Blackblotch Pompano

Blackblotch Pompano, Trachinotus kennedyi

The Blackblotch Pompano, Trachinotus kennedyi, whose common Spanish name is pámpano gitano, is a member of the Jack or Carangidae Family, known collectively as jureles and pámpanos in Mexico. There are twenty six members of the genus Trachinotus, seven of which are found in Mexican waters, three in the Atlantic and four in the Pacific.

The Blackblotch Pompanos have very deep compressed round bodies with a depth that is 68 to 72% of standard length. They have an overall silver coloration with a golden or bronze tinge. They have a large black blotch at the base of their pectoral fin, after which they are named. Their head is very deep and blunt and their snout is broadly rounded and extendible. Their dorsal fin has 6 short isolated spines followed by 17 to 19 spines. They have long anal and dorsal fin bases of equal length and short pectoral and pelvic fins. Their caudal fin is V-shaped and their lateral line is slightly arched over the pectoral fin. They have 15 to 19 short gill rakers and no finlets or scutes. Their body is covered with oval scales.

The Blackblotch Pompanos are a pelagic species found demersal inshore and within estuaries over sandy bottoms at depths up to 235 feet. They reach a maximum length of 90 cm (35 inches). They are a rare species and very little is known about their behavioral patterns.

In Mexican waters the Blackblotch Pompanos have a limited distribution being found from Guerrero Negro southward along the central and southwest coasts of Baja, in the southern three-fourths of the Sea of Cortez, and along the coast of the mainland south to Guatemala.

The Blackblotch Pompano can be confused with the Paloma Pompano, Trachinotus paitensis (narrower body; lacks black blotch).

The Blackblotch Pompanos are considered excellent table fare.

Blackblotch Pompano, Trachinotus kennedyi, juvenile. Fish provided by the commercial fishermen of the greater Los Cabos area, March 2012. Length: 9.5 cm (3.75 inches).

Blackblotch Pompano, Trachinotus kennedyi. Fish caught from coastal waters off Mazatlán, Sinaloa, October 2017. Length: 61 cm (24 inches). Catch, photo and identification courtesy of Kenneth Tse, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.

Blackblotch Pompano, Trachinotus kennedyi. Fish caught from coastal waters off Mazatlán, Sinaloa, October 2011. Length: 76 cm (30 inches). Weight: 6.8 kg (15 pounds). Catch, photo and identification courtesy of George Brinkman, Guelph, Ontario, Canada.

Blackblotch Pompano, Trachinotus kennedyi. Fish caught from coastal waters off Mazatlán, Sinaloa, October 2015. Length: 88 cm (35 inches). Weight: 8.8 kg (19 pounds). Catch, photo and identification courtesy of Wayne Wilson, Cobourg, Ontario, Canada.