The amberjack, commonly called the AJ, is a popular fish found in the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico that you may encounter while fishing off the bountiful Florida coast. The AJ is a dynamic species that holds a special place in the heart of some anglers.
Amberjacks are rarely sought after by anglers. They’re most commonly caught while trolling for larger and more desirable fish, like sharks, tuna and barracuda. Nonetheless, catching an amberjack isn’t a total loss—they can be eaten, and are even prized by some fishers.
Fishing off Florida’s Gulf Coast is an exciting and interesting experience for both new anglers and established sports enthusiasts alike. While you may not intentionally catch an AJ during your fishing charter in Sarasota, FL, it’s important to know a few facts about this interesting fish.
Type of amberjack
While many anglers think of the amberjack as a single fish species, there are actually three different types of fish that fall under the AJ classification.
The greater amberjack bears striking dark stripes that run from the dorsal fin to the nose. Lesser amberjacks, on the other hand, have larger eyes and a more rotund figure. Banded rudderfish, the third type of amberjack, have vertical bands and a prominent dorsal fin.
No matter the type of amberjack you’re dealing with, there are a few interesting quirks you should be aware of if an amberjack shows up on your line:
- Controversial flavor: Amberjacks possess a unique flavor that is equally beloved and reviled by anglers. If you want to give AJ meat a try, be sure to remove the fish’s tale and several inches up the body before preparing it. The tail section is almost always infested with worms.
- Predatory game: AJs are carnivores through and through. They’re known to hunt fish, squid and other crustaceans. If you’re fishing for amberjack, it’s advisable to use live bait, which will attract the fish.
- They put up a fight: Even if you’re not planning to eat an AJ, they can still be fun to fish. Amberjack put up a substantial fight while fishing for them, which means that they’re prized by sports fishers.
- Know the geography: If you’re looking for amberjack, the location you troll will ultimately depending on the type of AJ you’re looking for. Greater amberjack, for instance, prefer shallow reefs and shipwrecks. Lesser amberjack, on the other hand, are typically found in deep, open water.
Since 1960, Charter Boat Shark has been the most trusted fishing charter in Sarasota, FL. We are proud to provide each and every one of our customers with a high-quality, engaging fishing experience unlike any other. Our fleet consists of two 41-foot boats that are fully equipped with modern comforts and amenities, including bathrooms and air conditioning.
Our expert captains are licensed by the U.S. Coast Guard, and possess the knowledge and expertise necessary to provide you with a fishing experience unlike any other. If you’re looking for an exciting and interesting way to experience Florida’s rich Gulf Coast, take a ride with Charter Boat Shark.
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