It’s time to gear up and prepare for Florida Amberjack season 2023. Still, before you do, there is an important announcement from NOAA Fisheries that recreational fishermen need to be aware of. The Gulf of Mexico’s amberjack recreational fishing season, scheduled to reopen in May 2023, will not be available as planned. Instead, the 2023/2024 fishing year for greater Amberjack will begin on August 1st, 2023.
This delay ensures the sustainable management of the amberjack species, a popular game fish in the Gulf of Mexico. As recreational fishermen, it’s our responsibility to follow fishing regulations and guidelines to protect and conserve this species and our precious natural resources.
What you need to know about Florida amberjack season 2023:
- The Florida amberjack season will begin on August 1st, 2023.
- Be sure to check with NOAA Fisheries for any updates or changes to the fishing regulations.
- There are still plenty of other species to target and enjoy fishing for in Florida’s waters, so plan your fishing trips accordingly.
Amberjack Locations in Florida
Gulf of Mexico
The Gulf of Mexico is one of Florida’s most popular locations for Amberjack fishing. This area is known for its large Amberjack population; anglers can expect to catch them year-round. Some of the best spots to fish for Amberjack in the Gulf of Mexico include offshore oil rigs, wrecks, and artificial reefs.
Located in the Florida Panhandle, Destin is another top spot for Amberjack fishing. The area is home to numerous deep-sea fishing charters specializing in targeting Amberjack. Anglers can expect to catch Amberjack in waters ranging from 60 to 400 feet deep.
Key West is a popular tourist destination and an excellent spot for Amberjack fishing. The area is home to numerous wrecks and artificial reefs providing excellent Amberjack habitat. Anglers can also target Amberjack in the deeper waters around Key West.
Pensacola is another top location for Amberjack fishing in Florida. The area is home to the largest fishing fleet in the Gulf of Mexico and is known for its deep-sea fishing charters. Anglers can target Amberjack in the deeper waters off the coast of Pensacola, including around the many offshore oil rigs in the area.
Tampa Bay is a top location for Amberjack fishing in the state. The area is home to numerous wrecks and artificial reefs providing excellent Amberjack habitat. Anglers can target Amberjack in waters ranging from 60 to 200 feet deep.
Live Baits for Amberjack Fishing
Amberjack is a popular game fish found in Florida’s coastal waters. They are known for their powerful runs and fierce fighting abilities. One effective way to target these fish is by using live bait.
Blue runners are a top choice for Amberjack anglers and for a good reason. They are readily available and you can catch this fish using various methods, including cast nets and sabiki rigs.
Threadfin herring is another excellent live bait option for Amberjack. These small and delicate fish make them an easy target for predators like Amberjack. They are also very effective at enticing fish to bite. They have a natural shimmer and flash that can trigger a feeding response.
Pinfish are a popular bait fish in Florida and anglers commonly use this fish to target various species, including Amberjack. They are hardy, can withstand the rigors of being used as live bait, and are very effective at enticing fish to bite. You can catch Pinfish using various methods, including traps and hook-and-line methods.
Sardines are a classic live bait option that anglers have used for generations. These small and delicate fish make them an easy target for predators like Amberjack. They are also very effective at enticing fish to bite. They have a natural shimmer and flash that can trigger a feeding response.
Lures for Amberjack Fishing
While live bait is a common choice for targeting Amberjack, lures can also be effective.
- Vertical Jigs: Vertical jigs are popular for Amberjack anglers due to their versatility and effectiveness. These lures come in various shapes and sizes, but all work by imitating the natural movements of baitfish. When fishing for Amberjack, vertical jigs are often fished in deeper water and jigged up and down to create a fluttering motion that can trigger a strike.
- Bucktail Jigs: Bucktail jigs are another popular lure for Amberjack fishing. These lures are typically made with a lead head and a skirt of hair or synthetic material that mimics the appearance of a baitfish. Bucktail jigs can be fished by casting, retrieving, or jigging in deeper water.
- Topwater Plugs: While not as commonly used for Amberjack fishing, topwater plugs can effectively target these hard-fighting fish. These lures are designed to disturb the water’s surface, imitating the movements of a struggling baitfish. When fishing with topwater plugs, ensuring your equipment is up to handle these powerful fish is essential.
- Swimbaits: Swimbaits are soft plastic lures that imitate a baitfish’s movement. These lures are often fished with a slow and steady retrieve, mimicking the natural swimming action of the prey. When fishing for Amberjack with swimbaits, it’s essential to use a heavier jighead or weighted hook to get the lure down to the depth where the fish are feeding.
- Poppers: Poppers are a type of topwater plug designed to create a loud popping sound when retrieved. This sound can be very effective at triggering a feeding response in Amberjack. When fishing with poppers, using a heavier rod and line to handle the powerful strikes these lures can produce is essential.
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With over 15 years of experience, Salty Knots Fishing Charters’ captains are experts in targeting some of the most sought-after game fish in the area, including amberjack, red snapper, wahoo, and grouper.
Our captains will provide you with the knowledge, expertise, and top-notch equipment to catch the fish of a lifetime. Our state-of-the-art boats and fishing gear give you the best chance of success on the water. Take advantage of this opportunity to fish with some of the best in the business. Book your trip today!
Services We Offer
Whether you are an experienced fisherman or a beginner, Salty Knots Fishing Charters will provide you with an experience you will remember. Our services include Offshore Deep Sea Charters. Salty Knots Fishing Charters also offers beautiful sunset cruises along the world-famous St. Petersburg beach!