Pacific Jack Crevalle
Toro, Torito
(Caranx caninus)

Pacific Jack Crevalle, Caranx caninus: The Pacific Jack Crevalle is one of the most famous species in Mexican waters, and is known for its strength.

The Pacific Jack Crevalle is characterized by its overall silver, broad body that is darker on the upper back, and yellow to golden on the bottom, with yellow anal and caudal fins. It has a rounded lateral line, pronounced scutes, and one prominent black spot toward the top of the gill cover and another smaller black spot at the pectoral fin base (as pictured below).

The Pacific Jack Crevalle is quite similar to the Green Jack, Carangoides caballus (which is more aerodynamic, with a straight lateral line and a black spot adjacent the pectoral fin on the gill cover), the Big Eye Trevally, Caranx sexfasciatus (large eye and small black spot at the top of the gill cover), and the Golden Jack, Gnathanodon speciosus (large lips, no black spot on the gill covers and intermediate black spots on its sides).

This fish species is pelagic and found in all Mexican fishing waters including around the oceanic islands. It normally travels in large schools which can be viewed fairly regularly from the boat, but sometimes these large schools are not interested in feeding. The Pacific Jack Crevalle is known to crash the beach chasing sardines in feeding frenzies that last about 15 minutes; if you are there and armed with a “Krocodile” you have an excellent opportunity to hook one. They are found as deep as 1,000 feet, over all types of terrain. They are reported to reach a length of 40 inches. The Pacific Jack Crevalle is viewed by locals to be marginal table fare. The Pacific Jack Crevalle is a member of the Carangidae or Jack Family.

Length vs. weight chart by John Snow.

Pacific Jack Crevalle fish picture 1

Pacific Jack Crevalle, Caranx caninus: Caught while fishing off the beach on cut shrimp mid-day at the commercial beach in Todos Santos, Baja California Sur, Mexico, in December 2008.  Size 7 inces.  Note the uncommonly seen bars on the sides, found in some juveniles. Description and photo courtesy of John Snow

Pacific Jack Crevalle fish picture 2

Pacific Jack Crevalle, Caranx caninus: Caught during fishing from shore in the last hour of daylight, in December 2002, in 72-degree water, outside the breaker line, in 20 to 30-foot deep water utilizing, 15-pound test with a two dropper loop rig, no swivels, 1.5-ounce bank sinker, and Mustad 92553 hooks, size #4, on cut squid at Km. 21 (Cabo Real) between Cabo San Lucas and San Jose del Cabo, Baja California Sur, Mexico. Size approximately 14 inches and 2 pounds, and as difficult fish to land as you will encounter. Viewed by locals as very marginal table fare. Description and photo courtesy John Snow.

Pacific Jack Crevalle fish picture 3

Pacific Jack Crevalle, Caranx caninus: Caught during a fishing trip by Peter Langstraat of Holland, one of four Jack Crevalle over 3 feet long caught in October 2001, from the beach near Punta Colorada, East Cape, Baja California Sur, Mexico. Length 37.5 inches, caught on 8-pound line with a Rapala Countdown. Description and photo courtesy Peter Langstraat.

Pacific Jack Crevalle fish picture 4

Pacific Jack Crevalle, Caranx caninus: Caught during fishing by Peter Langstraat of Holland. Kees' fish is 35 inches long, and was caught on November 3, 2000, at Punta Colorada, B.C.S., Mexico, on 15-pound test line, with a spoon, from the beach. The fight lasted 33 minutes. Peter's fish was 37 inches long. Description and photo courtesy Peter Langstraat.

Pacific Jack Crevalle fish picture 5

Pacific Jack Crevalle, Caranx caninus: Caught by Kees Broekhuizen at Punta Colorada, Baja California Sur, Mexico. "In the first 11 days of my last vacation I had caught Jacks between 25 and 34 inches just about every second morning. My friends Kees Broekhuizen and Hans van den Berg arrived November 2nd in the afternoon and I took them out surf fishing before dawn on November 3rd. Kees Broekhuizen and I made our first cast and right away we got a double strike. After a 'bend or burst battle' of about half-an-hour Kees, beached his fish of 35 inches. I landed mine of 37 inches after 43 minutes on 12-pound line. Both fish took us up and down the beach relentlessly. Both fish were of course released alive. According to the IGFA formula (length between the corner of the mouth and the fork of the tail times girth times girth divided by 800) my fish weighed 24.3 pounds. My friends fish 21 pounds, which are up and around line-class world record sizes for the Pacific Jack Crevalle. Besides the Jacks we would catch at least a few (sometimes many) Ladyfish, Sierra, Lookdown, or small Roosterfish every morning. Fishing was never better than last October/November." Description and photo courtesy Peter Langstraat.

Pacific Jack Crevalle fish picture 6

Pacific Jack Crevalle, Caranx caninus: Another nice one, caught at Buena Vista, East Cape, Baja California Sur, Mexico, on the fly. Photo courtesy Gary Graham, Baja On The Fly.

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