Fortune Jack

Fortune Jack, Seriola peruana

The Fortune Jack, Seriola peruana, whose common Spanish name is medregal fortuno and whose local name is amberjack, is a member of the Jack or Carangidae Family, known collectively as jureles and pámpanos in Mexico. There are nine global members of the genus Seriola, six of which are found in Mexican waters, three in the Atlantic, two in the Pacific, and this species in both oceans.

The Fortune Jacks have compressed aerodynamic elongated fusiform bodies that are wide in the middle and taper at both ends and have a depth that is 25 to 29% of standard length. Their upper body profile is more convex than their lower profile. They are silvery with a reddish bronze tint and dusky fins. Their head has a short rounded snout and their mouth ends just behind the center of the pupil. Their anal and dorsal fins (seven to eight spines) have long bases with the anal fin base being shorter than the second dorsal fin base. Their caudal fin is forked and their pectoral fins are very short. There have no isolated finlets after the second dorsal and anal fins and no lateral line. They have 30 to 34 gill rakers and no scutes.

The Fortune Jacks are a coastal pelagic species found at depths up to 295 feet with this maximum depth established by a fish that I caught. They reach a maximum length of 92 cm (36 inches). I am aware of a fish caught by Rafael Martinez Murillo in Loreto that weighed 13.6 kg (30 pounds).  Very little is known about their behavioral patterns.

In Mexican waters the Fortune Jack was unknown and thought to be found only in Peruvian waters until recreational anglers, including myself, started catching them from Todos Santos to Mulegé in coastal Baja waters.

The Fortune Jack is most likely confused with the Amberjack, Seriola rivoliana (deeper body; longer anal and dorsal fins; most fish with dark stripe from snout to front of dorsal fin).

The Fortune Jacks are quality fishing foe and considered an excellent food fish noting that they are fairly rare with a limited range and not a frequent catch.

Fortune Jack, Seriola peruana. Fish caught from coastal waters off Palmilla Point, Baja California Sur, April 2013. Length: 91 cm (36 inches).