Almaco Jack

Looks just like an Amberjack, in fact that’s what I thought they were until just ten years ago when a British guest informed me I’m releasing world records. The distinguishing feature is the second dorsal fin is at least twice as long as the forward dorsal fin.

I never used to eat them, because nobody ate Amberjacks when I was a mate in Texas, we always threw Amberjacks back because of the belief they had worms.

alamo jack

These fish don’t have worms, they have really delicious meat. This is how we cook them. Grate plantains, the big green bananas, grate them like hash browns. Our chef dips big thick fillets in egg then covers them in the grated plantain. Then he fries them just enough to make the outside golden brown. These fillets might be 2 1/2 inches thick, then he sticks them in the oven till done. The crispy outside seals the moist perfect texture meat on the inside. Really one my most favorite fish to eat. We don’t kill one on purpose, sometimes they just don’t go back down.

These fish are like horses, they pull super hard and run super fast. They take a whole live bonito in one quick gulp, no fooling with the bait. You’ll be standing there waiting for a bite... and wham, zoom. I’ve seen more than my share of backlash / birds nest from guest unprepared for such a stunning strike. This is a real trophy gamefish in my opinion.

alamo jack game fish

We weighed one at 148 pounds, 16 pounds over the 1964 world record. It did not survive release so we weighed it & ate it. Very good eating fish. There are still big ones here, not like years past, but we still get 50 pound plus fish sort of regular.

Since I mostly only use live bonitos for bottom fishing bait, most all our Almaco Jacks go over 40 pounds. We don’t catch as many as we used to, but still get them pretty often. Seems like we catch most of them during the rainy season. When we get one, we can get another. They stick right in the same spot. I can identify them on the depth sounder, they reflect unique mark on the screen.