Rainbow Runner
(Elagatis bipinnulata)

Rainbow Runner, Elagatis bipinnulata: The Rainbow Runner is characterized by its torpedo shaped body with a small mouth, pointed snout, and deeply forked caudal fin with a series of midlateral stripes that start on top as dark olive green, then blue, then dark, then blue and finally with white coloration on its lower parts.

The Rainbow Runner is similar in coloration to and might be confused with the Rainbow Sea Chub, Sectator ocyurus, which is far less "aerodynamic," or the Chihuil or Jack Mackerel, Trachurus symmetricus, which has similar, somewhat similar "aerodynamics" but does not have the blue stripes.

The Rainbow Runner is pelagic and found only well out to sea, at the tip of the Baja California peninsula and on its Sea of Cortez coast, off mainland Mexico from Mazatlan south, and around all oceanic islands.

The Rainbow Runner is found in large schools which travel in the first 100 feet of the water column.

The Rainbow Runner is reported to reach six feet in length, but is most common under three feet.

Note: The world record Rainbow Runner is 37 pounds 9 ounces, with the fish caught in Mexican fishing waters.

The Rainbow Runner is a member of the Carangidae or Jack Family.

Rainbow Runner picture 1

Rainbow Runner, Elagatis bipinnulata: Photo courtesy John Snow.

Rainbow Runner picture 2

Rainbow Runner, Elagatis bipinnulata: Caught during a fishing trip with Captain Pata in the panga Salome, at La Playita, San Jose del Cabo, Baja California Sur, Mexico, in 78-degree water, mid-morning in November 2003, near the surface, several miles out at sea, on a flylinned sardina, 30-pound test line, Mustad 94151 hook, size 1/0, 25 miles north of La Playita. Although the Rainbow Runner is a rather rare catch, this fish was caught out of a one acre school. Size approximately 24 inches and 8 pounds, and put up a horrific fight. Viewed as good table fare by locals. —Description and photo courtesy John Snow.

Rainbow Runner picture 3

Rainbow Runner, Elagatis bipinnulata: Guide, Jesus, with a Rainbow Runner, caught while fishing at the Gordo Banks, San Jose del Cabo, Baja California Sur, Mexico, in November 2001. Photo courtesy Eric Brictson, Gordo Banks Pangas.

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Rainbow Runner, Elagatis bipinnulata: Caught during a fishing trip at Punta Colorada, East Cape, Baja California Sur, Mexico, November 5, 2001. Photo courtesy Stan Moberly.

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