Steel Pompano, Trachinotus stilbe: The Steel Pompano is a pelagic species found in the first 75 feet of the water column that is characterized by a slender oval shaped body with silver sides and a white belly.
The Steel Pompano has a pointed snout, straight lateral lines, and tiny pelvic fins.
The anal and dorsal fin lobes are low and the deeply forked caudal fin has a dark exterior margin. It has a distinctive white bar down the rear of the head which affords instant recognition (as pictured below) which quickly fades after collection.
The Steel Pompano might most likely be confused with the Paloma Pompano, Trachinotus partensis (no white bar at rear of head, long pelvic fins), or the Whitemouth Jack, Uraspis helvola (first dorsal fin a small triangle, no white bar at rear of head, inside of mouth white, modest sized anal and dorsal fin lobes).
The Steel Pompano is reported to reach a length of 20 inches. In Mexican waters it is exceedingly rare with only one documented historical collection made at the Revillagigedos Islands.
The Steel Pompano is a very rare species, previously being reported only around the oceanic island of the Eastern Tropical Pacific and along coastal Costa Rica and Panama. We have documented the northerly and easterly range extension of this species to well into the Sea of Cortez at 23.07N and 109.57W, which are previously unknown.
The Steel Pompano is a member of the Carangidae or Jack Family which are known in Mexico fishing areas as jureles and pámpanos.