Pompano vs Jack Crevalle: The Differences You Need to Know!

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  • Post last modified:June 5, 2023
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Of the many beautiful fish that swim in the sea, one that most of us would also love to see on our plate is the pompano, known by many names for the variety that it comes with. 

However, when it comes to Pompano vs Jack Crevalle, there is another similar fish that most people, anglers too, confuse the pompano with, and that is Jack Crevalle.

Now, you may be an angler reading this or someone who loves fish. Either way, this article will help you see the difference between the two fish and learn a thing or two too. 

Pompano vs Jack Crevalle: Knowing the Differences

PompanoJack Crevalle
Scientific NameTrachinotus carolinusCaranx hippos
HabitatShallow coastal waters, sandy beaches, grass flatsInshore and offshore waters, estuaries, bays
SizeAverage 3-5 pounds, up to 8 poundsAverage 10-20 pounds, up to 40 pounds
AppearanceSilver with a bluish-green back, deeply forked tail, and a single dorsal finDark green or blue back, silver sides, yellow fins, and a deeply forked tail
TasteSweet, mild, delicate flavorMild, slightly sweet flavor
TextureFirm, flaky, and moistFirm and meaty
Fishing TechniquesJigging, casting, drift fishing, and fly fishingLive bait, trolling, casting, and spinning
Popular Baits/LuresShrimp, sand fleas, crabs, jigs, and spoonsLive baitfish, topwater plugs, and jigs
Popularity Among AnglersHighly sought after for its taste and fighting abilityPopular game fish, especially among saltwater anglers
RegulationsCatch limits and size restrictions vary by stateCatch limits and size restrictions vary by state
SustainabilityConsidered a sustainable seafood choiceConsidered a sustainable seafood choice
Environmental ImpactLow impact on the environmentLow impact on the environment

Is Jack Crevalle A Pompano?

Pompano vs Jack Crevalle: Pacific crevalle jack Mexico
Image source: Wikimedia Commons

Clearing this common confusion would be an excellent way to start. And the answer here is no. 

The two are entirely different fish, often confused for each other because of their similar physique, the places that they live in, and the similar food that they eat. 

Yet, with all this, the pompano has a rounder head and a thicker tail. Yet, will all this, know that it is the smaller of the two fish with the Jack Crevalle large, even with its blunt head and ponytail. 

It is also the better delicacy of the two, with a kind of moistness and flavor that far exceeds the Jack Crevalle, which is coarse and oily (not a favorite of most chefs) and is thus often referred to as the thrashing fish.

What Kind of A Fish Is Jack Crevalle?

This is more of a predatory marine fish. It is hard to catch and often found in the deep waters. Some go down as much as 100 feet. The fact that they are the most challenging fighting fish makes them a rare catch. 

A 12-year-old fisher caught the world’s biggest Jack Crevalle. It weighed 58 pounds and set two world records for its size and weight. 

Must Read: What fish is not a bottom feeder?

Is Jack Crevalle Good To Eat?

While this is not exactly a delicacy for fish, you can quickly turn it into one by adding a few ingredients. Some choose to soak it in milk, while others drown it in some juice. Both of them work well in disguising the taste and making it better than it otherwise is. 

Two of the most common dishes prepared with this fish are ceviche and sashimi. The former is a dish from Hispanic America where the fish is marinated with lime juice and then spiced with some seasonings. It is simple yet flavorful. 

The latter is more of a Japanese delicacy where the fish is sliced thinly and enhanced with soy sauce. This one, too, is quick and easy to make. 

Some even choose to eat the fish raw. However, it would be best to bleed and filet the fish to eliminate the fishy flavor and enjoy the tender meat. 

What Fish Is Similar To the Pompano?

Meet Permit. This fish is so similar to the pompano that anglers often confuse the two. 

One way to differentiate the two fish is by their size. Permits are found to be enormous, some of them growing up to even three feet in length. 

And then, there is the color. Permits have orange patches on their bodies, while Pompanos come with a whole yellow body. 

Is Pompano Good To Eat?

Yes, and in fact, this is considered one of the world’s most edible fish. 

While it is beautiful with silvery skin, it is also an irresistible delicacy with its texture, taste, and flavor. Besides, the fish is also highly nutritious, containing protein, calcium, and vitamins like B12, A, and D. 

It also contains minerals like selenium, phosphorus, and potassium. It strengthens bones, reduces cholesterol, aids metabolism, and boosts brain strength. 

In other words, it has all the nutrients for a healthy body, mind, and heart. The fish is pan-sized and can be eaten whole. Most chefs agree it is best to enjoy this fish baked with a few spices. 

Is Golden Pomfret A Pompano?

Yes, it is, but not all pompanos are Golden Pomfrets. In other words, this fish belongs to the family of pompanos with its natural sweet taste and firm texture.

You see, various categories belong to this family, like the black pomfret and the silver pomfret.

The golden pompano is among them and is also referred to as the snub-nose pompano. This is one of the most common pomfrets and can be differentiated by its large size, growing up to even 25 inches. 

The flesh is tender and best enjoyed when steamed. 

Pompano and Jack Crevalle fishing techniques: What works best?

When targeting Pompano, experienced anglers know it’s all about using the right bait and tackle to lure these awesome fish. There are various fishing techniques that can really up your chances of success, like using sand fleas or shrimp as bait and trying out specialized rigs.

And don’t forget to scope out their favorite hangouts and pay attention to the seasons; that’s the key to taking your Pompano fishing experience to the next level!

Now, let’s talk about Jack Crevalle. If you’re after that adrenaline rush of catching these bad boys, you gotta make sure you’re armed with the right gear. Jack Crevalle is notorious for being fierce predators, so you’ll want to go for techniques like surface poppers and fast retrieves to get them biting.

And remember, knowing where they like to hang out and when they’re most active can set you up for some epic battles with these powerful fish. 

Recommended Reading: Can fish smell human scent?

Pompano vs Jack Crevalle: Culinary Qualities and Best Cooking Methods

Pompano and Jack Crevalle are both known for their culinary qualities, but they have some differences in taste and texture. Here’s a breakdown of their culinary qualities and best cooking methods:


  • Taste: Pompano has a mild and delicate flavor with a hint of sweetness.
  • Texture: The flesh of pompano is firm yet tender and moist.
  • Cooking Methods: Pompano is versatile and can be cooked in various ways, such as:
    • Grilling: Grilling pompano enhances its natural flavor. Season the fish with herbs, spices, and a squeeze of lemon before grilling.
    • Baking or Roasting: Whole pompano can be baked or roasted with seasonings, lemon slices, and herbs. This method helps retain moisture and flavor.
    • Pan-Searing: Searing pompano in a hot pan with butter or oil creates a crispy exterior while keeping the flesh moist.
    • Steaming: Steaming pompano with aromatics, herbs, and a splash of white wine preserves its delicate flavor and texture.

Jack Crevalle:

  • Taste: Jack crevalle has a stronger and more assertive flavor compared to pompano. It can be described as meaty and slightly oily.
  • Texture: The flesh of jack crevalle is dense, firm, and sometimes slightly chewy.
  • Cooking Methods: Jack crevalle is often prepared differently from pompano due to its stronger flavor and firmer texture. Here are a few cooking methods to consider:
    • Grilling or Broiling: Jack crevalle can withstand high heat, making it suitable for grilling or broiling. Marinate the fish or season it with bold flavors to complement its taste.
    • Smoking: Smoking jack crevalle can mellow out its strong flavor and add a smoky depth. It is often used in fish dips or spreads.
    • Ceviche: The firm texture of jack crevalle makes it suitable for ceviche. The acid from citrus juices can help tenderize the fish while adding freshness.
    • Baking or Frying: Jack crevalle can be baked or fried, but it may require additional seasoning or sauces to balance its strong taste.

Just a heads up, the cooking methods I mentioned earlier are just some ideas to get you started. But don’t hesitate to get creative and try out different recipes and techniques that match your taste buds. Oh, and before you get cooking, ensure you’ve got fresh fish properly cleaned. That way, you’ll lock in all the deliciousness and top-notch flavor.

Final Thoughts

So now you can differentiate between the delicacy called the pompano from its rarer lookalike, the Jack Crevalle. And while the former you would have feasted on quite several times know that the Jack Crevalle is not so bad. 

Make it a point to feast on it at least once in your lifetime. If you are a fish eater, this is one of the many experiences you should enjoy. 

Frequently Asked Questions on Pompano vs Jack Crevalle

Q1. What Are Other Names For Jack Crevalle?

Ans: This fish is also known by other names, so if someone is using terms like common jack, black-tailed trevally, black Cavalli, Cavalli jack, and horse mackerel, know that they are talking about Jack Crevalle. The term cavall was earlier used in place of Jack, so you see it used in two names that the fish comes with. 

Q2. Is Pomfret the Same As Pompano?

Ans: Yes, the two are synonyms. It is also known as the butterfish. These are the names by which the fish is most commonly referred to in Southeast Asia, where it is the most sought-after. A few other terms by which it is referred are the silver pompano, American pomfret, sunfish, leciia stella, and palometa. These are a few among the many names that the fish comes with. 

Q3. Is Pompano Fish High In Mercury?

Ans: No, you need not worry, for this is one fish known to come with low levels of mercury, making it safe to consume and healthy with the many nutrients it comes with. This is one fish that even pregnant mothers can eat when they are expecting. The fish is good to eat at this time as it will significantly enhance the growth and development of the baby.