Bigeye Trevally

Bigeye Trevally, Caranx sexfasciatus

The Bigeye Trevally, Caranx sexfasciatus, whose common Spanish name is jurel voraz, is a member of the Jack or Carangidae Family, known collectively as jureles and pámpanos in Mexico. Globally, there are seventeen species in the genus Caranx, nine of which are found in Mexican waters, three in the Atlantic and five in the Pacific and one in both oceans.

The Bigeye Trevallies have moderately compressed deep elongated bodies with a depth that is 24 to 28% of standard length. They are iridescent blue-brown dorsally and transition to silvery-white ventrally. They have a small black spot near the upper end of their gill covers and their dorsal fin lobe has a white tip. Their scutes are yellowish-black. They have a rounded head profile with disproportionately large eyes, after which they are named. They have 15 to 19 gill rakers and 27 to 36 strong scutes. Their lateral line has a pronounced and relatively long anterior arch. Their anal and dorsal fins have long lobes and their pectoral fins are longer than the head. Their caudal fin is widely forked. Their body is covered with small scales.

The Bigeye Trevallies are a nocturnal pelagic schooling species found at depths up to 315 feet that aggregate adjacent to reefs during the day. They reach a maximum length of 1.2 meter (3 feet 11 inches) and weight of 14.3 kg (31.5 pounds). Juveniles are known to frequent estuaries and fresh water environments. They are opportunistic predators feeding on benthic and pelagic fish as well as squid and crustaceans. They are a favorite prey of sea lions. They are found in all Mexican waters of the Pacific with the exception of the northern half of the Sea of Cortez.

The Bigeye Trevally is most likely confused with the Pacific Crevalle Jack, Caranx caninus (wider body; dark spot at base of pectoral fin) and the Black Jack, Caranx lugubris (dark fins; dark lateral line).

In some parts of the world such as the Eastern Pacific and the Indian Ocean (including the eastern, northern, and western coastal waters of Australia), the Bigeye Trevallies are popular and prized game fish for recreational anglers. They are abundant at certain times of the year on the Cabo Pulmo Reef, Baja California Sur, where they are seen in massive schools and are of keen interest to scuba divers. They are considered marginal as food fish.

Bigeye Trevally, Caranx sexfasciatus: Fish caught by Dr. William Inboden, III, Washington, D.C., off the surface on a flylinned sardine out of a one acre school of 24-inch Rainbow Runners, 15 miles north of Puerto Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, November 2003. Length: 76 cm (30 inches) and approximately 15 pounds.
Bigeye Trevally, Caranx sexfasciatus: Fish caught by Dr. William Inboden, III, Washington, D.C., off the surface on a flylinned sardine out of a one acre school of 24-inch Rainbow Runners, 15 miles north of Puerto Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, November 2003. Length: 76 cm (30 inches). Weight: 6.8 kg (15 pounds).
Bigeye Trevally, Caranx sexfasciatus: Fish caught off the beach by a fellow surf fisherman on a Sabiki rig, Cabo Real, Baja Californa Sur, July 2015. Length: 25 cm (10 inches).
Bigeye Trevally, Juvenile, Caranx sexfasciatus: Fish caught off the beach by a fellow surf fisherman on a Sabiki rig, Cabo Real, Baja Californa Sur, July 2015. Length: 25 cm (10 inches). Note that the juvenile is virtually identical to the Pacific Jack Crevally but lacks the prominent  black spot on the gill cover and has black scutes.

Bigeye Trevally (3)

Bigeye Trevally, Caranx sexfasciatus: Provided by the commercial bait salesmen of Puerto Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, July 2015. Length: 46 cm (18 inches).
Bigeye Trevally, Caranx sexfasciatus: Provided by the commercial bait salesmen of Puerto Los Cabos, Baja California Sur, July 2015. Length: 46 cm (18 inches).