One of the hardest fighting fish that you can catch besides a tuna in Gulf Shores, Alabama is the Jack fish. There are quite a few different species of jacks that you can catch while deep sea fishing on artificial and natural bottom reefs. Most keeper Amberjacks are caught on 10 to 12 hour corporate and family fishing charters. Most of the Amberjacks near the shore are smaller and are not of legal size. However, smaller Amberjack offer excellent jig fishing opportunities on 6 and 8 hour trips.
The most commonly sought after jacks are called the Greater Amberjack. These hard fighting Amberjacks fight harder than most species of saltwater fish that are in Alabama saltwater. Your Alabama charter fishing guides will show you how to fish for these larger fish. There is a chance that a first time angler or a family fisherman that does not fish for them a lot, will get spooled or lose the fish because of now knowing how to properly fight the Amberjack with light fishing tackle.
Greater Amberjack is what most anlgers think about when charter fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. They are called Seriola dumerili by the scientists. Now you are talking about one fun fish to fight. Amberjack offer the most experienced and novice anglers a fight of a lifetime in Gulf Shores, Alabama. Your saltwater fishing guides know how to catch them. Their body is brown on their backs and fades to a pale white on their belly. They have a dark strip that runs from their nose, across their eyes and goes toward their dorsal fin. Their side has a yellowish brown color all down it. The scales toward their tales are coarser than on the rest of their body. They have 11 to 19 gills underneath their gill plate.
Amberjack grow up to 5 feet in length and can weigh as much as 120 pounds. The most common ones caught off Alabama are close to 20 to 25 pounds. Some are larger than others. A big one is any one that weighs over 50 pounds. Most Amberjack are caught on traditional fishing tackle. We do see some close to 70 to 90 pounds. Amberjack have to be 30 inches long which is measured by from the nose to the fork of their tale. The limit in Alabama is 1 per person per day. Amberjack season is closed during the June and July 2011 so the pressure on them can be reduced for a season. For more information on Amberjack fishing seasons, visit the Gulf Council website.
The Almaco Jack is another commonly caught species of jack caught in Gulf Shores. Scientists call them Seriola Rivoliana. Almaco jacks are similar in shape to the Greater Amberjack but their head has a higher slope to it. Their front dorsal fin is considerably higher and comes to a point. Almaco’s have a darker body and can have a dark bluish color on their heads.
We commonly see Almaco jacks weighing about 8 to 15 pounds. We have seen them as big as 40 pounds in Alabama waters. They are caught on longer trips and usually on natural reefs or over rocks.
Banded Rudderfish is species that is caught and usually misidentified in Alabama. The Banded Rudderfish is called Seriola zonata by the marine biologists. They lose their dark vertical bands as they grow larger. The anal fin row has about 19 to 21 fins. The dorsal fin is about 8 fins on it. The anal fin is about half as long as their dorsal fins. Most banded rudder fish are less than 24 inches in length.
Lesser Amberjack is another jack species caught in Alabama that is misidentified by first time anglers. The marine biologist calls this fish a Seriola fasiata. It has colors that are similar to that of the Greater Amberjack but the dark band starts at the back of the eye and goes toward the dorsal fin but ends short. The Greater Amberjack’s dark line goes over the eye and goes all the way to the dorsal fin.
Crevalle Jack is what we call in Gulf Shores as the Alabama Yellowfin. Scientists call this jack Caranx hippos. This is the hardest fighting jack you can ever catch. I have seen a 40 pound Crevalle jack put a full grown man on his rear end while fighting these fish. They are silvery looking and have a sloping lateral line. The first anal fin is bright yellow and that is where we get the word yellow fin. They have a dark black looking spot on their gill cover. The food quality is not that good. I do have friends from Honduras that will fight you for them. I guess any fish is good as long as it is cooked properly. Jack Crevalle's weigh on average 18 to 22 pounds. Some of them I used to catch in Mobile Bay weighed over 40 pounds. They are a good fight for any tackle and family angler. We commonly catch these fish while trolling fishing near the shore and offshore around larger artificial reefs while bottom fishing.
Rainbow Runner is another jack that is fun to catch. They are scientifically known as Elagatis Bipinnulata. Their body color is a beautiful blue-green tone with two bright blue stripes. Their fins are yellow looking and have they have small fins that run from the dorsal fins to the tail and from the anal fin to the tail. These fish are commonly caught offshore around the deep water oil rigs. We don’t usually see them close to shore on artificial reefs. Most of these can be caught while tuna fishing.
Florida Pompano is one of the smallest jacks in Alabama waters. Scientists call them Trachinotus carolinus. They are excellent to eat and are often caught in the surf or around the Alabama point or Perdido pass jetties in Orange Beach, Alabama. They have a deep, thick looking body that is almost silver with a blue and black looking tint. They have a yellow bellow and mouth. Their anal fin has three fins and haves soft anal fins that have about 20 to 23 fins. They grow as large as 24 inches. Most of them are about 12 to 15 inches. Pompano are rarely caught offshore fishing. You can catch them mostly in the surf fishing or on an Alabama Inshore Fishing Charter.
We hope this information about Amberjack fishing has been helpful to you and your family. Deep sea fishing on a charter boat in Gulf Shores and Orange Beach can be extremely rewarding and a lot of fun. Remember, to be able to catch Amberjack or have a chance at catching Amberjacks, you need to book a 10 or 12 hour charter trip. Shorter trips may not produce legal size jacks because of fishing pressure within 25 miles of the Alabama shoreline. Saltwater fishing in Alabama is a year round outdoor sport and activity. If you would like to enjoy some great Amberjack fishing, visit our Alabama deep sea fishing rates and pricing page to see which Amberjack fishing trip is best for you and your group.
After you have decided on an Amberjack fishing trip, please visit our Alabama saltwater fishing reservations page. You will need to fill out the online form and submit it with your questions and comments. We promise to get right back with you via email.
Submitting an Amberjack fishing reservations request online does not lock you in to a trip. It allows us to see what type of trip you are looking for and the possible dates you can go fishing. When we see what you want, we will let you know if those dates are available. You will then be requested to give us a call at 251.975.8111 and we will book your fishing charter.
Remember, we do not require a deposit like all other charters do. All we need is a credit card number to hold it. You may pay the day of your deep sea charter fishing trip.
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