Greater Amberjack

  Florida Regulations:

    Gear Requirements:

    Legal Gear: spears, gigs, hook and line, seine, cast net

    Reef fish gear requirements apply  

    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.

    Florida Rule     

    State Record:

    142 lb, caught near Islamorada

    Management Updates:

    NOAA Fisheries service established a June 1 through July 31 seasonal closure for
    recreational harvest of greater amberjack in Gulf of Mexico federal waters. The intended
    effect of this closure is to maintain the rebuilding plan targets for the overfished greater
    amberjack, reduce the likelihood of exceeding the recreational quota for greater amberjack,
    minimize the length of in-season quota closures during peak recreational fishing months
    and increase social and economic benefits for Gulf recreational fishers by maximizing the
    number of fishing days available to the recreational sector.

    The FWC ruled at the April 2011 Commission meeting to adopt a consistent closed
    recreational season for greater amberjack from June 1 through July 31.

    Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission • Farris Bryant Building
    620 S. Meridian St. • Tallahassee, FL
    32399-1600 • (850) 488-4676
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