How to identify an Almaco Jack
The Almaco jack is a dusky-colored jack of the family Carangidae with a faint amber or olive stripe running down its side. Similar in appearance to the greater amberjack, the Almaco jack is characterized by a football shaped body and thin forked tail with the body being darker on the top side as well as a white underbelly and a dark line extending from the nose, through the eye, all the way down its flank. The body and lower fins are generally dark brown or dark bluish green, and the lighter-colored belly may look brassy or even lavender. The Almaco jack's dorsal and anal fins are high and elongated, with deeply sickle-shaped outer edges. The nuchal bar in adults is dark-colored, as are the fins, except the pelvic fins, which are white on the ventral side. Almaco jacks typically have less elongated, more flattened bodies than other species of jacks (140 species of jack have been identified to date). Their dorsal fins also distinguish them from other jacks—the first few rays of the dorsal fin are more than twice as long as the dorsal spines in Almaco jacks, whereas in other jack species the rays are less than twice the length of the dorsal spines. Adults can reach up to 36 inches in length and usually weigh 10-20 lbs, though they may exceed 50 lbs.
Where to catch Almaco Jack
The almaco jack is found more often in deeper, oceanic waters of the western Atlantic Ocean from Massachusetts to Brazil, though they are rarely caught north of the Carolinas. Almaco jacks are also found through out the Gulf of Mexico and areas of the Pacific Ocean. They are more oceanic than the greater amberjack and occur at greater depths. They tend to frequent reefs, rocks, wrecks and offshore oil and gas platforms. The following list includes additional details on where to catch this fish: