View Full Version : Amberjack question ?
02-11-2003, 05:30 PM
Why do some of you guy's like to shoot AJ'S ?They are wormy,don't taste real good compared to what else is down there,and not too hard to get a bead on.I read about alot of hunter's who like to shoot them,and I have no problem with it,just wondering if you eat it,sell it,give it to pesky relatives who are always asking for fish(we all have them).Personally, I like to get the most out of every dive,and spending 5min. wrestling with a 25+ pound AJ is wasting valuable bottom time to me.
Just curious ?????:confused:
02-11-2003, 06:10 PM
I like the meat. It tastes fine to me. Screen Name grilled some a couple of weeks ago, and it was excellent. I just cleaned a 32 pounder last night, and not a worm to be found.
02-11-2003, 06:16 PM
West coast AJ's have less worms than east coast AJ's. Fight for five minutes? Not when they get a .223 tap on the shoulder.
02-11-2003, 06:20 PM
Second that. Gulf coasts AJ's have much, much less worms. Don't ask me why, I don't know. I have seen it. In Destin, we used to serve AJ fresh "Fish of the Day" with big success. I've been collecting recipes off of the FS forum and have a couple of AJ recipes that work well. Let me know if you want me to post them.
02-11-2003, 07:05 PM
buck a pound... that's why i shoot em... and they taste great too.
02-11-2003, 07:35 PM
That's what i've heard too,buck a pound.When those landlubbers go to their favorite seafood restaurant and think they're getting Grouper,guess what?
Anyway yes,lots of worms over here.I mate on a few boat's out of St. Augustine, and 95% of the AJ's I clean have worm's, sometimes only in the front half of the fillet.
To me,they are not worth the time wasted.Especially when I put that fat Grouper, or true Red fillet on the grill.
BTW,Happy Birthday Fishkilla.I enjoy your video's,keep em' commin'.:D
02-11-2003, 08:17 PM
Hey Slipknot, which boats do you mate for?
02-11-2003, 08:17 PM
You should consider the worms to be an extra protein bonus. Why not? All the worms eat is AJ. :D
The black drum on the W. Coast also tend to have a lot of worms in them the bigger they get. Every time I clean one I always take the extra precautions of checking for worms.
02-11-2003, 08:52 PM
JANA B - 46' OCEAN
SO FINE- 42' CHRIS CRAFT
RIB TIDE-46' OCEAN (ONCE IN A WHILE)
WONDERLAND-50' POST (NEW THIS SEASON)
And any other boat that I can get on.all these boats are out of the Conch House,I'm down there allmost every weekend,usually in the dock bar after 7:00 til ????????? C'mon down once tournament season starts.
02-11-2003, 09:21 PM
If you stick with smaller AJ's (30-34") they are less likely to carry worms. They are still the same species you guys have in the Gulf. They just have a bad (read: wormy) rap here. Last worm I saw was actually in a red grouper fillet from the Keys. Unfortunately, I didn't find until it was on the plate. Talking about making everyone else paranoid about their fillet! Bull dolphin carry them too. I guess there is a tradeoff for the warmer water we have here (more worms).
02-11-2003, 09:29 PM
I've always thought it was as good as dolphin myself, when cooked properly and minus the worm deal.
02-11-2003, 09:34 PM
I just like the fact of moving targets,( like cats) if you would "stone" that 30# AJ it would not take you 5 min. to string. They are my wifes favorite fish hot or cold but fry-em .
02-11-2003, 10:03 PM
When i lived in the keys I was made fun of all of the time for shooting AJs, Made comment like "he must be from the west coast" "or an "L.A. hunter( lower alabama)" Like it was a bad thing. I love amberjack fresh , but after it is frozen it for those pesky relatives. I cube it, marinade it in teriaki for a couple of hours wrap in bacon and grill. mmmmmmm
fyi -- i also like to eat kingfish, GD I'm proud to be from the west coast :)
02-11-2003, 10:52 PM
Originally posted by Reef Raider
I just like the fact of moving targets,( like cats) if you would "stone" that 30# AJ it would not take you 5 min. to string. To be honest, that's another reason I like shooting them. It's a rush. I'm not talking powerheading. I'm talking, "If I hit meat, I might get my ass kicked!"
02-11-2003, 11:57 PM
Ever have some smoked? I got a buddy with a smoker, who is always begging me to bag the next sail that I catch, but AJs are great smoked. So why not blast a couple, then nibble on the rewards on my next trip.
02-12-2003, 08:53 AM
Smaller AJs are definitely better. Imediately bleeding, gutting, keeping the meat ice cold from the time it's dead to the time you cook it, and cutting out the red meat makes a HUGE difference in the taste. Very tasty indeed if you do these things, especially smoked or grilled. As well as the promise of an adrenaline rush if you tag a big one and it's not a stone shot while free divin' amongst a plethora of cuda! :D Hoooty Hooo!
02-12-2003, 08:57 AM
smoked AJ rocks!
02-12-2003, 09:09 AM
East Coast AJs tend to be wormy when they get up into the legal size range. Gulf Coast AJs will have minimal worms even up to 6' long. A 30 to 50 pound AJ in the Gulf is usually worm free. A 10 pounder off Hatteras will usually be wormy on the aft third.
Large 'cuda are not on the hunt list in the Atlantic, but are prime eating in the Northern Gulf. I expect food species and zooplankton differences due to current and temperature variations between the Atlantic and the Gulf will explain most of differences. Could be a slightly different genetic population that makes gulf AJs a bit more resistant too though. I know of no studies to prove or disprove that though.
02-12-2003, 09:22 AM
I shoot and keep cuda 3' and under. They are tasty, as well. I think they are comparable to grouper in meat texture and "whiteness". I've haven't froze any yet though. I never freeze any fish that isn't a very white meat fish. Snapper is about my cutoff point, even then I cut the blood line out and don't keep them in the freezer very long.
02-12-2003, 09:23 AM
I heard that there was a food warning concerning the consumption of Barracuda. Apparently, because 'cuda tend to feed on smaller reef fish they build up a toxin in their bodies. Eating Cuda has killed several people in the past several years. In this warning I read, it said that the larger the cuda, the higher concentrations of this toxin you will find. any body else want to contribute to this?
02-12-2003, 09:31 AM
However, the Northern Gulf is NOT a coral reef environment!
I've eaten 'cuda up to 10' long taken off the mouth of The River with no ill effects. The "normal" cuda taken around here is about 5' long. Smaller than that we'll usually let them grow a while.
BTW By the same token large grouper and snapper in a coral reef habitat should be avoided too.
02-12-2003, 09:47 AM
that 'cuda frozen encased in water (as ALL seafood should) is deliscious and keeps for months.
FredT is, as usual, spot on with the difference between southern cigutera (sp??) carrying barracuda and the ones up here.
02-12-2003, 11:00 AM
I couldnt get my kids to try fish unless it came from captain d's, until I fryed up some cuda one night after a dive. Now i cant fry any cuda or blacktip for that matter without beating them out of it till its all done.
02-12-2003, 11:57 AM
Eating Cuda isn't a death sentance, nor is it a certainty that the fish has the Ciguatera toxin. You could eat cuda proboly 99 times and not have a problem. But the possibility still exists, and the other members of this board should at least be aware of this. I wouldn't doubt more people die worldwide each year eating cuda than are killed by sharks. Granted, in N. FLA. you are less likely to encounter this situation. But most commercial fishermen in the tampa bay area won't even try to harvest cudas out of this concern.
02-12-2003, 12:17 PM
That area IS a coral reef environment!
The rule I use is that if there are lots of sponge and coral eating fish about, and stony corals and hard sponges are a significant portion of the reef structure, big fish are off the menu. Pelagics such as NG deepwater cuda, cobia and and AJs are on the menu almost anywhere.
02-12-2003, 12:31 PM
I've done my research on eating cuda before I started eating it. FredT is on the money regarding this. I'm a native of the Tampa Bay area and have only ever heard of 1 person getting sick from Ciguatera and that was from eating grouper from a well regarded restaurant. The grouper was most likely a very large one. The manager said the fish was bought from a local fresh fish house. I've talked to many people from the area who've eaten cuda most of their life with no instances of Ciguatera. Matter of fact, there's a charter capt. out of Sarasota who targets nothing but cuda, and says if they're 3' or under, they go home with them. The research I've found says that any large fish that preys on reef fish is subject to the toxins, ie. snapper, AJs, kingfish, grouper, etc. They've never had 1 case of Ciguatera in the northern gulf waters. Cudas have gotten a bad rap from Peurto Rico who use to be the biggest exporter of the meat. The selling of cuda in Peurto Rico was outlawed a while back. It's the carribean cuda meat that you need to be more leary of. Always clean a fish thoroughly before cooking it. The poison is usually concentrated in the head, organs and roe. Still, it's the larger cuda there that pose a threat. Ciguatera is rarely fatal anyhow. Between 1983 and 1992 there were 10 reported cases of Ciguatera in Florida, none fatal. http://jama.ama-assn.org/issues/v280n16/fpdf/jwr1028.pdf
02-12-2003, 01:21 PM
I am not trying to scare the holy bejesus out of people concerning this. Nor is it something I ever made the claim that ALL Cuda's are affected by this toxin. But this is something everybody who spears or eats fish should be aware of, especially those divers who spear in the tropics or dive on vacation anywhere else in the world or may think about when they go to these areas and eat cuda in a restuarant. I brought up the subject because I don't think this is something that everybody is aware of. Isn't the purpose of this forum to share ideas and information?
02-12-2003, 04:01 PM
Ditto...Cooked correctly AJ can be very good. Pan fry or in a stew is terrific. Not too crazy about it grilled.
Have shot a lot of AJ out of Panama City and never seen a worm. Only have 3 off the east coast and been real lucky there as well. Have always been on the watch for them never seen them.
If you don't stone them they can put up a heck of a fight. They seem like a bit of a challenge as trong as they are and as quick. Compared to a lot of other fish, as quick as they move, it can be difficult for some folks to even hit one! Let alone piss one off and have him attached to you by a 10' line. They can really take you for a ride.
Around the oil rigs in La the AJ's can run 60 to 70 lbs! Imagine wrestling one of those suckers!
02-12-2003, 10:18 PM
filet the cuda and place the head on an ant hill... if the ants don't start eating it then it is poisoned. just because you are eating a cuda that was caught up here or even farther north does not mean it didn't live down in the keys for the past ten years. if you stick to the small fish they are fine... the first one i ate came from down in miami but he was only about 18inches long. it was delicious.
02-13-2003, 07:43 AM
Ciguatera is not only a problem with 'cuda. Large hogs, cuberas and grouper can carry it too. Does this mean we will stop spearing these fish? HELL NO. I guess it is a small risk you have to take. For God's sake, they still eat beef in Europe with all the Mad cow stuff.
Anyway, the main reason I don't shoot 'cuda is that I hate their stench and I really don't want a 'cuda to trash my gear (a big cobia, now that is a different story). However, I wish someone start shooting them as they swarm all over the reefs and wrecks down here (especially this time of the year).
02-13-2003, 08:12 PM
30# ok but how about a 50# Scott?? "Want to go for a ride" For years I shot AJs with a JBL 450 XHD A 30 ft shot with that gun was not a problem so I shot a lot of AJs in the 30-50# range with no PH at all. Now I just like to take one shot one kill its better for the meat. If the free shaft misses the "BRAIN " shot then I get the line out to finish the job . Try this the 1st AJ that you free shaft and stone go to the bottom take your shaft but leave the fish go shoot 1 more get the shaft leave the fish ect. ect. ...Now go back see what your fish brought in shoot it too or get your bounty and go..
02-13-2003, 08:29 PM
We'll go out and have a cuda shoot at the Rube Allyn Reef and do a fish fry for the church. Just tell the congregation that it is grouper, snapper and a whole lot of other fish. There is always one grouper, one snapper, and the rest is cuda. Out of the 100-150 people no one ever gets sick, and all say that it was the best grouper the ever had. Smoke it, fry it, blacken it, hell just cook it you cant ruin it. Want to go for a ride start shooting the larger ones in the body and hang on. You just have to watch for the hungry jew fish, they think the cudas are like appetizers. Since this thread is more about Aj's, they make some of the best smoked fish dip you could ask for.
02-14-2003, 09:05 AM
02-17-2003, 10:13 AM
Took this AJ off the Rinkon (spelling???) just out from Ft Pierce last year. Got him in the upper Dorsal area and he really tried to take me for a ride. Luckily I was able to hold on to the wreck and keep from being dragged. Vis was low and he was pissed off! It was a challenge just to get him on my stringer and recover my shaft. The biggest problem was that I had descended through the largest school of Barracuda that I had ever seen. They were all hovering at around 20 to 30 ft. I knew that I had to do a safety stop since I hit him around 100'. I wrapped my arms around it and had a death grip on it with the stringer d ring on my thuimb so I could easily drop him if necessary. I was happy to get this fellow on board.
I'm 6'3" 235#'s the fish was 42".
02-19-2003, 12:01 AM
02-19-2003, 07:17 AM
Hell is this is a aj picture show?:D
02-19-2003, 09:08 AM
Here's the untouched photo. :D
02-19-2003, 09:27 AM
They may qualify as the worse photoshop hatchet job I have ever seen. :D
02-19-2003, 09:32 AM
Yeah, I agree. Where's the plane???:D
02-19-2003, 09:45 AM
Da Plane! Da Plane!
02-19-2003, 12:49 PM
sensless acts of photoshop, Hell, I'm in.
02-19-2003, 12:55 PM
Charleston, I love your sense of humor. One day we all will be smoking a turd in Hell for some of the things we have seen on Spearboard. I wonder if they have cold beer in Hell.:D
02-19-2003, 01:31 PM
02-19-2003, 01:57 PM
Diver dave is that boat out of Panama city or somewhere else? Private or charter.
02-19-2003, 02:56 PM
No. That one was taken just off Ft Pierce, North of West Palm.
Used to dive w/ Rubin Laurel (Prince of Tides) out of Panama City every now and then. Rubin has since sold his boat. Saw it last year as we were running north up from Miami. Passed the Prince of Tides heading south. Not sure where it stays now. Good boat.
02-19-2003, 03:47 PM
Uh huh, Uh huh....
Dude's gettin' a wet frog pecker in his ear... knarly!
02-19-2003, 04:55 PM
what the hell...
02-19-2003, 04:58 PM
Everyone's favorite poodle. LoL....
Hey inlet, I see you've discovered that those Home Depot $3.99 gloves work great for spearing. Financial Advis. taught me that taught me that little trick. In the Winter, I've got to use my Akona 3 mil gloves.
02-19-2003, 05:57 PM
They're great for spearing, Scott. Not much slips around in your hand. But grabbing lobster, well, a full day of that will still leave your hands pretty sore and cut up. Somehow those lobster spines and thornes somehow make their way through the glove...
02-19-2003, 09:17 PM
lol I just checked the board here at work on my lunch and all the guys saw those "realistic" pictures....it has everyone laughin their asses off!
02-20-2003, 03:13 PM
Just when you thought you've seen it all. It goes to prove that Pot and Photoshop just don't mix:
02-20-2003, 10:40 PM
amberjack what? they taste great and sell great. that's all i got
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