- Although the flesh of the almaco jack is considered quality table fare, the species has been associated with ciguatera poisoning, a seldom fatal stomach irritation.
- The almaco jack is susceptible to tapeworm parasites in the caudal peduncle area, but the meat can be eaten safely if affected portions are cut away.
Gulf kingfish (Menticirrhus)
The gulf kingfish is a long and slender fish with a large head and single chin barbel. The kingfish is silvery-gray on top fading to a light silver or white underneath with a tail fin that is tipped in black.
As carnivores and primarily bottom feeders, gulf kingfish eat crustaceans, worms, clams and other shellfish.
Although this species roams primarily throughout the Gulf of Mexico, gulf kingfish also can be found along the western Atlantic Ocean coastline as far north as the Chesapeake Bay.
Gulf kingfish live in small schools in the surf. They will also inhabit other coastal waters over muddy and sandy bottoms such as channels, inlets, passes and sandbars.
- Gulf kingfish are very similar to southern kingfish except for the dark-colored marking on the sides of the southern. (They are not related to the king mackerel, which is commonly referred to as the kingfish.)
- Soaking the gulf kingfish overnight before cooking can help remove its iodine taste.