Almaco Jack, also know as Longfin Yellowtail or Falcate Amberjack, is a favorite game fish among anglers. The best fishing methods for Almaco Jack include bottom bouncing, drift fishing, jigging and trolling using live bait, shrimp, squid, spoons, jigs and plugs. Almaco Jack are found near wrecks and underwater structure in depth of 20 to 500 feet.
How to identify Almaco Jack
Almaco jacks are gray-brown-green and have a subtle greenish-gold striped marking that runs horizontally along their flanks. They have a football-like body shape and slim forked tail that make them look similar to greater amberjacks. The similarities also include darker dorsal coloring, white abdomens, and a dark, horizontal marking that runs from the snout to the tail on the flanks. The fins of the Almaco jack are gray-brown-green, and they have a lighter abdomen. Both the dorsal and anal fins are tall and long, with a prominent sickle shaping on the outside edges.
Adults have a dark marking that matches the anal and dorsal fins. Almaco jacks aren’t as long as other jacks but are flatter and shorter. The dorsal fins set them apart from other jacks because the first few anterior rays of their dorsal fins are twice as long as the dorsal spines. The rays in other jacks are shorter than the dorsal spines. Adult Almaco jacks can grow as long as 36 inches and generally weigh between 10-20 pounds.
Where to catch Almaco Jack
Almaco jacks can be found in the west Atlantic Ocean in the deep waters from Brazil to Massachusetts, in the Gulf of Mexico and in parts of the Pacific Ocean. They can also be found in sparse amounts above the Carolinas. Compared to greater amberjacks, they are a more ocean-going jack that prefers deeper waters. They often visit areas around structures, such as rocks, pilings, offshore gas/oil platforms, shipwrecks, and reefs.
The following are habitats where you can catch Almaco Jack:
- Baitfish Schools
- Coastal Waters
- Floating Foam and Debris
- Saltwater Inlets
- Reefs, Wrecks and Shoals
- Rocky Sea Floor
- The Open Ocean
How to catch Almaco Jack
Once one of these fish strikes, be prepared because they put up a fight and are known for their long, hard runs. Because of this, anglers consider them a prized fish. Because they are so strong, it is recommended that anglers make sure their gear is in top shape before attempting to catch them. Various methods work for catching almaco jacks, including using dead nets, jigging, or trolling with live bait. Anglers can also try using the yo-yo technique when fishing in deep waters. The following are effective fishing methods and techniques for catching Almaco Jack:
Best Lures, Bait & Tackle to catch Almaco Jack
Almaco jacks respond well to bait, such as squid or shrimp. They will also hit on lures, such as jigs, plugs, and spoons. When using the yo-yo technique, anglers should choose a jig or lure that matches the color of the bait. The following are fishing lures, bait and tackle that can be used to catch Almaco Jack: