Have you signed up for the Gulf Reef Fish Survey yet? Learn more. Participation mandatory starting April 1, 2015.
NEW: Recreational harvest of greater amberjack will close in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico beginning Sept. 28, 2015. Harvest will reopen on Jan. 1, 2016. Learn more.
Greater Amberjack: Seriola dumerili
||Gulf State Waters
||Atlantic State Waters
|Minimum Size Limit
||30” Fork Length (will change to 34” Fork Length later this year)
||28” Fork Length
|Daily Bag Limit
||1 per person
- 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.
Federal Gulf of Mexico: 30"FL (will change to 34” FL later this year); Closed June 1-July 31; 1 fish per person per day; 0 bag limit for for-hire captain and crew
Federal Atlantic: 28" FL; 1 fish per person, per day
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