Pompanos and Jacks

Almaco Jack

sketch

Family Carangidae, JACKS and POMPANOS
Seriola rivoliana


Description: a deep-bodied amberjack; sometimes darker in coloration; front of soft dorsal and of anal fins high and elongated; body more flattened than banded rudderfish or greater amberjack; no scutes.

 

Similar Fish: other Seriola.

Where found: wide-ranging in OFFSHORE waters, not a common catch; young are associated with Sargassum. East of Cape Canaveral

Size: usually less than 20 pounds.

*Florida Record: n/a

Remarks: spawns OFFSHORE, apparently during spring, summer, and fall.

Banded Rudderfish

sketch

Family Carangidae, JACKS and POMPANOS
Seriola zonata


Description: fish less than 11 inches long have dark band from eye to first dorsal fin and six prominent bars on body; larger fish are bluish, greenish, or brown; soft dorsal base about twice the length of the anal fin; tail-lobe white tipped.

 

Similar Fish: other Seriola.

Where found: NEARSHORE and OFFSHORE over hard bottom, generally in shallower water than other amberjacks; young associated with weed lines or floating debris and may follow sharks and other large fish. East of Cape Canaveral and in Port Canaveral.

Size: usually less than 10 pounds.

*Florida Record: n/a

Remarks: adults feed on fish and shrimp; spawns OFFSHORE most of year.

Blue Runner

sketch

Family Carangidae, JACKS and POMPANOS
Caranx crysos


Description: color light olive to bluish green above; silvery gray to golden below; frequently black spot on operculum; readily distinguished from crevalle jack by lack of black blotch on pectoral fin; tail tips blackish.

 

Similar Fish: bluefish, Pomatomus saltarix, other Caranx.

Where found: juveniles found OFFSHORE; adults NEARSHORE in schools, but sometimes ranging INSHORE as well. East of Cape Canaveral and in Port Canaveral.

Size: usually less than 1 pound (11 inches).

*Florida Record: 7 lbs.

Remarks: matures by 9 to 10 inches; spawns OFFSHORE from January through August; young form schools associated with floating objects, and have been observed living inside the bell of jellyfish; adults feed on fish, shrimp, and squid.

Crevalle Jack

sketch

Family Carangidae, JACKS and POMPANOS
Caranx hippos


Description: color bluish-green to greenish-gold back and silvery or yellowish belly; soft dorsal and anal fins almost identical in size; prominent black spot on operculum (gill cover); black spot at the base of each pectoral fin; no scales on throat.

 

Similar Fish: other Caranx.

Where found: common in both INSHORE waters and the open sea. East of Cape Canaveral and in Port Canaveral.

Size: usually 3 to 5 pounds.

*Florida Record: 51 lbs.

Remarks: tolerates a wide range of salinities; schools corner a school of baitfish at the surface and feed with commotion that can be seen at great distances; feeds mainly on small fish; peak spawning occurs OFFSHORE from March through September.

Greater Amberjack

sketch

Family Carangidae, JACKS and POMPANOS
Seriola dumerili


Description: dark stripe (variably present) extends from nose to in front of dorsal fin and “lights up” when fish is in feeding mode; no scutes; soft dorsal base less than twice the length of the anal fin base.

 

Similar Fish: other Seriola.

Where found: OFFSHORE East of Cape Canaveral species associated with rocky reefs, debris, and wrecks, typically in 60 – 240 feet of water; sometimes caught NEARSHORE in south of Cape Canaveral; juveniles associated with floating objects and may occur in water less than 30 feet deep.

Size: common to 40 pounds.

*Florida Record: 142 lbs.

Lesser Amberjack

sketch

Family Carangidae, JACKS and POMPANOS
Seriola fasciata


Description: olive green or brownish black and silver sides; dark band (variably present) extends upward from eye; juveniles have split or wavy bars on sides; proportionately larger eye and deeper body than greater amberjack.

 

Similar Fish: other Seriola.

Where found: NEASHORE and OFFSHORE, apparently living deeper than other Seriola (commonly 180 – 410 feet deep). East of Cape Canaveral

Size: usually under 10 pounds.

*Florida Record: n/a

Remarks: smallest of the amberjacks; believed to spawn OFFSHORE; adults eat fish and squid.