Thursday, November 23, 2017
Outdoors

Amberjack season to close

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AMBERJACK season to close

Add greater amberjack to the list of offshore species off limits to recreational anglers. The Gulf of Mexico Fishery Management Council announced this week that the season will shut down on Aug. 25 and remained closed until Jan. 1, 2015.

According to the Gulf Council, sport fishermen will reach their 888,839-pound catch limit by Aug. 24. The Gulf's amberjack stocks are split between the recreational and commercial sectors, with roughly two-thirds of the quota going to sport fishermen.

Once the catch of choice for local charter captains and recreational anglers during summer, amberjack was off limits during June and July this year in order to give them a chance to rebuild. The season reopened Aug. 1.

Technically considered a "reef fish," amberjack are generally in deep water (at least 20 miles offshore) over wrecks and freshwater springs. Of the more than 140 members of the jack family, about a dozen species, including jack crevalle, pompano and permit, are familiar to Florida fishermen.

These fish are commonly 40 pounds. The state record is 142 pounds, set off Islamorada in the Florida Keys.

Send news to Terry Tomalin at [email protected] or call (727) 893-8808.

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