Not a true mackerel but a member of the Carangidae family of jacks, the Pacific jack mackerel is marketed fresh, smoked, canned, and frozen.
The body of the Paciﬁc jack mackerel is somewhat compressed and elongate, with a tail that is as broad as it is deep. It is metallic blue to olive green on the back, shading to silver on the belly. Its last dorsal and anal soft rays are attached to the body or rarely separated from the ﬁns, and the sides are covered with enlarged scales. The Paciﬁc jack mackerel bears a resemblance to the Mexican scad, but the enlarged scales distinguish it, as do the last, attached rays of the dorsal and the anal ﬁns. On the Mexican scad, the rays are isolated ﬁnlets.
The Pacific jack mackerel can weigh 4 to 5 pounds and can live 20 to 30 years.
Sexual maturity comes early for Paciﬁc jack mackerel. Half of the females are ready to spawn at age 2, and all ﬁsh spawn by age 3. Spawning takes place from March through June over a considerable area, from 80 to more than 240 miles offshore.
Food and feeding habits
Paciﬁc jack mackerel feed on small crustaceans and ﬁsh larvae, as well as on anchovies, lanternﬁsh, and juvenile squid.
horse mackerel, jack mackerel, jackﬁsh, mackereljack, scad; Spanish: charrito, chicharro.
In the eastern Paciﬁc, Paciﬁc jack mackerel range from south-eastern Alaska to southern Baja California, extending into the Gulf of California, Mexico. They are also reported from Acapulco, Mexico, and the Galápagos Islands.
Paciﬁc jack mackerel are often found offshore in large schools; adults are found up to 500 miles from the coast and in depths of up to 150 feet. Young ﬁsh school near kelp and under piers, whereas larger ﬁsh often move off-shore or northward.