TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — With many popular offshore fish closed for harvest, the greater amberjack is a perfect fish to target for the next few days. The season is short but is open through the end of the day on Aug. 24.

Credit: Aaron Flinn

They have acquired the nickname “reef donkey” because they are stubborn as a mule and put up a fantastic fight. So even out of season, they are fun to target because although you can’t keep them, you are going to have a fun time trying to bring them to the boat.

The best news? “They are fairly easy to find and fairly easy to catch” says Captain Ryan Harrington with No Bananas Sportfishing. “You’re really in for a fight when you hook an amberjack, most people don’t want to catch two or three in a day. They get one and their arms and their back are sore so its a fun fish to catch in season or out of season”

To find them, go to high profile structures like wrecks. There are plenty of free, public numbers that hold big amberjack you can find online out of the Tampa Bay coastline.

Credit: Kyle Kelso

“Start anywhere from 60 to 80 feet on the high profile wrecks. If you’re not seeing them there, try going out to 100 to 120 feet,” Harrington said.

As for bait, anything that will get you to the middle of the water column will do. Anything from live bait to a vertical jig. The most important thing is that you want to try and stay away from the wreck itself because as soon as they know they are caught, they are going to beeline it to the structure and you risk getting cut off.

Credit: Adam Koehler

Because of that, you’ll want to use heavy tackle to start. They are not leader shy so start heavy and if you think they are not biting, you can always go lighter. Either a conventional or spinning rod will work.

Capt. Harrington said although you may have to bounce around to two or three wrecks, you won’t have a problem finding them. Even though the season ends soon, they are a fun fish to catch either way.