March 24, 2022

Greater Amberjack and Shark Seasons: Take Your Pick!

The 2022 Gulf of Mexico recreational fishing season for greater amberjack will open on May 1st and continue until the end of the month. It will then remain closed until the second season reopens on August 1st and continues through October. 

The season may close early if the annual catch limit is met, so get out there now as warmer water entices these giant reef fish to visit Galveston’s beautiful Gulf Coast waters. Greater amberjacks prefer to live in Texas waters near structures like oil rigs, shipwrecks, and artificial reefs. Your captain knows this and will take you to where you’re bound to see some action and have plenty of fun.

For the record, greater amberjacks congregate in small groups, living on crabs, squid, and other small fish. They have a dark amber stripe stretching from their nose to their dorsal fin, and the stripe becomes better defined when they are excited or feeding.

As far as eating goes, greater amberjack has a rich, buttery flavor described by some as something between tuna and mahi-mahi. The fish does well with just about any preparation method, including broiling, baking, grilling, pan-frying, and smoking.

Want to add even more excitement? How about a shark trip!

Let’s face it, we have a complicated relationship with sharks. Most of that stems from a few isolated incidents over the last one-hundred years or so: the New Jersey shark attacks of 1916, the sinking of the U.S.S Indianapolis during World War II when at least 150 sailors died from shark attacks, and a 1976 film called Jaws that kept people out of the water for most of that summer. But the reality is that few sharks are dangerous, and the United States has recorded an average of one death from a shark attack per year over the last fifty years. 

Having provided that brief history of shark bites, let me remind you that May is the unofficial start of shark season on the Gulf Coast. They show up when the water temps warm to at least 70 degrees, and shark fishing doesn’t get any better than in the waters off Galveston Bay. And as if the thrill and challenge of shark fishing aren’t enough, they also offer an excellent culinary experience.

Although blacktip sharks are the abundant species in the Gulf, there are several others, including the Bull, Bonnethead, and Atlantic Sharpnose sharks. But the most interesting of the lot has to be the spinner shark, so named because they spin on their axis as they feed on schools of fish, rising from the water at the end.

Catching a massive shark requires proper physical conditioning since they can take a fisherman or woman on a wild run while performing dazzling aerobic displays. It’s no wonder that so many people want to experience the excitement of shark fishing. It offers lots of action with a highly-combative fish, yet it appeals to every family member, even children and those new to fishing.

Where else could you find this type of adventure on the water within sight of the shore? Just be ready for a few sore muscles and some of the best memories imaginable. Join all the people discovering the unbridled excitement and satisfaction that shark fishing offers in the Gulf of Mexico.

May is just around the corner! Make your plans soon!

Whether it’s Greater Amberjack or one of several shark species you want to tackle, talk to Captain Greg Ball or one of the other licensed captains at Wave Dancer Charters. And keep in mind that April is an excellent month to catch other fish like sheepshead, black drum, and those hard-fighting redfish.With average high temperatures of 75 degrees in April, Galveston, Texas, is the place to be! Contact the fishing pros at Wave Dancer Charters, and experience an incredible spring vacation!

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About John Levan
Most of my experience comes from the manufacturing sector. I managed a small manufacturing business for two decades and am now a full-time freelancer and newspaper contributor focusing on insurance, finance, and manufacturing topics. Based in Pennsylvania, I graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in English from Alvernia University and received a Master of Arts in humanities from California State University, Dominguez Hills.