Amberjack

What is it: Known as a worthy opponent to veteran anglers throughout the Gulf Coast, the Amberjack is worth the fight. While it’s pretty mild on the flavor scale, a good cut of Amberjack will be thick and meaty when it’s cooked up.

When to Get it: April and May are the best times to try to hook your own Amberjack. Recreational Amberjack is closed in June and July, but there’s plenty to be found late in the summer and into October and November.

Where Does it Come From: There’s a reason they call them “sea donkeys.” If you’re trying to reel one in, you’re in for a workout—Amberjack are known as one of the toughest fighters in the Gulf Coast. Amberjack settle throughout the northern part of the Gulf from the shoreline to depths of up to 300 feet. They tend to find some type of ground structure, especially oil and gas platforms, to call their home.

How it’s Prepared: If you’ve got the means to cook up a fish this hearty, blackened Amberjack will make for a great entrée. When you fillet your fish, make sure your filets are just over half an inch thick. Once you cover them in butter and a mix of spices, all it takes is a few minutes in a cast iron skillet. Just don’t try this one indoors—the blackening process comes with a lot of smoke.

Species: Greater Amberjack.