The amberjack is often given the acronym of AJ. It is a fish that dwells in the warmer parts of the Atlantic and the Pacific Ocean. Although it’s known simply as amberjack, there is a surprisingly large amount of amberjacks swimming the ocean, including the greater amberjacks of the Atlantic to the lesser amberjacks, banded rudderfish. Yellowtail, and the Almaco jack.
As you might guess from the name, the greater amberjack is the largest type of amberjack. You can see its differences by the dark stripes extending from its nose to the dorsal fins and the fact that there are no scutes on the fish. These greater amberjacks weigh are about forty pounds and usually hang out in rocky reefs or close to debris.
Lesser amberjacks aren’t as large as their greater siblings, yet their eyes are proportionately larger and their bodies are deeper, interestingly enough. The lesser amberjack is identified by its olive-green to brownish-black color and its sides consisting of silver hues. They may weigh less than ten pounds, yet lesser amberjacks are fierce predators, and are usually spotted munching on crustaceans, squid, and other fish.
Speaking of fierce, fishermen of all skill levels will quickly notice the amberjack’s ability to put up a hefty fight. Broken lines are quite common among novice sport fishing Miami fishermen that underestimate the amberjack’s strength.
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The marlin is a fish comprising more than seven different species. Recognized by its long body, the bill resembling a spear, and its rigid dorsal fin, it’s one of the most easily recognizable sea dwellers. The generally held belief is its name comes from its strong resemblance to a marlinspike, a tool used by sailors in marine ropework. Like the sailfish, marlin are also known for being fast swimmers, capable of reaching speeds of up to fifty miles per hour.
It’s not unusual to see marlins propped up on the walls, but these fish often fail to depict how large they can be. The Atlantic blue marlin, for example, is the largest species of marlin, spanning just over sixteen feet in length and weighing more than 1,400 pounds. Considering how popular the marlin is when it comes to sport fishing Miami, they can easily prove to be a challenge even for experienced fishermen.
There are a couple of fun facts about marlin worth sharing. It may not be as visible as the brilliant colors of the mahi-mahi, but marlin are capable of changing the color of their stripes. Whenever they are courting or feeding, these stripes will illuminate into a distinct blue or lavender color. The fish also played a pivotal role in Ernest Hemingway’s classic 1952 novel The Old Man and the Sea.
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Sailfish are a type of billfish found dwelling in the warmer parts of the ocean around the world. They are characterized by their blue to gray color, their large dorsal fin called a sail and perhaps most notably, their elongated bill that makes them look similar to swordfish. In some fishing circles, they are referred to simply as billfish.
There are two types of sailfish called the Atlantic and the Indo-Pacific. Despite this, there is very little information when it comes to their DNA differences, so they tend to be grouped into a single species. Sailfish are known for their rapid growth. In a year, a sailfish can grow close to five feet in length. They’re typically found feeding close to the surface of the ocean or at middle depths, munching on squid or smaller forage fish. They are also recognized for their unbelievable jumps.
Although they generally don’t move that fast, sailfish can reach speeds of nearly fifty miles per hour, among the highest of any organism! Their large sails are usually folded to one side, but may appear raised should the fish feel excited or threatened, causing it to appear significantly larger than its actual size.
In addition to their speed and jumping ability, sailfish are also capable of rapidly changing its body color from its natural blue to yellow-like stripes. This incredible feat is done by the nervous system and is used to confuse its prey. Interestingly, it also serves as a communication method of sorts to inform fellow sailfish about its intentions.
Mahi-mahi (also known as common dolphinfish) is typically found hanging around the surface of the water. They are ray-finned fish, which means their fins are made of webs of skin supported by spines. Mahi-mahi are typically found in tropical and temperate waters, and they belong to the same family as the pompano dolphinfish. Their name is derived from the Hawaiian word for “very strong”.
While we call them mahi-mahi, the name of the fish tends to vary based on the language. Besides mahi-mahi, it also goes by the names of maverikos, dorado, rakingo, lampuga, and plenty more. If that weren’t confusing enough, these fish are not related to dolphins despite being called dolphinfish.
To identify male and female mahi-mahi, just take a look at their heads. Male fish have a forehead significantly protruding from their body while females have a more rounded head and are generally smaller than males. Collectively, these fish are known for their vivid array of colors, from gold on the sides to the iridescent blue of the pectoral fins. They have a lifespan of about five years.
Mahi-mahi is incredibly popular when it comes to activities like sport fishing Miami, largely due to their size, food quality, and their natural beauty. They can be found hanging out near floating debris or fish buoys. Wherever frigatebirds happen to be, chances are there also mahi-mahi lurking nearby as frigatebirds frequently dive for food near them. The United States and countries in the Caribbean are considered the primary consumers of mahi-mahi.