- 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 flounder (Paralichthys)
The gulf flounder looks similar to their flatfish relatives, the summer and southern flounder. Both of the eyes are located on the left side, and they swim with this side always facing upwards. The left side of the body is an overall brownish tone that can change depending on the color of the immediate surroundings. They also have many white spots splattered over the body and fins. The right side is white and colorless. Gulf flounder have large mouths with strong, canine-like teeth.
Distinct from summer and southern flounder, the gulf flounder has three prominent, eye-like spots that form a triangle. One of these spots is on the lateral line near the base of the tail fin; the other two are located centrally above and below the lateral line.
To differentiate between the sexes, it has been recorded that the eyes of the female are located closer together than the eyes of the male, whereas the male has the longer pectoral fins.
Gulf flounder are bottom-dwelling carnivorous fish that feed primarily on crustaceans and small fish.
The gulf flounder inhabits western Atlantic waters from North Carolina to southern Florida, the Bahamas, the Gulf of Mexico and the western Caribbean.
Gulf flounder are predominantly inshore fish that prefer sandy or rocky bottoms in water up to 60 feet deep. They will associate anywhere there is cover, in grass flats, rock or oyster reefs and along pilings and bridge supports. They also are known to move into tidal creeks at times.
- The all-tackle world record for a gulf flounder is 6 pounds, 4 ounces.