Pacific Crevalle Jack, Caranx caninus
The Pacific Crevalle Jack, Caranx caninus, whose common Spanish name is jurel toro 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 Pacific Crevalle Jacks have “jack-like” 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 cover and a black blotch on the lower corner of their pectoral fins. Their anal and caudal fins are yellowish. Juveniles are darker in color and have five light colored stripes on their sides (as pictured below). They have a rounded head with a blunt snout. They have fairly small eyes set high on their head. Their mouth is large extending past the eyes and opens at the front. They have 18 to 20 gill rakers. Their pectoral fins are longer than the head. Their caudal fin is deeply forked. They have 35 to 42 strong prominent scutes and a pronounced lateral line with a moderately long anterior arch.
The Pacific Crevalle Jacks are a pelagic species found at depths up to 1,100 feet. They reach a maximum length of 1.02 meters (3 feet 4 inches) and 19.7 kg (43 pounds) in weight, which is the current IGFA world record, with this fish being caught in Costa Rica waters in 1997. I personally believe that a world record Pacific Crevalle Jack is current swimming in Los Cabos waters and needs to be caught and documented.
In Mexican waters the Pacific Crevalle Jack are found in all waters of the Pacific.
The Pacific Crevalle Jack is virtually identical to the Crevalle Jack, Caranx hippos, an Atlantic Ocean only species (35 to 42 gill rakers; 23 to 35 scutes). It can also be confused with the Bigeye Trevally, Caranx sexfasciatus (large eyes; smaller black spot high on gill cover) and the Golden Trevally, Gnathanodon speciosus (large lips; no black spot on gill cover; mid-sized black spots on sides) from the Pacific.
The Pacific Crevalle Jacks are one of the most famous species in Mexican waters. They are known for their strength and targeted by recreational fishermen. They travel in large schools and crash the beach chasing sardines in feeding frenzies that last about 15 minutes. Excellent opportunities exist to hook these fish with a “Krocodile” or live sardines. They are considered marginal table fare by locals and normally a “catch and release” by all but subsistence fishermen or if tourists are present in the docking area.
Length versus Weight Chart: A Pacific Crevalle Jack Length to Weight Table is 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 world record fish currently resides in greater Los Cabos waters and catches of large fish need to be monitored, measured, weighed, and documented appropriately.
Pacific Crevalle Jack, Caranx caninus. Fish caught from coastal waters off Cerralvo Island, Baja California Sur, May 2010. Length was not measured but estimated from the photo to be greater than the current world record for this species. Length: ca. 1.00 meters (40 inches). Photo courtesy of Guy Manning, Redding, CA.
Pacific Crevalle Jack, Caranx caninus. Fish caught off the beach on a swim bait north of Todos Santos, Baja California Sur, November 2017. Length was not measured but estimated from the photo to be greater than the current world record for this species. Length: ca. 1.04 meters (41 inches). Photo courtesy of Dr. John Warner, Colorado Springs, CO and caught with guide Martin Almazan.