Sunny Fishing Charters

AMBERJACK: The Reef Donkey

Discover the thrill of battling the formidable Amberjack, affectionately known as the “reef donkey,” in the waters off Miami. With a peak season spanning from February to June, these powerful predators lure anglers to embark on Full Day Offshore charters in pursuit of epic battles.


Amberjack, pound for pound, rank among the toughest adversaries in offshore Miami. Patrolling deep reefs and wrecks at mid-depths, they eagerly ambush passing prey in the relentless currents. Armed with heavy conventional or spinning gear, rigged with braided line and a robust 80lb mono leader, anglers deploy live bait or vertical jigs to entice these prized gamefish.


Venture to wrecks ranging from 180 to 300 feet to seek out Amberjack in their element. Anchoring at such depths proves challenging, thus power drifting emerges as the preferred method. Strategic drift alignment allows baits to descend to the wreck’s depths, ensuring ample clearance for the impending battle when a strike occurs.


In the midst of an Amberjack feeding frenzy, stout tackle becomes indispensable. Utilizing 50lb tackle with 100lb braid, reinforced by a robust 100lb leader and 20-35lbs of drag, ensures anglers can tame these reef giants. Optimal bait choices include large live offerings such as blue runners, speedoes, bullet bonito, or giant pinfish, enticing voracious strikes from hungry Amberjack.


Master the art of vertical jigging to trigger aggressive strikes from Amberjack. These apex predators, capable of reaching weights exceeding 60lbs, eagerly engulf fast-moving lures resembling their natural prey. Their telltale sign of aggression—a thick black bar across their eyes—signals an impending battle. While Amberjack frequent reefs and wrecks year-round, they prove most receptive to jigs when currents sweep over the structure.

Amberjack, revered for their fighting spirit, offer exhilarating battles for anglers seeking adrenaline-fueled encounters. While smaller specimens may grace the dinner table, larger individuals often harbor worms, prompting catch-and-release practices to preserve these majestic creatures for future generations of anglers to enjoy.

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