Amberjack fish are very popular saltwater fish around the world. Specifically, amberjack fishing is a common practice in the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian oceans, as well as the Gulf of Mexico. Additionally, amberjack fishing locations include shores, ocean depths and coral reefs.


Amberjack fishing lures must take advantage of the fact that these fish are typically voracious predators. Therefore, this species is generally enticed by various baits. However, amberjack fishing gear must also be designed for long distances and to withstand the strength from these fish. To learn more about amberjack fishing tips and locations, read the sections below.

What are the best fishing rods for catching amberjack?

The proper amberjack fishing gear must account for the fact that jacks are typically heavy and strong fish. Thus, amberjack fishing rods must be capable of withstanding heavy reels and test lines that hold between 60 and 80 pounds. Additionally, rods must allow anglers to turn these fish away from underwater structures and successfully avoid the breaking of lines. In general, a conventional casting rod is sufficient for an amberjack to be caught. On the other hand, choosing the best reels and lines is a much more important decision when it comes to jacks.

What are the best fishing reels for catching amberjack?

The most challenging part of amberjack fishing is reeling them out of the water. Thus, the following are the best reels for catching jacks:

  • Heavy reels – A big game amberjack can be successfully caught by heavy reels that hold between 60 and 80 pounds of line. Additionally, reels must be able to withstand at least 25 pounds in order to catch a jack.
  • Spinning reels – An efficient fishing tackle can also include a spinning reel of medium gear ratio, which signals the number of rotations that a spool makes. A spinning reel is also optimal for enticing bottom-dwelling amberjack fish closer to the surface.

What are the best fishing lines for catching amberjack?

Amberjack fishing typically requires heavy lines that are strong enough to reel in large jacks. Moreover, a greater amberjack is known for having a strong counter pull that can break lines. Thus, the following lines are best suited to handle amberjack fish:

  • Braided lines – The strength of a braided line allows anglers to catch amberjack from long distances and cut through strong currents.
  • Monofilament lines – Monofilament lines are commonly used for catching fish that inhabit ocean depths. Thus, this is an optimal line for anglers to catch bottom-dwelling jacks.

What are the best fishing lures for catching amberjack?

Amberjack fish are known for being voracious and aggressive predators. Thus, these fish can be easily enticed by artificial lures. Some of the most common amberjack fishing lures include:

  • Jigs – Jigs are soft-bodied lures that sink with a hook. Therefore, metal-made jigs can be particularly effective for bottom-dwelling amberjack that are attracted by shiny things under water.
  • Spoons – Spoons are hard-bodied, oval-shaped lures that are heavy enough to sink in the ocean. For that reason, they are well-suited for catching jacks.
  • Plugs – Plugs are solid or hollow lures made of lightweight materials. Thus, these lures typically float to the surface and can catch amberjack fish that inhabit shallow regions.

What are the best fishing baits for catching amberjack?

An amberjack fishing bait must take into consideration what amberjack fish eat. For that reason, optimal live baits include various types of small fish, crustaceans and cephalopods. These are the most common amberjack fishing live baits:

  • Small fish – Blue runners, cigar minnows and sardines are great examples of live baits that can catch amberjack fish. Furthermore, the predatory nature of jacks makes them susceptible to being allured by several other small fish.
  • Crustaceans – Crustaceans such as crabs and shrimp can serve as an optimal amberjack fishing bait. Additionally, crustaceans are more widely available than small fish in certain regions.
  • Cephalopods – The smell of a squid or octopus can successfully entice amberjack species. Moreover, cephalopods are typically easier for jacks to prey on than crustaceans or other fish.

What are the best fishing hooks for catching amberjack?

Amberjack fish are typically caught by most large hooks, such as bait hooks, jig hooks and circle hooks. Additionally, stainless steel hooks make it easier for anglers to release undesired fish after catching them. However, the type of amberjack fishing bait can increase or decrease an angler’s chances of hooking a jack.

In general, amberjack fishing gear such as hooks, lures and baits are not known for damaging an ocean floor. Thus, amberjack fishing is widely considered a sustainable fishing practice. Furthermore, amberjack are not regularly susceptible to bycatching, thus having to be sought after in order to be caught.

Is it easy to catch amberjack?

Most anglers consider amberjack fishing a challenging activity. For instance, greater and yellowtail amberjack fish are typically heavy and strong. Thus, they pose a challenge to anglers with a lack of proper equipment or experience. Moreover, it can be easy to find and hook jacks with the proper amberjack fishing gear. However, it is generally not as easy to actually catch them.

Amberjack fishing tips include using heavy reels, strong lines and rods that are able to withstand a forceful pull from these fish. For that reason, amberjack fishing is typically not recommended for children or beginners. Additionally, these species are generally not subject to bycatching because they require specialized equipment in order to be caught.

What should you wear to go amberjack fishing?

An amberjack fishing description can vary according to each angler, region and weather. However, consider the following amberjack fishing apparel to include on your next trip:

  • Weather gear – Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) bibs or rain jacket and boots are helpful for individuals to withstand heavy rain.
  • Life jackets – Anglers may fall in the water and need assistance to float to the surface. Thus, they must consider wearing life jackets when catching amberjack fish from a boat.
  • Sun protection – All individuals are encouraged to wear sunscreen and/or UV-protective apparel while fishing.
  • Saltwater waders – Saltwater waders are comfortable apparel options for anglers to protect themselves while remaining flexible.

Related Guides

Best Red Snapper Recipes

A red snapper recipe can be prepared throu…


Best Grouper Recipes

A grouper recipe tailored to your preferen…


Best Amberjack Recipes

Looking for a good amberjack recipe to coo…


Where can I catch amberjack?

Various places around the world are notable amberjack fishing locations. Thus, amberjack fishing can take place in the following regions:

  • The Pacific Ocean – All major types of amberjack can be found in the Pacific Ocean. Thus, states such as Alaska, California, Hawaii, Oregon and Washington are optimal places for anglers to catch jacks.
  • The Atlantic Ocean – The east coast of the United States also provides various amberjack fish spots. This includes states such as Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina and Virginia.
  • The Gulf of Mexico – The Gulf of Mexico is home to lesser and yellowtail amberjack, as well as banded rudderfish. Thus, the coasts of Alabama, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi and Texas are great places to catch these fish. However, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), greater amberjack have been overfished in the Gulf of Mexico region.
  • The Mediterranean Sea – Greater and yellowtail amberjack fish are commonly found in the Mediterranean Sea, which is enclosed by European and African regions.
  • The Indian Ocean – The Indian Ocean borders Asia, Africa and Moreover, it is a notable location for anglers to catch various types of jacks.

Which types of habitats can I find amberjack in?

Oceans and seas are some of the best environments for amberjack fish. However, amberjack fish spots also include:

  • Open oceans – Amberjack species are most commonly found in the Atlantic, Pacific, Indian and Southern oceans. In general, an amberjack prefers warm and temperate waters. However, certain types of amberjack can also be found in waters of cooler temperatures.
  • Deep waters – Lesser and yellowtail amberjack species are particularly known for inhabiting ocean depths.
  • Coastlines – Amberjack fishing can take place near the shore in coastal regions. Thus, anglers are not always required to use vessels to catch these fish.
  • Coral reefs – Adult yellowtail amberjack are typically found in coral reefs after they mature in open oceans.

Are there different types of amberjack?

Amberjack fishing can yield various species, such as the greater, lesser or yellowtail amberjack. Additionally, the banded rudderfish is also considered a type of jack. Moreover, different amberjack fish spots house different species, which vary according to their length, weight and color. In general, amberjack contain forked tail fins and are very efficient swimmers. Below are the most common species of amberjack fish in the world:

  • Greater amberjack – The greater amberjack is the largest of all jacks. In general, greater amberjack are found in most open oceans and are considered big game fish. However, this species is considered endangered in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Lesser amberjack – Lesser amberjack are the smallest of jacks. Additionally, they are typically found in deeper waters in comparison to greater jacks. Moreover, these fish are notable predators.
  • Yellowtail amberjack – The yellowtail is also known as great amberjack. Thus, they are typically smaller in size than greater amberjack fish, but larger than lesser jacks.
  • Banded rudderfish – Banded rudderfish is the second-smallest type of jacks. Moreover, they are commonly mistaken for pilot fish due to the vertical bands found on their bodies.

What do amberjack look like?

All amberjack fish have large forked tail fins and a silver underside. However, different types of amberjack vary according to their sizes and the color of their backs. The following traits make these jacks identifiable:

  • Greater amberjack – The greater amberjack is identifiable by its blue-gray backs, silver underside and amber stripe along the length of their bodies. Additionally, these fish weigh an average of 40 pounds, but have been recorded to weigh as much as 200 pounds.
  • Lesser amberjack – Lesser amberjack weigh an average of 10 pounds. Moreover, they are known for having larger eyes than the greater amberjack and a dark green-brown back.
  • Yellowtail amberjack – The most discernible trait in a yellowtail amberjack is its forked yellow tail fin and torpedo-shaped body. In general, yellowtail jacks are slightly smaller than greater amberjack fish.
  • Banded rudderfish – The banded rudderfish is the second-smallest type of jack. Additionally, these fish are identifiable by the presence of a first dorsal fin and the gold stripe along their extension.

What do amberjack eat?

The best types of baits are determined by what amberjack fish eat on a regular basis. In general, amberjack fish are voracious predators that feed on small fish, crustaceans and cephalopods. Additionally, these fish are very efficient swimmers and can easily ambush prey. The following are some of the most common marine species that amberjack feed on:

  • Blue runners
  • Cigar minnows
  • Crabs
  • Larvae
  • Planktons
  • Sardines
  • Shrimp
  • Squids

Are there regulations for catching amberjack?

Federal and state regulations concerning amberjack fishing aim to protect this species from endangerment. For instance, greater amberjack fish have been classified as an overfished species in the Gulf of Mexico since 2014. Thus, this species has been subject to regulations such as:



  • Daily bag limits – Anglers in the state of Florida are only allowed to catch one greater amberjack per day. This regulation aims to allow this species to repopulate in the Gulf of Mexico.
  • Minimum size requirements – A greater amberjack found in the Gulf of Mexico must be at least 34 inches to be caught by Florida anglers. In Texas, this species is considered nongame fish.
  • Shorter fishing seasons – The amberjack fishing season is open year-round in most regions. However, the fishing season for greater jacks has been reduced to one month in the Gulf of Mexico.

To learn more about fishing regulations regarding saltwater and freshwater habitats, click here.

When is amberjack season?

An amberjack fishing season is determined by federal or regional governing bodies. As of 2018, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) reduced the greater amberjack fishing season to one month in the Gulf of Mexico. In the rest of the United States, amberjack species can typically be caught year-round.

Can you eat amberjack?

Top 10 Easy Amberjack Recipes. Download our FREE eBook! Download Now

Amberjack fish are generally safe to eat. However, they are not particularly popular choices. In general, a thorough cleaning is required prior to the consumption of jacks, as wild-caught specimens may contain amberjack worms or other parasites. Thus, farmed jacks are typically considered safer for consumption.

In addition, an amberjack typically has a firm pink flesh that can be cooked in various ways. Moreover, this fish has a flavor that is commonly described as buttery and mildly sweet. Unlike other species, jacks do not have scales, which allows them to be cooked and consumed with their skin on.

What are the nutrition facts for amberjack?

Amberjack fish are not generally known as particularly nutritious fish. However, jacks offer a significant amount of protein and may be prepared as low-fat dishes. Consider the following nutrition facts for a 4-ounce portion of amberjack:

  • 120 calories
  • 2 grams of total fat
  • 24 grams of protein
  • 40 milligrams of sodium
  • 50 milligrams of cholesterol

Discover the best recipes to cook amberjack by downloading our 10 best amberjack recipes guide.

Nutrition Facts
Amount Per 100g
6.0% of Daily Value*
Total Fat 2g
Saturated Fat 0g
less than 0% of Daily Value
Cholesterol 50mg
Sodium 40mg
Selenium 29mcg
Protein 24g
* The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a serving of food contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here