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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
about 1 pm Wednesday,8/6, I caught a 93.8 lb fish about 400-500 ft deep in 4,000 ft+ water near or beneath the Nansen spar in the NW GOM. (It was weighed and measured at the dock: 56" long; 35" girth; 93.8 lb. It was identified as an AJ. Although many of us have been assured that AJ's don't go that far offshore, on that trip and others, I have seen large AJ's caught at/near spars in deep water. I assume they take cover in the exposed piping at the bottom of the spar. But, this AJ has a darker bronze color than any AJ I have ever seen in the NW GOM; and, I noticed the meat had a darker pink tinge than any AJ meat I recalled. Does anyone know what accounts for these differences in color? Could it be diet--this fish took a whole, dead 2-4 lb blackfin tuna?
 

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Looks like an AJ to me. I've seen them bring up some that are almost a dark reddish copper color. People sometimes say they are bar/alamaco/amber jacks.

Nice fish regardless and yes you can find AJ's that far offshore. AJ's go all over the GOM especially around structure.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Did you have fun with it? How about a report?


Not much to say--more lifting than grace or art. I dropped a dead, lip-hooked Bkfin tuna down about 450-500 ft w/in20 yds of the Nansen spar. Why 500 ft? Because the markings on the spar showed a 495 ft waterline. I assumed the AJ's would hide in/around the base of the spar.

Thinking I was risking being caught on one of the spar's anchor chains, I began to retrieve the line. But, after a few minutes, the "chain" began to fight and later to circle. It was a straight standup fight on a heavy rig suited to larger fish: a Calstar 760XH windon roller rod, an Accurate 50W loaded with 60 yd of 200# hollow JB Line One +800 yd of 130# hollow JB LineOne. Terminal tackle included a couple of 1# trolling wts followed by an 8 ft 400# abrasion resistant leader and a heavy owner circle hook and the Bkfin.

The fight seemed to take only about 20-30 minutes followed by a beer on a hot day; but, I'm guessing about the time. There was a lot of short stroke lifting; and, there were a couple of brief low-gear moments; but, I did not use the rail this time. This was easier than what I recall of pulling my 83# AJ off of its reef.
 

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Way to go Jep!

Did you catch any other tuna?

d-a
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
. . . Did you catch any other tuna? d-a

I neither caught or saw any of consequence. My current fishing affliction is such that I don't get excited about catching blackfin or sub-50# YFT. I did catch some BkFT while experimenting with some different rigs and tackle. I also caught BkFT to provide them as bait and to provide them to friends who wanted them.

I've learned the GOM YFT don't disappear in the summer; but, they do become very scarce. The test comes Sept-Dec.
 

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Every AJ that we have caught around spars has been a very dark color, and we have caught some very large almaco's as well. Nice fish.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Every AJ that we have caught around spars has been a very dark color, and we have caught some very large almaco's as well. Nice fish.

Could it be that they can't find the pale little reef delicacies they prefer so they add red-meat fish such as blackfin to their diets?

More later on the taste test.
 

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Every AJ that we have caught around spars has been a very dark color, and we have caught some very large almaco's as well. Nice fish.

Come to think of it, the AJ I caught at Boomvang years ago was very dark too. It tasted fine.
 

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Yes, it is a large mature female greater amberjack. Reproductive males aren't so dark (sometimes a teal tinge) and are smaller. Great fish!
 

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In the carolinas a lot of the AJs we pulled off reefs and wrecks (resident fish) looked like that darker bronze color while the ones we caught on open bottom and the coral live bottom were much more silvery in color
 
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