Crevalle Jack

Crevalle Jack, Caranx hippos

The Crevalle Jack, Caranx hippos, whose common Spanish name is jurel común and whose local name is toro, is a fairly common member of the Jack or Carangidae Family, known collectively as jureles and pámpanos in Mexico. Globally, there are seventeen species in the genus Caranx, nine of which are found in Mexican waters, three in the Atlantic and five in the Pacific and one in both oceans.

The Crevalle Jacks have moderately compressed deep oblong bodies with a depth that is 30 to 34% of standard length. They are greenish-blue dorsally and silvery-white to yellow on their lower sides. They have a black spot on their gill covers and a black blotch on the lower corner of their pectoral fin. Their anal and caudal fins are yellowish. They have a blunt snout and fairly small eyes set high on their rounded head. Their mouth is large extending past the eyes and opens at the front. They have 35 to 42 gill rakers and 23 to 35 strong prominent scutes. Their pectoral fins are longer than the head. Their caudal fin is deeply forked. They have a pronounced lateral line with a moderately long anterior arch.

The Crevalle Jacks are a pelagic species found at all depths up to 330 feet with larger fish being normally found in deeper waters. They reach a maximum length of 1.29 meters (3 feet 3.4 inches) and weight of 35.4 kg (58 pounds 6 ounces), which is the current IGFA world record, with this fish being caught in Angola waters in 2000. They are common at two feet in length with females being larger than males. Adults travel in schools or as solitary individuals while juveniles travel in large schools. They are an important apex diurnal predator found in all tropical inshore waters preying upon on a variety of fish, shrimp, and invertebrates. In turn they are preyed upon by many surface feeding carnivores, including striped marlins and seabirds.

In Mexican waters the Crevalle Jacks are found in all waters of the Atlantic.

The Crevalle Jack is virtually identical to the Pacific Crevalle Jack, Caranx caninus (21 to 27 gill rakers; 34 to 43 scutes).

The Crevalle Jacks are one of the most famous species in Mexican waters and known for their strength. They are targeted by both commercial and recreational fishermen and viewed as a “superb light tackle species”. They are sold commercially but are relatively unimportant due to their poor food value. In addition, larger fish are known to contain Cigua Toxin. They are commonly used in the aquarium trade.

Length versus Weight Chart: A Pacific Crevalle Jack Weight From Length Conversion Table has been included in this website to allow the accurate determination of a fish’s weight from its length and to hopefully promote its rapid and unharmed return to the ocean. I believe that the Crevalle Jack is virtually identical to the Pacific Crevalle Jack, thus this table can also be used to determine the weight of a Crevalle Jack from its length.

Crevalle Jack, Caranx hippos. Fish caught out from coastal waters off Key West, Florida, August 2014. Length: 38 cm (15 inches). Catch and photo courtesy of Dean Kimberly, Atlanta, GA.

Crevalle Jack, Caranx hippos. Fish caught in coastal waters off Tampa Bay, Florida, December 2014. Length: 43 cm (17 inches). Catch, photo and identification courtesy of Ben Cantrell, Peoria, IL.

Crevalle Jack, Caranx hippos. Fish caught off the beach of Playa de Carmen, Riviera Maya, Quintana Roo, in April 2012. Length: 94 cm (37 inches). Weight: 13 kg (29 pounds). Catch and photo courtesy of Maurice Kerger, Holland.