Gary Finch Outdoors: Preparing for amberjack season

Gary Finch Outdoors

(WKRG) — The recreational seasons for the greater amberjack will re-open in federal waters of the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday, Aug. 1.  In the past, we found that the key to landing a big amberjack is live bait.   

Capt. William Pugh with Rocked Up Charters: Well gentlemen, we’ve got the bait. We are going to slip out here and see if we can catch different kinds of bait. Some rubies, white snappers, there’s been a few big pinfish, you know really big, pan-sized pinfish. See if we can get a little bit of that in the live well. That will be how we are going to start and then we will ease off and see if we can find an amberjack.  

We are bait fishing so we want to see if we can bring them up easy. Nice and slow. That way they will live. They will go through the bends just like a diver. Keep your thumb in front of you and you can sort of steer the line, keeping it straight. Not that it’s that big of a deal while you are actually bait fishing, but later, when we go to catching bigger fish, it’ll matter even more and you start doing the same thing every time.  

There are some up, about 150 foot off the bottom, or a 100 foot off the bottom I mean. This machine when you’re seeing that out here in this deeper water, he’s full grown.  He’s going to hurt the guy that hooks him.

Gary: All right. Whew! Lord of mercy.  I tell you what.  You’d better be a young buck nowadays to come out here and get these fish in.  

The bag limit for greater amberjack is one per person and they must be at least 34 inches fork length.  As always check on the regulations before heading out on the water.

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