Damn Good Amberjack Charters

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Everything to Know About Booking an amberjack fishing charter

What are the best amberjack fishing charters?

Our Damn Good Guides currently offer 338 amberjack trips, and the most popular trips are 36-Hour Offshore - 55' Viking guided by Lee, South Padre Island Deep Sea Fishing guided by Emilio, and Freeport - 38' Fraiche Catch guided by JT.

Our guides are rated a 5 out of 5 based on 683 verified reviews on Captain Experiences.

All guides on Captain Experiences are licensed, insured, and vetted by our team. You can access their reviews, click through trip photos, read bios to get to know them, and preview trip details like species, techniques, group sizes, boat specs and more.

What types of amberjack fishing charters are common?

Offshore fishing is the most popular for amberjack as well as nearshore fishing, inshore fishing, and flats fishing.

The most common fishing techniques are bottom fishing, heavy tackle fishing, and trolling but light tackle fishing and jigging are popular as well.

How much do amberjack fishing charters cost?

for amberjack prices can range anywhere from $175 to $3,000 and up, but the average price for a half day for amberjack is $915. The average price for a full day for amberjack is $2,671.

When is the best time to go amberjack fishing?

The most popular season for amberjack fishing is summer, and most anglers book their trips 69 days in advance.

Where can I get a fishing license for amberjack and what are the bag limits for amberjack?

See here for more information on amberjack fishing licenses, amberjack bag limits, and fishing season regulations for amberjack. When in doubt, your fishing guide will always know the right amberjack rules and regulations.

What is an Amberjack?

While there are a number of variations and subspecies of amberjack, what remains true across them is their warm weather affinity and absolute pleasure to fight on the line. The most common types of amberjack you will hear about are the greater and lesser amberjacks of the Atlantic, and the yellowtail of the Pacific. They are all part of the greater jack / trevally family (Carrangidae) and are the biggest members of the family.

How big do Amberjack get?

The size you can expect depends of course on what type of AJ you are targeting. The greater amberjack is the largest of the jacks and are typically 20-40 pounds, although they can grow to fairly large sizes, being as long as 5 ft and up to 150 pounds. Greater amberjacks mature at around 4 years old and can live up 17 years, and females are known to live longer than males. Lesser amberjacks are usually under 10 pounds and yellowtails can be somewhere in the middle.

What's the biggest Amberjack ever caught?

The current IGFA world record AJ is a 156 pounder (and 13 ounces) caught off Japan in 2010. The biggest amberjack caught in Florida was caught in Islamorada at 142 pounds, and the Texas record is 121 lbs.

Where is the best place to catch Amberjack?

Amberjack can be found in warm temperate waters worldwide including California and Baja, Hawaii, South Japan, China, the Philippines, parts of the Indian Ocean, the Persian Gulf, and all over the Atlantic. Yellowtails are the most common in California and Australia. Greater AJs are particularly popular to catch in Florida and Kona, while yellowtails are the CA and Baja specialty.

In terms of habitat, juveniles will be in shallower water of up to 25 feet, often near floating objects and flotsam. Larger mature AJs are found offshore over reefs and wrecks or near rigs. They will often be 50 to 250 feet deep. In Florida you might be lucky enough to catch some swimming closer to the surface occasionally.

When should I catch Amberjack?

The warmer the water, the more amberjack will be around. This is why South Florida and the Keys are the perfect places to find them year-round. Fishing across the Gulf in Texas or further North will be most productive in the warmer spring, summer, and fall months although the season is closed in the Gulf states for the majority of the summer. The bag limit and size limit vary by state but are usually 1 AJ per person per day and minimum size of around 30 inches.

 

How do you catch Amberjack?

Amberjacks are prized for their fighting ability and these reef donkeys (as they are known) are powerful, pulling hard down to the bottom once hooked. They are known to never tire even upon reaching the side of the boat.

AJ tend to swim in groups at a young age but spread out as they mature, although you can occasionally still find groups of bigger AJ. They are also thought to spawn offshore throughout most of the year.

In terms of prey, amberjack will eat a wide variety, feeding on squid, fish, and crustaceans, and therefore all sorts of lures and baits as well (live, dead, plugs, jigs, spoons, flies, and more) as long as they are presented well. Feel free to jig reefs although know that the risk of getting torn off in the reef is high unless you pull the fish up quick and don’t let them gain any ground. It is better to try to lure them closer to the surface.

You’ll want to use heavy enough tackle (especially braided or monofilament line) to handle a big and hard-fighting fish - they are strong enough to be known for dragging anglers overboard!

Are Amberjack good to eat? What are the best Amberjack recipes?

Amberjack are known to have lean and firm white meat with a somewhat neutral taste. AJs can have ciguatera especially if they are bigger, or to have worms in their tail section, so it is best to cut off the back end of the fish. For safety the fish is better consumed cooked, and one of the most common ways to eat them is smoked and eaten as fish dip, which reduces safety risks and adds a little flavor. Yellowtail are a different story however, and are known as a quality raw fish - cut some up at the dock with some soy sauce and wasabi for a post-fish treat.



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