The amberjack bite is on

(Photo courtesy Go Long Charters LLC)
(Photo courtesy Go Long Charters LLC)

Despite rough seas over the weekend, Capt. Gary Long of Go Long Charters was able to work some offshore magic out of Venice.

“The seas were pretty rough, so going long to the floaters was not an option,” Long said. “Luckily, amberjack season opened Saturday, and the AJ bite was on!”

Long’s party caught its limit of amberjack on Saturday using live bait and Striker Offshore Tackle jigs.

“Just go to any structure, reef or wreck (more than 250 feet deep),” said Long (225-252-5315), “and you should find these donkeys.”

Even though Sunday’s seas were worse than Saturday’s, and most of the fleet cancelled, Long and crew decided to tough it out.

“A few of us headed out to fish for swordfish,” Long said. “We knew that we only had a few hours of fishing before the line of the storms made it to Venice.”

But victory goes to the bold.

“Thankfully, the broadbills didn’t disappoint,” Long said. “I put my clients on their very first swordfish, and we had two, each over 100 pounds, and were headed back before noon!”

(Photo courtesy Go Long Charters LLC)
(Photo courtesy Go Long Charters LLC)

Long said all charter boats fishing for amberjack and other reef fish in federal waters must have a valid Reef Permit.

The recreational season for amberjack in the Gulf of Mexico opened on May 1 and will close on June 1. The daily creel limit is one fish person, with a 24-inch, fork-length size minimum. Gulf anglers have a catch target of 1,086,985 pounds for 2020-2021 and a catch limit of 1,309,620 pounds.

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Will Martin is an adventure writer based in New Orleans, LA. He pens fiction and nonfiction stories at, and is a staff writer at Louisiana Sportsman. He can be reached at