- 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.
Crevalle jack (Caranx)
Crevalle jack have a deep, compressed body that is somewhat shaped like the tapering football of the tuna family except that the head is more bluntly rounded somewhat like a whales. Coloration is greenish gold to bluish green on the back and upper sides, blending to silver or white on the lower side and belly. The tail and anal fin are usually yellowish, and there are black spots on the gill cover and the base of each pectoral fin. The mouth is large and the fin is widely forked and sickle-shaped, allowing the crevalle jack to be an extremely fast swimmer. The first dorsal fin is short and small, and the second dorsal fin is longer, with the first three rays sticking up prominently. This shape is mirrored in the anal fin. The pectoral fins are thin and long.
The most unique facet of crevalle jacks feeding habits is their hunting technique: while hunting in packs for schooling fish they will maneuver the schooling prey fish into an area against a natural barrier, such as a seawall or the surface, then attack, snapping their formidable teeth at anything that moves. When prey fish are pushed to the surface, feeding crevalle jacks create a frothing surface that can be easily spotted by anglers. Besides fish, crevalle jack eat shrimp and other invertebrates. They have scavenger tendencies and can often be found following shrimp boats to clean up the leftovers.
Crevalle jack are found on both sides of the Atlantic Ocean. In the western Atlantic they inhabit waters as far north as Nova Scotia to Uruguay in the south, including the Greater Antilles, though most abundant in tropical and subtropical regions. In the eastern Atlantic they inhabit waters from Portugal to Angola, including the western Mediterranean Sea.
As both an inshore and offshore species, crevalle jack can be found, roughly speaking, inhabiting waters anywhere over the continental shelf. They mostly stay in water above 130 feet but move into deeper water during the warmer months. Crevalle jack have a high tolerance for different levels of salinity and often inhabit brackish water, even ascending freshwater rivers. Young fish can be found in the shallow waters of estuaries and rivers with muddy bottoms, as well as in sea grass beds or near beaches. Crevalle jack often form fast-moving schools, sometimes with horse-eye jacks, although older fish are more solitary and are often seen cruising in pairs.
- There is a Pacific Ocean species of crevalle jack that was once thought to be the same species as the Atlantic Ocean crevalle jack, but it is now recognized as a separate species, Caranx caninus.
- The all-tackle world record is a 57-pound, 5-ounce fish taken off Angola, Africa.
- Crevalle jack are not held in high esteem as table fare. Their flesh is bloody and dark and has too strong of a taste for most people.
- Crevalle jack often grunt or croak when caught.