Blue Runner (Caranx crysos)

The blue runner is a small, spunky member of the Carangidae family that is valued as bait for big-game fishing. It is an excellent food fish and is marketed fresh, frozen, and salted.


The body of the blue runner is bluish-green to brassy, silvery, or light olive above. There is a black, some what elongated spot near the upper end of the gill cover, and there may be faint bluish bars on the body. A characteristic feature is the blackish shading on the tips of the tail fins. The blue runner is easily distinguished from the crevalle jack because it lacks the dark blotch found on the pectoral fins of that fish.


This species usually weighs less than 1 pound and is typically 1 foot long; the all-tackle world record is an 11-pound, 2-ounce fish taken off Alabama.

Life history

Sexually mature when they reach 9 to 10 inches in length, blue runners spawn offshore from January through August.


Blue runners feed primarily on fish, shrimp, squid, and other invertebrates.

Other Names

hardtail, hard-tailed jack, runner; French: carangue coubali; Greek: kokali; Italian: carangidi, carangido mediterraneo; Portuguese: carangídeos, xaralete; Spanish: atún, cojinua, cojinúa negra, cojinuda.


In the western Atlantic, blue runners occur from Nova Scotia to Brazil, including the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico.


Blue runners inhabit offshore waters in large schools. They are occasionally found over reefs, sometimes in pairs or solitary. Young fish frequently linger around sargassum and other floating objects.