Can You Eat The Almaco Jacks You Catch Under Offshore Sargasm?
Anybody who knows me, knows that im willing to try every fish in the ocean. In fact I've made it a point to harvest the most unconventional of species. I've eaten barracuda, anchovies, toro snapper and a plethora of other so called trash fish.
Every year when the seas lay down and the dolphin are abundant on the weed lines offshore, anglers venture out in search of the mahi mahi. These fish are prized by most anglers and people spend hundreds of dollars targeting them.
On a recent offshore excursion we were also targeting dolphin offshore and after running around for about 30 miles, we had nothing to show for it. We caught plenty of undersize dolphin, to the point where we stopped fishing for dolphin even when they were around the boat. They tend to have a mortality rate when brought aboard, so we wanted to avoid any fatalities.
However all day long we were surrounded by these pesky little fish called almaco jacks. Now alamco jacks are one of the smaller species of the amberjack family and are so abundant offshore, they are like piranhas. The FWC or florida fish regulating body deems them unregulated meaning you can harvest 100lbs or 2 fish per person whichever is greater with no minimum size limit. This means that their biologists and scientists, believe there are enough of them to where they need little to no regulation.
Since we had only one dolphin in the cooler after fishing all day, we decided to start keeping the almaco jacks. We probably kept around a dozen and let me tell you they were incredibly easy to catch
After preparing dinner that night I wanted to do a little taste test for the family and see if thue preferred the less favored almaco jack or the prized dolphin. Out of 6 people we all agreed the almaco jack was as good if not better than the dolphin! This is coming from a group of people who have tried over 50 different species of fish too! It goes to show that sometimes you need to go against common thought and try things for yourself!