Paloma Pompano

Paloma Pompano, Trachinotus patiensis

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

The Paloma Pompanos have elongated oblong compressed bodies with a depth that is 36 to 40% of standard length. They are overall silver in color and white ventrally and have greenish and bluish tints on their upper back. Their head has a very rounded extendible snout. Their dorsal fin has six short isolated spines followed by 24 to 27 spines. They have long anal and dorsal fin bases with their dorsal fin base being slightly longer than their anal fin base and their dorsal fin being inserted before their anal fin. They have short pectoral and pelvic fins. Their caudal fin is deeply lunate and their lateral line is straight and lacks finlets or scutes. They have ten to 16 short gill rakers. Their body is covered with oval scales.

The Paloma Pompanos are a coastal pelagic species found demersal inshore over sandy bottoms at depths up to 330 feet. They reach a maximum length of 51 cm (20 inches). They are a rare species and very little is known about their behavioral patterns.

In Mexican waters the Paloma Pompanos are found in all waters of the Pacific.

The Paloma Pompano can be confused with the Blackblotch Pompano, Trachinotus kennedyi (wider body; black blotch at pectoral fin base).

The Paloma Pompano are considered excellent table fare.

Paloma Pompano, Trachinotus paitensis, juvenile. Fish provided by the commercial fishermen of the greater Los Cabos area, Baja California Sur, November 2012. Length: 4.5 cm (1.8 inches).

Paloma Pompano, Trachinotus paitensis. Fish caught by Captain Jimmy Camacho of Jimmy’s Sportfishing, Puerto Adolfo Lopez Mateos, Baja California Sur, (, 613-114-0761; 612-204-1960), in coastal waters off  Puerto Adolfo Lopez Mateos, Baja California Sur, May 2017.  Length: 26 cm (10 inches).

Paloma Pompano, Trachinotus paitensis. Fish caught off the beach at Punta Lobo, Baja California Sur, August 2007. Length: 40 cm (16 inches).