Is Jack Crevalle a trash fish? Are Jack Crevalle good to eat? Let me answer for you.
I first tried eating Jack Crevalle about five years ago when I first really started to get into offshore fishing. Many of my more experienced offshore buddies had previously mentioned that Jack Crevalle (aka “common jack” or “Crevalle Jack”) is a trash fish, although fun to catch. After trying them while fishing for Cobia in the Spring of 2017.
Jack Crevalle is not a good fish to eat, in my opinion. Jack Crevalle has extremely oily meat with an excess of blood, making it challenging to create a tasty meal. Even with creativity and cooking experience, it is hard to cover up the firm meat and extreme fishy taste of Jack Crevalle. That said, Jack Crevalle is fun fish to catch.
Whether you are offshore or on the flats, Jack Crevalle is a thrill to catch and release. First I’ll share with you my impressions of its’ taste. Next, I will l get into how to fish for Jack Crevalle by going over what bait to use and where to find them.
What Does Jack Crevalle Taste Like?
As I mentioned, Jack Crevalle is not the best fish to eat. The meat is oily with an excess of blood. Combining these two characteristics makes creating a tasty meal out of this fish difficult.
In my opinion, Jack Crevalle tastes extremely fishy. The firmness of the meat makes it hard to chew, and the fishy taste is difficult to cover up, no matter how you prepare it.
If you are looking for an excellent fish to eat, I recommend avoiding Jack Crevalle. Many other fish out there taste better and are just as fun to catch. However, targeting Jack with plans to catch and release is fun, and you don’t need to be on a boat. Many anglers catch common Jack from oceanside piers or surf while casting from the beach.
How To Catch Jack Crevalle
Now that you know my opinion on Jack Crevalle’s taste, you’re probably wondering how to catch this fish.
Jack Crevalle is a saltwater species found in the Gulf of Mexico and along the Atlantic and Pacific coasts of the US.
Best Bait and Tackle For Jack Crevalle
The best bait for Jack Crevalle is live bait. Look for finger mullet, pilchards, threadfin herring, and menhaden in the 2-4″ range. Jack fish will also eat crabs, shrimp, and squid.
If fishing in the flats for Jack Crevalle, try using a popping cork rig with live bait or topwater plugs.
When fishing for Crevalle Jack, I use a 20-30lb test line on a conventional reel spooled with a braided line. This gives you the strength to battle these hard-fighting fish while allowing you to fish with smaller baits.
Where to Fish For Jack Crevalle
When targeting Jack Crevalle offshore, look for areas with clean water and baitfish activity. Jacks are often found near reefs, ledges, and drop-offs. They will also congregate around areas with high concentrations of baitfish.
If you are fishing from the surf or a pier, cast beyond the breakers rather than into the breakers like you would typically do while surf fishing. Jack fish swim in deeper water when close to the beach rather than along the ledge where the waves crash, where you find Flounder, Drum, Bluefish, etc.
Common Questions Related to Jack Crevalle
Can You Eat Jack Crevalle Fish?
Yes, you can certainly eat Jack crevalle as long as it is adequately cooked and not eaten raw; there are no negative health ramifications from eating Jack Crevalle.
However, for most anglers, Jack is considered junk fish, and they do not recommend eating Jack Crevalle because of its’ dark meat, excess oil, strong muscles, and so on.
Do jack crevalle fight hard?
Yes, Jack Crevalle is a hard-fighting fish. They are known for their hard runs and acrobatic leaps out of the water.
They feed AGGRESSIVELY on baitfish at the surface, so casting a topwater lure or live bait into a school of baitfish can yield an exciting strike from a Jack Fish.
They are one of the harder-fighting fish that I have caught inshore. Crevalle Jack is among the most fun fish to catch compared to other common coastal species.
How big does jack crevalle get?
Crevalle Jack can grow over 50lbs and 40 inches, but most fish caught range from 10-20lbs and 25 inches long.
How do you bleed out a jack crevalle fish?
To bleed out a jack crevalle, use a sharp knife to make a slit along the back of the fish on both sides of the spine. This allows the blood to drain from the fish.
It is essential to bleed out fish as soon as possible after catching it. This will help to improve the taste of the fish.
For this question or any how-to question, it may be best to watch a video with instructions so you can follow along step-by-step. Check out this video below for details on how to bleed out a Jack fish.
Can you lip a jack crevalle?
I do not recommend you lip a Jack Crevalle. Jack Fish have powerful jaws, so instead of grabbing them by their lip, use a fish grip or a net to avoid getting your fingers bitten.
Is Jack Crevalle poisonous?
No, Crevalle Jack is not poisonous. They are safe to eat as long as they are adequately cooked.
Now that you know all about Jack Crevalle, how to fish for them, and what they taste, it’s up to you whether or not you want to try and catch one for yourself. They are a fish that put up a good fight, so if you’re looking for an exciting fishing experience, targeting Crevalle Jack is a great option. Just have the proper bait and tackle ready before heading out on your next fishing adventure.
Check out the pages below for my recommendations on the best fishing gear: