Sea Life

All of the Different Species of Jackfish That Anglers Can Catch

All of the Different Species of Jack Fish that Anglers Can Catch

Jack is a fish species that belongs to the family Carangidae. The name Jack is itself a group of fast-swimming species belonging to different genres that can be found in the saltwater of the Atlantic Ocean, Pacific Ocean, Indian Ocean, and sometimes in the freshwater as well. Although among the 150 species of Jack, the body shape and weight vary from elongated and streamlined to deep and thin bodies side by side. However, they all have compressed bodies with large scales around the tailfin. They also have a yellow, blue, or golden sheen around their bodies.

In this tutorial, we will discuss the few interesting Jackfish species that anglers can catch with some information about them.

Quick Facts About Jackfish

Following are the quick facts about Jackfish:

  • They belong to the Carp family, Phylum Chordata, and can grow up to 4 feet.
  • They have long bodies and large mouths which they use to eat other fish.
  • The Species of Jack dwell in different habitats including reefs, sandy flats, bays, seagrass beds, and many more.
  • The jackfish are carnivores and prey on other animals. They also eat shrimps, squids, and crabs.
  • They reproduce while spawning, the female fish lay their eggs in the water, and male fish fertilize them outside the body.

All of the Different Species of Jackfish That Anglers Can Catch

Most of the species of Jackfish are popular among anglers and we have listed them below: 

  • Jack Crevalle 
  • Permit 
  • Florida Pompano
  • Greater Amberjack
  • Lesser Amberjack
  • Banded Rudderfish
  • Yellow Jack
  • Leather Jack
  • Rainbow Runner
  • Almaco Jack
  • African Pompano 
  • Pilot Fish
  • Horse-Eye Jack
  • Bar Jack
  • Blue Runner
  • Lookdown

1: Jack Crevalle

Scientific name: Caranx hippos

Phylum: Chordata

Genus: Caranax

Average Weight: 15 and 70 Pounds

The Jack Crevalle is one of the largest members of the genus Caranax and can be distinguished by its compressed bodies and smoother appearance. They are blue-green or greenish-gold-colored fish with a silvery yellow ventral side. They have black spots on the gills and pectoral fins. They also have a steeply sloped head that curves to touch the back with forked tails. These species are diurnal, mostly active in the daytime.

Jack Crevalle is a quick and aggressive predator that fights hard. They are abundant in freshwater, from deep reefs to open waters. They can reach a height of 2 feet long.

2: Permit

Scientific name: Trachinotus falcatus

Genus: Trachinotus

Average Weight: 25 to 35 pounds

The Permit fish, also known as Pompano, is a difficult fish to catch. They have a silver front body with yellow bellies. The average size of the permit fish is at most 4 feet long. They can be distinguished by their elongated dorsal and anal fins. They mostly dwell in the coastal regions close to the shore of the Bahamas and the Caribbean Sea. These species prey on other small fish, Mollusks, and Crabs.

3: Florida Pompano

Scientific Name : rachinotus carolinus

Genus : Trachinotus

Average Weight: 2 to 8 pounds 

The Florida Pompano has a dark greenish back, with silver shaded sides similar to Permit. They have rounded heads, pale bellies with dark dorsal fins, and yellow other fins. They dwell in the inshore water of Florida from the bays to near channels and over seagrass beds. Depending on the season, they are also found in the Atlantic Ocean. They are mostly found in a depth of 130 feet and feed on aquatic animals including Mollusks, sand fleas, and crustaceans. 

4: Greater Amberjack

Scientific name: Seriola dumerili

Genus:  Seriola

Average Weight: 40 and 50 pounds

The Greater Amberjack also known as Corndao and amberfish can reach up to a weight of 200 pounds and a length of 6 feet. The young Amberjack has a yellowish-colored body with vertical banding on the side. The adult becomes browner or blue gray with a dark brown strip around the length of the body. They are mostly found in the deep waters of Florida, the Caribbean, and the Bahamas Sea. They feed on Crabs, squid, and other fishes found on the reefs.

5: Lesser Amberjack

Scientific name: Seriola fasciata

Genus:  Seriola

Average Weight: 25 pounds

The Lesser Amberjack is less common than the Greater Amberjack. They have brownish backs with silver sides and dark bands extending from the eye upward and backward. They mostly dwell in the same habitat as the Greater Amberjack and are mostly similar to them. They are smaller in size as compared to the Greater Amberjack, not more than 1 foot. They feed on Squids and fishes. They are typically found in deeper water as compared to other amberjacks, 180 to 410 feet deep.

6: Banded Rudderfish

Scientific name: Seriola zonata

Genus:  Seriola

Average Weight: 3 and 6 pounds 

The Banded Rudderfish is also Known as the Slender Amberjack. They have a similar appearance to Pilot fish, as they have black bands on their bodies and the adults have no bands. They have a first dorsal fin which makes these species different from the pilot fish.

They are mostly found in the coastal habitats, reefs, and deep channels of the Atlantic Ocean. They can grow up to the size of 1 to 2 feet and feed on Crustaceans and other small fish.

7: Yellow Jack

Scientific name: Caranx bartholomaei

Genus: Carangoides

Average Weight: 6 to 15 pounds

The Yellow Jack is also known as Coolihoo and is similar to Bar Jack. They have a steel blue top and yellow bellies with radiant hues on their bodies. The body is compressed laterally and curved outward from the top. They can grow as long as 39 inches with a maximum weight of 30 pounds.

They dwell in the offshore reefs, coral, and open water. They mostly feed the other small fish such as Snappers, bluethroat, parrotfish, and much more, as they are carnivores.

8: Leather Jack

Scientific name: Oligoplites Saurus

Genus: Oligoplites

Average Weight: 1,7 pounds

The Leather Jack is another fascinating species of the Jack family and is mostly known for its unique appearance. They have Slender bodies with pointed heads, large jaws, and sharp dorsal and anal fins. Their skin shines like leather and is green from the top and silver from the side. The Leather jack dwells in Florida, especially around the bays and coastal rivers. They are the same as Rainbow Runners and are not longer than 1 foot smaller in size.

9: Rainbow Runner

Scientific name: Elagatis bipinnulata

Genus: Elagatis

Average Weight: 16 to 22 pounds

The Rainbow Runner is also known as Spanish Jack. It is a unique fish with a round body and diverse colors. The top is purple with blue-green sides, and a silver belly with a yellow tint. They have Slender bodies with no scutes. The Rainbow Runners have pointed heads and blue-yellow stripes around the body. The average measure size of the Rainbow Runner is 6 feet.

The Rainbow Runners are mostly found in schools near the offshore water as well as coastal areas. They prey on fish, squid, and shrimp.

10: Almaco Jack

Scientific name: Seriola revoliana

Genus: Seriola

Average Weight: 75 pounds

The appearance of the Almaco Jack is similar to the AmberJack. They have olive-green hard bodies and are less round around the cross-section. They reside at greater depths and spend most of their time searching for food around reefs and rock outcroppings.

They mostly dwell in the deeper oceanic water, and you can catch these fishes in deep water from 90 to 300 feet. They feed bait fish, pieces of cut fish, and stips of squids.

11: African Pompano 

Scientific name: Alectis ciliaris

Genus: Alectis

Average Weight: 20 to 25 pounds

The African Pompano is also known as thread fish and Cuban jack. They are fast-swimming fish that can roam over longer distances and can grow up to 55 pounds. They have large, flattened fishes with steely heads and silver sides. They have thread-like dorsal and anal fins that usually disappear when fish grow in size.

The African Pompano mostly dwells in the lower half of the Atlantic coast, Caribbean, and Bahamas Sea. These species are hunted by large tuna and dolphins; they feed on small fish and crustaceans including decapods.

12: Pilot Fish

Scientific name: Naucrates ductor

Genus: Naucrates

Average Weight: 35 pounds

Pilot Fish is recognized by the patterns of dark bands around the full body. They are known as Pilot fish because just like pilots they accompany the sharks and other large fishes. The Pilot Fish have slender-shaped bodies with tapering heads and have an average length of 2 feet.

They mostly dwell in tropical and moderate marine water. The Pilot Fish lives in the offshore water of Florida and feeds on the scraps of the predator’s prey.

13: Horse-Eye Jack

Scientific name: Caranx latus

Genus: Caranx

Average Weight: 29 pounds

The Horse-Eye Jack is also known as Ojo Gordo or Big Eye Jack. They appear silver, blue in color, black and gray from the top, and silver side body with yellow-black fins. They have a similar appearance to Crevalle Jack except they have large eyes and blunt heads. They can grow up to 3.31 feet long and have a weight of 10 lbs.

They are mostly found in the coastal area of South Florida and feed on small fish, shrimp, and other invertebrates.

14: Bar Jack

Scientific name: Caranx ruber

Genus: Caranx

Average Weight: 15 to 18 pounds

The Bar Jack has an elongated body with a forked tail fin. Their body is black color with a silver side and thin purple stripes all over the body. The average individual measures about 1.5 feet long. 

They dwell in numerous habitats such as coral reefs and grassy flats of the Caribbean Bahamas and South Florida and a depth of 300 feet.

15: Blue Runner

Scientific name: Caranx crysos

Genus: Caranx

Average Weight: 1 to 2 pounds

The Blue Runner is also known as blue or hardtail jack. They have steel blue-colored bodies with olive-colored hues to their scales. Their appearance is similar to Crevalle Jacks, but the heads of Blue Runner are rounder. They can grow up to an average size of 1.15 feet.

They mostly dwell in the deep reefs of the Caribbean Sea, Bahamas, and Florida with a range as far as 300 feet in depth. In the deep water, they feed on other fish, shrimps, fish larvae, and invertebrates.

16: Lookdown

Scientific name: Selene Vomer

Genus: Selene

Average Weight: 2 pounds

The Lookdown is also known as Horseheads because of the sloping and concave-shaped head. This specific gets its name Lookdown from the way it appears while swimming. They have thin rather than flattened silver-colored bodies with a single dorsal and anal fin. Their size is the same as the size of the average hand with an approximate length of 48.3cm. They are very similar to Atlantic moonfish except they have long streamers.

They live in coastal, tropical, and subtropical marine water. They consume crustaceans, fish, and small worms.

That is all from the guide.


The Jackfish is a group of fastest swimming fishes that belong to different genres. They are excellent for fish sports. They are mostly found in the oceans as well as fresh water. The numerous species of Jacksih that anglers can catch are Jack Crevalle, Permit, Florida Pompano, Greater Amberjack, Lesser Amberjack, and many more. The above-mentioned species are discussed in detail in the above section of the guide.

Jackfish cannot be cooked because of their poor-quality meat but you can use them as supplements such as fish oil, fish meal, and similar products. Anglers also capture these species to raise them in aquaculture or use them in Commercial fisheries.

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