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Greater Amberjack Fishing Greater Amberjack (Seriola dumerili) is the name of 3 species of Atlantic fish of the Carangidae family, which includes the jacks and the pompanos. This species is also known as: Amberjack, Coronado, Amberfish. Greater amberjack is a large reef fish found in the Gulf. It is the largest and most common amberjack that lives along the coast.
More slender than most jacks, they do not have filets and the keel at the base of the tails is slight and soft. The back is bluish purple, the sides yellowish and the underside silver. Amberjacks have a distinctive dark band on the sides of the head which angles from the front of the back fin, through the eye to the mouth. The rainbow runner has small separate finlets behind the dorsal and anal fins, which are lacking in amberjacks. Greater amberjacks have 11-19 gill rakers. The tail fin is moon-shaped. Average weight is about 20 to 40 pounds, but could be more than 170 pounds.
Greater Amberjacks live primarily near structure such as artificial reefs and oil rigs in Texas waters. Amberjacks are found through the tropical and temperate Atlantic Ocean, including the Gulf of Mexico, in the Indo-Pacific around Japan, China, and the Philippines, in the central Pacific off Hawaii, throughout the western Atlantic Ocean, in portions of the eastern Atlantic Ocean (Madeira and southern and western Africa), and in the Mediterranean Sea in tropical and warm temperate waters. It is found mainly near the surface in open waters, but can be found at considerable depths and around offshore reefs, wrecks, buoys, etc.
Fishing methods include trolling near the surface with lures, spoons, plugs, jigs or strip baits, and also live bait fishing, bait casting. Many incidental catches of amberjack are made while fishing the bottom for red snappers and groupers around offshore oil rigs and artificial reefs. They can be caught with large hooks on cut bait or using fish, especially ribbonfish, for bait. The greater amberjack is the largest of the jacks and the most sought after by sport fishermen because of its qualities as a game fish. It strikes fast, fights hard and often dives for the bottom. Frequently when one amberjack is brought to the boat, others will follow it to the surface.
The amberjack is high on the list of the 300 or more species of tropical marine fishes suspected of causing ciguatera poisoning.
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