Threadfin Jack

Threadfin Jack, Carangoides otrynter

The Threadfin Jack, Caranagoides otrynter, whose common Spanish name is jurel chicuaca, is one of the rarer members of the Jack or Carangidae Family, known collectively as jureles and pámpanos in Mexico. There are twenty-two global members of the genus Carangoides, four of which are found in Mexican waters, two in the Atlantic and two in the Pacific.

The Threadfish Jacks have deep compressed diamond-shaped oblong bodies with a depth that is 39 to 61% of standard length; their body becomes more elongated with age. They are overall silvery-gray in color and have an elongated black spot on top of their gill cover. They have small dark blotches between the bases of their dorsal fin rays. They have an angular head profile, elongated filamentous anal and dorsal fins, and long pectoral fins. They have 21 to 23 gill rakers and 40 to 52 small scutes. They also have strong visible scutes and an arched mid-lateral line with the curved part being equal in length to the arched part. Their body is covered with small scales except for a long continuous scale-free area on their breast and pectoral fin base.

The Threadfin Jacks are a coastal pelagic species found at depths up to 330 feet. They reach a maximum length of 67 cm (26 inches). They are opportunistic predators feeding on benthic and pelagic fish as well as squid and crustaceans.

In Mexican waters the Threadfin Jacks are are 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 Threadfin Jack is very similar to and very difficult to differentiate from the African Pompano, Alectis ciliaris (blunter snout; scale-free body; juveniles with multiple extremely long anal and dorsal fin rays).

Although exceedingly rare, the Threadfin Jacks are considered good table fare when available.

Threadfin Jack, Caranangoides otrynter, Juvenile. Fish caught from coastal waters off Puerto Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, November 2003. Length: 25 cm (10 inches).

Threadfin Jack (2)Threadfin Jack, Caranangoides otrynter, Juvenile. Fish provided by commercial bait salesmen based out of Puerto Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, June 2015. Length: 21 cm (8.3 inches).

Threadfin Jack, Caranangoides otrynter. Fish caught from coastal waters off Puerto Adolfo Lopez Mateos, Baja California Sur, February 2017. Length: 28 cm (11 inches). Catch, photo and identification courtesy of Brad Murakami, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada.

Threadfin Jack, Caranangoides otrynter. Fish caught from coastal waters off  Mazatlán, Sinaloa, October 2017. Length: 22 cm (8.7 inches). Photo courtesy of Jason Potts, Mazatlán.

Threadfin Jack, Caranangoides otrynter. Fish caught from coastal waters off Santo Domingo, Baja California Sur, February 2017. Length: 38 cm (15 inches). Catch courtesy of Ruben Duran, Puerto Adolfo Lopez Mateos, Baja California Sur. Photo and identification courtesy of Brad Murakami, Surrey, British Columbia, Canada.

Threadfin Jack, Caranangoides otrynter. Fish caught from coastal waters of Puerto Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, February 2001, on a live Sardine. Length: 40 cm (16 inches).