OTHER NAMES: Thread fish, Cuban Jack, Flechudo
RANGE: Most African Pompano are encountered on
the lower half of the Atlantic Coast and in the Keys. They also
are found throughout the Bahamas and Caribbean.
HABITAT: The young prefer shallow reefs. Adults
may be found over shallow reefs as well, but tend to work deeper
as they grow. Best fishing grounds are
usually around deep wrecks.
DESCRIPTION: A large, flattened fish with
silvery or pearlescent sides and a distinctive blunt, steeply
sloped head. Forward rays of the dorsal and anal fins are very
long and threadlike in young fish, and these "streamers"
sometimes hang on until adulthood, although they usually are
lost as the fish grows.
SIZE: The smallest specimens have the
longest fins, and young "Thread fish" of a couple pounds and
less were once thought to be a different species. Adults are
common at 15-30 pounds and grow to at least 50 pounds.
FLORIDA RECORD : 50 pounds, 8 ounces
FOOD VALUE: Excellent.
GAME QUALITIES: 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.
TACKLE AND BAITS: 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.
FISHING TECHNIQUES: Drifting; Still Fishing;
REGULATIONS: Not less than
24" fork, 2 per person per day.