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(Alectis ciliaris), Threadfish, Cuban Jack, Flechudo


Description: The body is deep and compressed; coloration is metallic-blue above, silvery below; snout is blunt; pelvic fins are longer than the maxilla; second dorsal and anal fins are falcate. Dorsal Spines (total): 7 - 8; Dorsal soft rays (total): 18 - 22; Anal spines: 3; Anal soft rays: 15 – 20. Body superficially naked, with minute and embedded scales. Body silvery with light metallic bluish tinge dorsally; a small diffuse dark spot on opercle. Weakly developed scutes, appearing naked. Only fish in the family that does not have dorsal fin spines throughout life. Juveniles with long trailing filaments. The shorter the filaments, the older the fish.

Similar Fish: (Jacks and pompanos) Perch-like

Where Found: Worldwide in tropical seas. The young are pelagic; adults found to depths of 55 meters (180 feet) often associated with reefs, wrecks, and rock ledges

Size: Up to 91 centimeters (3 feet) and 19 kilograms (42 pounds)

Importance: Fisheries: minor commercial; gamefish: yes; aquarium: commercial

World Record: 50lb. 8oz. - Tom Sargent - April 21, 1990 - Daytona Beach, Florida, USA

Bait Used: It will take small live or dead baits, as well as lures, jigs and flies and frozen brined spanish sardine.

Tactics to Catch: As one of the pets of the light-tackle fraternity, most African Pompano are caught by jigging deep in the vicinity of wrecks or offshore drop-offs with spinning and bait casting tackler; or by fishing deep with light ocean tackle and live bait. They generally hang too deep to interest fly fishermen, although a few have been caught by blind-fishing over wrecks with sinking lines, or by chumming them to the surface with live chum. A variety of heavy jigs and large streamers will work especially if trimmed with silvery Mylar. Pinfish, Pilchards and similar small fish are the live baits of choice. Africans are occasionally caught by trolling over the reefs with feathers or rigged baits.

Climate (water temperature range): Subtropical; 42°N - 24°S

Spawning Habits: Spawning took place between April and October, coinciding with the increase in temperature from 19 to 24 °C. A total of 14 million eggs were collected in 38 spawns, with an average of 61.75% fertilization and 16.49% hatching. The greatest number and highest fertilization and hatching rates of eggs were obtained in the month of July. The greater amberjack eggs with 1.121±0.032 mm diameter, hatch within 34 to 45 h, producing larvae with an average length of 3.639±0.012 mm, yolk sac volume of 0.097±0.015 mm[3], and oil globule diameter of 0.243 ±0.001 mm.

Table Food Excellent food fish; marketed fresh or dried or salted.

Consumption Concerns: Reports of ciguatera poisoning

Feeding Habits: Feeds on sedentary or slow moving crustaceans and occasionally feeds on small crabs and fishes

Remarks: Good to eat; often found in schools over structure. Juveniles are attractive aquarium fish, but do not do well in captivity. One of the toughest light-tackle customers around, the African fights much like other big Jacks, but uses its flat side to even greater advantage, and exhibits a peculiar, circling tactic that puts the angler to a thorough test.

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