Schools of young fish are common at 5-20 pounds. Average size over deep wrecks and reefs is 30-60 pounds, but 100-pounders are not too rare and the potential maximum exceeds 150 pounds. World record 155 pounds, 10 ounces;
Other "Popular" Names for this Fish
Yellowtail Kingfish, Yellowtail Amberjack, Yellowtail, Hamachi (sushi), Kanpachi (sushi), Hiramasa (sushi), California Yellowtail, King Amberjack, Japanese
Adults are common at various depths, ranging from reefs several hundred feet deep to fairly shallow wrecks and reefs. Big ones also come close to shore at times, particularly in the Keys and the Islands. Artificial reefs and wrecks all along the Gulf Coast often harbor huge schools of smaller Amberjack, and many Gulf wrecks are home to big ones as well. This is an OFFSHORE species associated with rocky reefs, debris, and wrecks, typically in 60 - 240 feet of water that are not often caught nearshore in East Central Florida. We find amberjack off the Cocoa Beach and East Central Florida on wrecks and deep rock ledges and hard bottom deere. Amberjack, the name of a group of fish found in temperate ocean waters throughout the world. Many amberjacks are popular game fish. The common, or greater, amberjack is found off the west coast of Europe, off the east coast of the United States, and in the Gulf of Mexico. It is most abundant south of Cape Hatteras and is often caught as a game fish in Florida waters. Its upper body is blue, the belly is silver, and the fins are yellowish-gray. The common amberjack can reach five to six feet (1.5 to 1.8 m) in length and more than 100 pounds (45 kg) in weight. The average weight, however, is 10 to 15 pounds (4.5 to 6.8 kg). The Pacific amberjack and the Pacific yellowtail are often caught off the southwestern coast of the United States. Amberjacks make up the genus Seriola. The common amberjack is S. dumerili; the Pacific amberjack, S. colburni; the Pacific yellowtail, S. lalandei. Amberjacks belong to the family Carangidae. Adults found in deep seaward reefs; occasionally entering coastal bays. They feed primarily on fishes such as the bigeye scad, also on invertebrates. Small juveniles associate with floating plants or debris in oceanic and offshore waters. Juveniles form small schools or solitary. Eggs are pelagic. Utilized fresh and frozen; eaten pan-fried, broiled and baked. Reported to cause ciguatera in some areas
Biology & Physical Description
Overall brownish or goldish. Heavy body. No scutes forward of tail fin. Dark oblique line through the eye that ends at the dorsal fin. Its upper body is blue, the belly is silver, and the fins are yellowish-gray. The common amberjack can reach five to six feet (1.5 to 1.8 m) in length and more than 100 pounds (45 kg) in weight. The average weight, however, is 10 to 15 pounds (4.5 to 6.8 kg). The Pacific amberjack and the Pacific yellowtail are often caught off the southwestern coast of the United States. Amberjacks make up the genus Seriola. The common amberjack is S. dumerili; the Pacific amberjack, S. colburni; the Pacific yellowtail, S. lalandei. Amberjacks belong to the family Carangidae. Dorsal spines (total): 8; Dorsal soft rays (total): 29-35; Anal spines: 3; Anal soft rays: 18 - 22. Bluish grey or olivaceous above, silvery white below; amber stripe along midside of body; fins dusky. Second dorsal and anal fins with low anterior lobe (Ref. 26938). Species of Seriola lack scutes
Life Cycle & Mating Behavior
Spawning happens during the summer, in areas near the coast. Embryo development lasts about 40 hours at 23° and larval development 31-36 days. Egg size 1.9 mm, larval at hatching 2.9 mm.
Geographic Species Map (Fishbase.org Map)
Summary of Distribution: Circumglobal. Indo-West Pacific: South Africa, Persian Gulf, southern Japan and the Hawaiian Islands, south to New Caledonia; Mariana and Caroline islands in Micronesia. Western Atlantic: Bermuda, Nova Scotia, Canada to Brazil; also from the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean Sea. Eastern Atlantic: British coast (vagrant) to Morocco and the Mediterranean. Distribution in eastern central Atlantic along the African coast is not well established due to past confusion with Seriola carpenteri
Note: Distribution range colors indicate degree of suitability of habitat which can be interpreted as probabilities of occurrence (fishbase.org)
Sport Fishing Techniques
Drift fishing allows you to fish over a variety of habitats as your boat drifts with the currents or wind movement. You can drift fish on the bottom or change the depth with a bobber or float. Natural baits work best. But jigs, lures and artificial flies will produce good results, too. You can drift fish on the ocean, as well as ponds, lakes, rivers and streams any time of the day and year..
Tackle & Baits
Amberjack are most often caught aboard charterboats and partyboats on heavy rods and reels with lines testing 50 pounds or more and are no patsies, even then. Experienced light-tackle anglers can successfully battle them with spinning and baitcasting rigs, and even fly rods. Around wrecks, they frequently follow hooked fish to boatside, and also may rise to the top voluntarily. Then they can be cast to with surface plugs, spoons, jigs, or big flyrod streamers and poppers. Live chum will also draw Amberjack from the depths. Best bait with heavy tackle is any sort of live fish, the friskier the better.
Game Rating : 8.5/10
Game Description :
It has been known to grow up to 120 lbs. and is a popular deep water game fish.A strong, punishing fighter that powers deep and defies lifting. Fairly long runs can also occur early in the fight. A great deal of stamina matches their strength. Novices may fight Amberjack of average size for an hour or longer.
Game Rating : 8.5/10
Game Description :
Excellent, smoked or fresh. Amberjack has pale pink flesh with firm, large flakes and a sweet flavor. Hiramasa is a sashimi grade farmed Amberjack which has a higher fat content, firmer texture and cleaner flavor than wild Yellowtail Kingfish (Amberjack). Good fish to eat, especially when grilled.
Available Sizes: 17 in. - 68 in.
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