mandatory April 1, 2015.
- Legal Gear: spears, gigs, hook and line, seine, cast net
NOTE: Closed June 1 – July 31 in the Gulf of Mexico.
Complete information on closed recreational seasons in state waters.
Habitat and Fishing Tips:
Amberjack are found throughout Florida’s offshore marine environment. The species is very strongly associated with wrecks and artificial reefs in waters that exceed 60 feet in depth. Amberjack swim in schools and feed on baitfish, squid and crabs. Anglers typically use 50 to 100 pound tackle, but lighter tackle can also be used in many situations. Amberjack are not shy or picky, so you can make all the noise you want, and almost any lively baitfish will be readily accepted. Commonly used baitfish species include blue runners, pinfish, pigfish, grunts, cigar minnows and sand perch. Because amberjacks like to swim around above the reef, it’s a good idea to use just enough lead to keep the bait in the middle of the water column. When amberjack get excited, they will also come to the surface and explode on top-water plugs, jigs, spoons and diving lures. Amberjack are extremely strong fighters with great endurance. To avoid lost or broken tackle, it’s important to have the drag pre-set to match the strength of the angler and the equipment.
Gulf Federal Waters Rules
Atlantic Federal Waters Rules
142 lb, caught near Islamorada
Image Credit: © Diane Rome Peebles