Jack (African Pompano) Fishing (Alectis ciliaris)

All Tackle Record
50lbs, 8oz

Jack (African Pompano) Fishing (Alectis ciliaris)

Commonly known by the name of Threadfish, African Pompano are large, hard fighting and elusive Jacks. Mostly hooked while targeting other species, these exotic fish are not found in large concentrations in many waters.

African Pompano spend their youth schooling in pelagic waters, migrating close to shore once they're ready for reproduction, but going back to offshore wrecks annually for spawning purposes. Adults prefer sandy and rocky bottoms up to about 300ft deep.

An interesting fact about the African Pompano is that younger fish boast five extremely long filamentous threads, similar to those of Roosterfish and reminiscing of the venomous medusa jellyfish - this supposedly aids them in defense against predators.

How big

This species reaches a maximum length of about 5ft and weight of more than 50lbs. The average adult will be between 15 and 20lbs.

Happy angler with his limit of these elusive fish. Double hook-up aboard This Is It in Ponce Inlet, FL

When & Where

The African Pompano is a globally distributed, but scarce, species, found primarily in the tropical waters of the Indo-Western Pacific along Asia and Australia and around many Pacific islands, but also on both coasts of the Americas and Africa.

The western Mexican fisheries, if any, are known to have good numbers of catches, with hotspots located along the coast of southern Baja California Sur, including Mazatlán and Puerto Vallarta. A good time to try for them here would be February through April.

In Florida, Key West has seen its fair share of these fish, so have spots like Tampa Bay and Charlotte Harbor on the Gulf coast and Jupiter and Miami on the Atlantic coast. They can be caught year-round, but with random success.

Charlotte Harbor is a good spot for these guys. Tide Walker Charters can take you out in Bokeelia, FL

How to catch

African Pompano feed on small fish, crabs and crustaceans, so small live bait such as goggle eyes or larger prawns should do the trick. They have also been caught on metal jigs, but artificials are not generally successful.

Slow trolling live bait will be the most effective technique when the fish are relatively close to the surface. Once hooked, they will usually head for the bottom in an attempt to break the line, so no slack should be given.

Good to eat?

Considered excellent table fare, but known to cause ciguatera (fish poisoning), so bigger fish should be released.


Season - always open;
Size limit - 24'' FL minimum;
Bag limit (per angler per day) - 2, not to exceed 2 per boat;
Similar Game Fish: