January Is Amberjack Catch and Release Season

January 10, 2019

In Florida, January is catch and release season for the mighty amberjack. Amberjack are a favorite fish of sports enthusiasts and experienced anglers, due in large part to the substantial fight they’re able to wage while being fished.

While many fishers do choose to eat amberjack, others detest the fish. When eating amberjack, it’s important to remember that the tail section of the fish is almost always contaminated with worms. If you’re going to be eating amberjack, it’s best to prepare it with someone experienced in offshore fishing in Sarasota, FL.

During the month of January, however, it’s only possible to catch and release amberjack. You can enjoy hunting and struggling with this fun fish, often called the “donkey of the sea” because of its stubborn nature and ability to fight for extended periods of time. If you’re fishing for amberjack, be prepared to get a good workout in!

As with all catch and release fishing, it’s important to exercise responsibility while hunting for amberjack in Florida. Here are just a few tips that you can follow to ensure that you have a fun, fulfilling and responsible catch and release fishing experience:

  • Immediately release: When fishing for sport, be sure to immediately decide which fish you’re going to keep or release. Any fish that are to be released should be sent back into the water as quickly as possible—hanging on to them could end up killing them.
  • Fish with barbless hooks: When possible, use barbless hooks, or crimp the barb that’s on your existing hooks. Barbs could cause extraneous tissue damage to your fish and cause it to bleed out and die after removal.
  • Avoid hard landing nets: Landing nets made of hard plastic materials rub and scrape the fish, and may remove the fish’s protective coating. Be sure to use only soft, flexible landing nets.
  • Place the fish on a wet towel: Removing the fish’s protective coating is what could eventually kill your catch and release fish. Always wet your hands or gloves before handling the fish, and place it on a wet towel to minimize the damage caused to its coating.
  • Use a de-hooking tool: If the hook can’t be immediately removed from its original entry wound, don’t tear it out and cause extra tissue damage. Instead, use pliers or a de-hooking tool to safely remove the hook without further damaging the fish.
  • Place head-first: When releasing your catch, place it back in the water head-first. If the fish appears wobbly when swimming away, try to reclaim it to prevent waste.

For nearly six decades, Charter Boat Shark has been a trusted provider of offshore fishing in Sarasota, FL. We’re proud to offer each of our clients a fun-filled sports fishing experience. We work with anglers and sports enthusiasts of all skill levels and abilities. Our two 41-foot super sport fishing boats are adept at getting to the best fishing areas quickly and effectively. Additionally, our licensed captains and knowledgeable guides possess the skill and expertise to ensure that you have a memorable fishing experience. Reach out to us today to learn more!

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