The Bluefin Trevally can be easily confused with the Black Jack, Caranx lugubris (all fins grey-black), the Golden Jack, Gnathanodon speciosus (yellow fins and large dark spots on its side), and the Island Jack, Carangoides orthogamus (six oval yellow spots on its sides).
The Bluefin Trevally is reported to reach up to 3 feet in length and is found up to 600 feet deep in the water column. It travels alone or in small schools and frequents reefs in search of small fish for food.
Distribution in Mexico fishing areas
In Mexican fishing waters , this fish species has a limited distribution reported in the scientific literature, reported to be found only around the tip of the Baja California peninsula, along the coast of the mainland north of Mazatlan and around the oceanic islands.
One of the Bluefin Trevally shown below was taken of a fish collected at Isla Cerralvo near La Paz in the southern part of the Sea of Cortez and we believe to be a first collection of this species this far north. The food value is considered “marginal” by locals.
This is a member of the Carangidae or Jack Family.
Bluefin Trevally, Caranx melampygus: Juvenile. Caught out of the surf while fishing on light tackle at Cabo Real, San Jose del Cabo, BCS, Mexico. May 2010. Size 11 inches. Note the enhanced dark blue coloration of the fins that apparently develops with maturity. Description and photo courtesy of John Snow.
Bluefin Trevally, Caranx melampygus: Juvenile. Caught in predawn hours on a sabiki rig just off the La Playita breakwater, San Jose del Cabo, Baja Caliifornia Sur, Mexico, in November 2007. Size, approximately 7 inches. Identification courtesy of Dr. Ross Robertson, Smithsonian Institute, Panama, and Dr. William F. Smith-Vaniz, Florida Integrated Science Center, Gainesville. Description and photo courtesy of John Snow.
Bluefin Trevally, Caranx melampygus: Caught by Bill Mathias on Sept. 24, 2000, while casting along a rocky shoreline on the west side of Isla Cerralvo, near La Paz, Sea of Cortez, Baja California Sur, Mexico. Says Bill, "It took a blue and silver pencil popper and gave a fine fight. The weight was estimated at 15 pounds. As far as I'm aware, this may be one of the northernmost occurrences of this species in the Sea of Cortez." Bill is the author of the fine reference book, "Dictionary of Sport Fishing, English-Spanish, Spanish-English."
Bluefin Trevally, Caranx melampygus: Breezers co-owner Ken Oda with a Bluefin Trevally, also called "blue star jack," during a fish trip at Isla San Benedicto, Mexico. Said Oda, "Incidentally, I finally discovered that what I thought for many years was smoke coming from San Benedicto, is really volcanic ash swirling in a wind vortex at the top of the volcano. I was using my favorite plastics rod, a Loomis 965 from Yo's and a Calcutta 400 with 12-pound mono tied to a 1 1/2-ounce leadhead with a sardine-colored 'Flats Candy' plastic grub."
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