The largest of all the jacks can be found all over the Pacific Ocean, the western Atlantic, and even the Mediterranean Sea in temperate waters. Amberjacks have a greenish purple almost brown coloring on their back above their lateral line and have silver bellies. Found all over the globe in warm coastal waters, amberjacks can be seen swimming at the surface in open water or in very deep offshore water near reefs and wrecks. Amberjacks are a prized game fish because like all jacks, they are incredibly strong and put up stellar fights. They are voracious feeders and will take off on burning runs and head for the bottom very quickly. Many adult amberjacks can reach the 100 lb mark with the all tackle record being 156 lbs in Bermuda. You’ll feel the full strength of the largest jack as you try to pull it off the bottom in 200 ft of water and will soon realize how it earned the nickname “reef donkey.” Unlike other jacks however the amberjacks’ flesh is white and does make for great table fare.
WHAT THEY EAT: Amberjacks eat other reef fish, crabs, squid, and shrimp. The largest amberjacks are most often caught bottom fishing in deep water when fishing for grouper and snapper the same way.
WHERE TO FIND THEM: Smaller juvenile amberjacks can be found near the surface around floating trash lines and buoys but larger adults are often found in deeper waters. Bottom fishing or jigging atop offshore reefs, wrecks, or oil rigs will be your best