Greater amberjack

The Greater amberjack has a lot of names like the sea donkey, rock salmon, sailors’ choice, etc., and they are predatory fish found in the tropical seas worldwide.

They belong to the Carangidae family and are the largest species in the family. Commonly weighed at 40 pounds, they measure 38 inches in length. However, an adult Greater amberjack can weigh around 200 pounds and grow up to 75 inches.

The females of these species grow larger and live longer than males. A very important fish in commercial fisheries and a popular game fish, the Greater amberjack has a lifespan of 17 years.


The Greater amberjack is blessed with colors ranging from brownish to bluish-grey or a silvery blue with a silvery-white belly and a shading of yellow across the lateral line with a deeply forked tail.

Juveniles have clear fins and usually have five dark verticals along the body.

Habitat and Lifestyle

They are usually found in subtropical and tropical seas, with waters measuring a depth of 18-73m and sometimes in waters measuring 10m in depth.

The Greater amberjack is found in the tropical oceans and seas worldwide, from the African Coast to Southern Japan and Western Australia, distributing to the Pacific Ocean, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean seas.

An adult feeds on fishes, squids, and other creatures in the seas, while the juveniles feed on small invertebrates and plankton.

Finding and Catching

This fish can be caught from an inflatable boat or kayak.

The Greater amberjacks are known to be epibenthic and pelagic fishes, so they are found near reef habitats and rocky outcrops, including the open seas. A well-known place to catch one is around oil rigs too.

The juveniles shelter themselves among the floating algae out in the seas. An excellent fishing method would be trolling along the surface and live bait fishing.

Peak Season

The months from March-May are peak season.

Best Bait

  • Blue runners.
  • Pigfish.
  • Grunts.
  • Cigar Minnows.