FRET NOT

Sport Fishing - - FISH FACTS -

Off Vir­ginia for the Septem­ber white mar­lin bite, we drifted for sword­fish while wait­ing for the sun to come up. We landed some of these fish while catch­ing tinker mack­erel for bait around the light. We were in about 200 fath­oms. Can you tell us what we caught? (We did catch a sword­fish, and the white mar­lin bite proved great.) Dr. Ken Neill III York­town, Vir­ginia

Ken, you caught a Caribbean pomfret, Brama caribbea. Pom­frets con­sti­tute a cir­cum­global group of tem­per­ate-to-trop­i­cal fishes usu­ally found in the up­per 3,000 feet of the water col­umn. The Caribbean pomfret can be found from the sur­face down to nearly 2,700 feet and, in the west­ern At­lantic, ranges from North Carolina through Brazil, in­clud­ing the Gulf of Mex­ico. Pom­frets are re­lated to jacks (fam­ily Carangi­dae). Like cer­tain jacks such as Florida pom­pano (Trachino­tus car­oli­nus), they’re ex­cel­lent ta­ble fare and com­mer­cially fished in some

ar­eas such as the eastern At­lantic. Pom­frets vary in max­i­mum size, de­pend­ing on the species; the largest grows to ap­prox­i­mately 3 feet, but the Caribbean pomfret reaches a max­i­mum length of just slightly over 10 inches. Nine species of pom­frets be­long­ing to six gen­era oc­cur in the west­ern Cen­tral At­lantic, with three of these be­long­ing to the genus Brama. The Caribbean pomfret is very sim­i­lar to the At­lantic pomfret, B. brama, but the up­per lobe of its cau­dal fin is larger than the lower lobe. —Ray Wald­ner

Caribbean pomfret

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