Jack Crevalle(Caranx hippos) Fishing Tips: How to Catch, Cook and Eat

The Jack Crevalle is a fish that is quite aptly named a ‘powerhouse’ of the sea. Most anglers target these game fish because they put up quite a good fight, but many do not think that it makes for a good catch for the table because it has quite a distinctive fishy taste.

Jack Crevalle fishing tips:

  • How to catch Jack Crevalle: to catch Jack Crevalle you must use live bait, fish in the right open waters, have sufficient tackle available and be prepared to act and retrieve quickly.
  • How to cook and eat Jack Crevalle: to enjoy Jack Crevalle you must bleed it and chill it immediately after caught. To cook, skin the fish and remove all of the bloodline meat (the very dark meat). Cook the fish in acidic juice, such as vinegar or lemon juice, to remove the extra fishy taste.

Crevalle Jack

Perhaps you don’t have to waste your catch the next time you pull a hefty Jack Crevalle out of the water. If your interest has been sparked, take the time to read through the sections below that discuss Jack Crevalle fishing tips and tips on how to cook the fish to perfection and enjoy – I know I did.

Fishing Jack Crevalle is a Double-Edged Sword

While Jack Crevalle is a popular fish to seek out in the water, they are not a popular fish to cook and eat. This particular fish is quite powerful and will put up a really good fight when hooked. You will find that most of them come in at various sizes, but some of the biggest caught weigh around 32kg and measure 124cm. As you can tell, it is quite a victory to pull one of these fish out of the water. And if more people ate them, they would make for a mammoth feast too.

The problem with Jack Crevalle fish is that they are known to taste quite fishy. The fishy taste is so strong for some that the Jack Crevalle fish has gotten itself quite a bad rap. Unfortunately, this means that most people who catch Jack Crevalle fish actually waste it – which in itself is a tragedy. This particular fish is also quite nutritional with around 24g of protein per 3 ounces.

If you knew how to cook this type of fish to perfection – trust me, it can be an absolute mouthwatering delicacy – you would actually want to catch more of them. Below I share some tips on catching Jack Crevalle fish and a quick and easy recipe on preparing, cooking, and eating them.

4 Tips for Fishing Jack Crevalle Fish | How to Catch Jack Crevalle

Catching Crevalle Jack
Photo by: Mark Trimble

Do you want to increase your chances of catching Jack Crevalle? Here is just 4 ways that you can:

  • Use live bait – Jack Crevalle fish can’t resist live prey.

Jack Crevalle fish are not the kindest species to smaller fish. They actually love to chase and bully smaller fish for a meal of their own. It is undeniable that Crevalle Jacks love live bait because they love the chase. Popular live bait for Crevalle Jack is the mullet, herring, or sardine. The size of your live bait will also determine the size of your catch as bigger Jack Crevalle fish will target the biggest live bait options.

  • Fish in the right open waters.

You need to know where to find Jack Crevalle if you want to catch them. Check out the open water areas both inshore and offshore as these fish can be found in both environments. The best spots to find Jack Crevalle are at major inlets or swimming around offshore wrecks. They can also be found in canals and deep bays and reefs.

  • Have sufficient tackle to efficiently handle the load.

Jack Crevalle are not small fish. They are large and heavy, so your tackle needs to be carefully chosen so that you can handle the fight of the fish without breaking a line or rod – or losing the fish. It is a good idea to have at least 200 yards of fishing line with you and your monofilament leaders should be between 20 and 40 pounds.

  • Act and retrieve the fish from the water quickly.

Jack Crevalle are quite aggressive fish to catch and because of this, there really is no time to waste. If you watch them in the water, you will notice that they are very active and quick moving fish. You will not have to use any fancy or elaborate fishing techniques to catch your share of fish, but you will need to use fast movements and be able to act and retrieve the fish really quickly. If you hesitate, you will miss it. Pay attention and act as quickly as possible.

How to Cook and Eat Jack Crevalle

I often think that Jack Crevalle are overlooked as a great table fish because anglers know how to put their skill to the test in fighting it out of the water but have limited experience and knowledge of how to cook and eat it. Jack Crevalle is actually a delicious species; when done right – trust me! But if you do not want to take my word for it, maybe it is time to try it out for yourself.

Something that you will notice if you have ever seen Jack Crevalle being cleaned is that they are quite bloody inside. Some say that in terms of the color of the flesh and texture of the meat, it is quite similar to eating a beef steak.

When it comes to cooking and eating Jack Crevalle, not many people do it because of the ultra-strong fishy taste, but there is a trick to doing it just right. In fact, some have discovered that a Jack Crevalle can be a truly delicious table fish. The trick is to get the fishiness out of the fish. And it’s a lot easier than you think it is.

Preparing and cooking Jack Crevalle: First and foremost, bleed the fish immediately after catching it and make sure that you keep the meat chilled. Do not leave it lying out where it can get warm. The skin should be removed along with any and all of the bloodline meat. The bloodline meat is all the darker sections of meat. These, in all fish, tend to be the stronger tasting areas of the fish. Once that is removed, you can get right to cutting the fish into smaller pieces so that cooking is more manageable. You need to also make a light acidic marinade.

Here is what you will need:

  • Cajun seasoning
  • Garlic seasoning
  • Salt
  • Fresh lime or lemon juice

Mix all of these ingredients together and marinate the pieces of fish for around 30 minutes to a few hours. Then it is time to cook it to tender perfection.

You can cook the fish in a skillet with coconut oil to give it a nice rich flavor. You can also add a few extra squeezes of lemon/lime juice while cooking. The pieces should only need to cook for about 5 minutes with regular stirring. It is also quite nice to add a spoon or two of coconut cream to the mix, which takes away even more of the fishiness. In fact, it complements the dish quite nicely.

Serve the cooked fish with rice and beans for a delicious meal. Chances are that your guests will not even know that it is a Jack Crevalle they are eating, as it will taste absolutely delectable.

Conclusion

Catching Jack Crevalle is certainly an accomplishment and from what I have just told you about preparing and cooking it; there is every reason to believe that your catch can be a delectable table fish too. The next time you catch Jack Crevalle, try your hand at cooking it a little differently – you might just be pleasantly surprised by the delicious outcome.

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