The Greater Amberjack - Seriola Dumerili

Latin: Seriola Dumerili

English: Greater Amberjack

German: Große Bernsteinmakrele

French: La Sériole, Sériole Couronnée

Italian: Seriola, Ricciola

Spanish: El pez de Limón, Pez limón, Seriola, Medregal Coronado

Croatian: Gof, Orhan, Bilizmuša, Felun

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 Photo of the Greater Amberjack (Seriola Dumerili) - Wikipedia

About: The Greater Amberjack (Seriola Dumerili) is a fish of the genus Seriola. Maximum length of the Greater Amberjack is 1.90 meters, but common specimen is around a meter in length. Its maximum weight is ~80 kg.

They are blue-gray in color, the upper body is often olive, with transition to silvery white on the belly. It has forked tail and two dorsal fins, the first short and the second long. The teeth in both jaws are rather small.

An amber-colored stripe runs along the body. Juvenile specimen are yellowish in color, hence the name in many languages - amber or yellow, especially for small specimen.

The Greater Amberjack is a predatory species that feeds on other pelagic fish. Juveniles form small schools or are found individually. Smaller juveniles sometimes swim in the protection of jellyfish.

Spawning occurs in Spring and Summer, near the coast. The eggs are pelagic.

The Greater Amberjack is prized game fish by recreational and sport fisherman because it is a very powerful, fighting fish.

greater amberjack 2Habitat: The Greater Amberjack is found in all oceans, where the water temperature is over 18° C.

In the western Atlantic it can be found from New England to Brazil, including the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico. Seriola Dumerili also lives in the eastern Atlantic, the Mediterranean, the Red Sea and the Indian and Pacific ocean from South Africa to Japan and Panama. While searching for prey, it is present from the water surface to depths of up to 350 meters, but is most common between 20 and 70 m.

Adults are often found around deep reefs, only occasionally entering deeper coastal bays saerching for prey. Juveniles up to a size of 30 cm, can be found in sheltered bays or around floating plants or various types of floating debris in oceanic and offshore waters.

Fishing period: In most countries, fishing period is in late summer and during the autumn - after the spawning season. If caught during the spawning season, it must be released. If you are not sure about local laws, be sure to check them before fishing for Greater Amberjack during spring and summer.

Fishing rigs and tackle: In recreational fishing, the Greater Amberjack is commonly caught while trolling using live bait like Garfish (Belone Belone).

If present on location, the Greter Amberjack will strike various natural and artificial baits, including various lures in the shape of small pelagic fish, commonly found on its menu.

It will strike live bait on long-lines, too, like Annular Gilthead (Diplodus Annularis) or Saddled Seabream (Oblada Melanura), various mullets and similar smaller fish. Live squids are also good bait for the Greater Amberjack.

However, if the bait or lure is not moving around like its natural prey, the Greater Amberjack will not strike it. So, if you see it on your fishfinder, but it is not striking your bait, change the lure or put a live bait.

The Greater Amberjack can be stubborn regarding its prey, even worse than Common Dentex (Dentex Dentex) or European Sea Bass (Dicentrarchus Labrax) or some other, very wary species...

 It is also possible to catch the Greater Amberjack with the speargun - it is highly recommendable to aim in the head, around heart or even gills with strong gun and spear tied to the long rope. A direct hit in the body can lead to long and heavy fight and if diver has no support by the people in the boat, this situation can be rather dangerous, especially in the open waters, where sharks can be found.

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Photo of the Greater Amberjack (Seriola Dumerili) - Wikipedia

Cuisine: Meat is soft, white and very tender. The Greater Amberjack taste is excellent and is, in fact, considered to be a delicacy.

The Greater Amberjack can be cooked in numerous ways, but the best Amberjack recipes are:

- barbecued, with some olive oil, garlic and parsley, served with potato or similar salad,
- mixed fish stew with other fish and lobster species,
- grilled or fried in the pan,

Regardless of the cooking, its taste is great.

Is Amberjack Safe to Eat?

Some people ask if the Greater Amberjack is good to eat at all? Well, problem is ciguatera poisoning.

The ciguatera poisoning is caused by eating certain reef fish whose flesh is contaminated with a toxin made by dinoflagellates which live in tropical and subtropical waters. They adhere to coral, algae and seaweed, where they are eaten by herbivorous fish which in turn are eaten by larger carnivorous fish, like the Greater Amberjack.

Note also that ciguatera poisoning is location dependent - when going on a fishing trip, ask locals or rent a boat with a local skipper and inform yourself.

Personally, if the fish is caught in the colder waters, the danger of the ciguatera is negligible. But that is just my opinion.

For more on this topic, please check Ciguatera article on the Wikipedia (link opens in the new window).