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Jiggin Finatic
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The only way to tell for sure is the gill rakes inside the gills.
 

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First Catch (11/3/2007)Does anybody know for sure if this is a greater amberjack?
Could be wrong but to me and by all descriptions I've read it looks like a Lesser. But like said the Gill Rakes?? The main difference between the two amberjacks is the greater amberjack is longer than the lesser amberjack. In fact, the greater amberjack is four times longer than it is deep (side height); while the lesser amberjack is only about 3-1/2 times longer than deep (I tried measuring from your picture, and got a little more then 3.5 times), not counting the fins. If a ruler and calculator aren't handy and you really want to know, lift up the gill and count the finger shaped projections from the first gill. If it's a greater amberjack there are about 20 of these; in the lesser amberjack there are about 25. Also, but very hard to tell and you virtually need each side by side..Greater the dark, oblique line through the eye ends at the first ray of the dorsal fin...Lesser the line stops short of the dorsal fin. Now to remember this while trying to count Gill Rakes on a thrashing fish. .....Greateris Less...Lesseris greater...Hope this helps.
 

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eating tasty
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Greater for sure IMO. Got this info about lessers off the SAFMC page. "The lesser amberjack occurs in the Eastern and Western Atlantic Oceans. In the Atlantic, it is found from Massachusetts to Brazil. This is a benthopelagic species, primarily found in depths of 55-130 m (180-427 ft). Maximum reported size is 68 cm (27 in) FL. It feeds on squids and fishes. "

This tells me they are a MUCH deeper water amberjack than a greater, and a barely "legal" greater is a RECORD sized lesser.

http://www.safmc.net/FishIDandRegs/FishGallery/LesserAmberjack/tabid/300/Default.aspx
 

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If you kept him and ate him it was a Greater AJ.

If you threw him back and he got ate by a damned dolphin it was a Greater AJ

If you counted gill rakers poked around under the gill covering with bacteria covered fingers it was a Greater AJ

If you took higher calculus and measured the angle of the inflection point from the soft dorsal ray it was a Greater AJ

If you said - "This fish isn't 28" and I don't want to kill it without knowing for sure what it is.." you tossed back a Lesser AJ and should still feel good about it.


:mmmbeer

Stressless
 

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Stressless (11/5/2007)If you kept him and ate him it was a Greater AJ.

If you threw him back and he got ate by a damned dolphin it was a Greater AJ

If you counted gill rakers poked around under the gill covering with bacteria covered fingers it was a Greater AJ

If you took higher calculus and measured the angle of the inflection point from the soft dorsal ray it was a Greater AJ

If you said - "This fish isn't 28" and I don't want to kill it without knowing for sure what it is.." you tossed back a Lesser AJ and should still feel good about it.


:mmmbeer

Stressless
good call :clap
 

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C-Hawk 245 Pilot House
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I've been fishing saltwater for around 10 years now, I still can't tell 100% for sure. Ask an expert, they use terms like "smaller eyes" or "lighter color" or one is "less" something, etc.No one seems to be able to tell me a 100% way to tell the difference.:boo

Therefore, I onlykeep AJ's thatare over 28". I'm sure I've thrown back countless LAJ's, but I've never gotten a ticket for keeping the wrong fish.:bowdown

Sea-r-cy
 

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Jiggin Finatic
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If it tasted great it was a greater
 

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Banded rudderfish..

i had this same conversation a couple of months ago on here.. It is definately easier to tell side by side, FWC told me that lessers are caught here, but usually out in DEEP water, but you will catch plenty of undersize GAJtheway to tell teh difference between them and them andbanded rudderfish is the anal fin is half the length or shorter of the dorsal fin..

Good luck, but my call on that one is banded rudderfish
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Thanks for all the info. I'm thinking it was a lesser but I guess there's no for sure way to tell:banghead. If it was a lesser it sounds like its a pretty big one. Only thing is, it was caught in 120ft of water, and from what you guys have told me, Lessers are generally in deeper water... Still don't for sure though. By the way it was 33".
 
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