Game Fishing > Cavalli family, Carangidae > Runner


RunnerThe runner was first described by Dr. S. L. Mitchill, in 1815, from the vicinity of New York. He named it chrysos, meaning "gold," from the golden sheen of its sides. It inhabits the Atlantic coast from Cape Cod to Brazil, but is most abundant on southern shores and in the Gulf of Mexico.

It has an oblong body, its depth a little less than a third of its length, with the dorsal and ventral curves about equal. The head is shorter than the depth of the body, with a uniformly curved profile and rather sharp snout. The mouth is moderate in size and low, with a single series of teeth in the lower jaw, and two in the upper one, but no canines; there are also small teeth on the roof of the mouth and tongue.

Its colour is greenish olive on the back, and golden yellow or silvery below; there is a black blotch on the border of the gill-cover; the fins are all plain.

The runner, as its name indicates, is a great forager, and is the swiftest and most graceful of all the jacks or cavallies. It ranges farther northward than the other species of the genus. It frequents the reefs and the shores of the keys and mainland of Florida in search of food, which consists of small fishes, as sardines, anchovies, mullets, etc., crustaceans, and other small organ­isms. It is the best of the jacks as a food-fish, and is in great favor at Key West. For its size it is also the gamest, but as it rarely exceeds a foot in length it is not so much sought, gener­ally, as the larger jacks. It is, however, a great favorite with the juvenile anglers at Key West, as it can be taken from the wharves with almost any kind of bait.

On account of its activity and gameness it furnishes fine sport on light tackle, and under these conditions is worthy the atten­tion of the angler. A light black-bass rod, braided linen line, size G, hooks No. 1 or 1-0 on gimp snells, a light multiplying reel and sinker adapted to the tidal current, comprise a good outfit for the runner, which is also known as hard-tail and jurel in some localities. About Key West and the neighboring keys the best bait is the little whirligig mullet (Querimana gyrans), which whirls on the surface in large schools, or cut bait or shrimps may be used to advantage.

The author of a published book on the fishes of Florida makes the following queer statement, "It seems to me the runners are hybrids from the crevalle and bluefish species or families, as they certainly resemble both of those fishes." It would be strange did they not resem­ble the fishes named, as all are of the mackerel tribe, and all are distinguished by having f alcate anal and dorsal fins of about the same relative size, and placed about opposite each other, and also have swallow-shaped caudal fins with slender caudal pedicle ; but there the greatest resemblance ends. I have never seen a hybrid among fishes in the natural state. They can be produced by the fishculturist between kindred species, but there is no especial benefit to be derived from such experiments. Hybrids, or so-called mules, are infertile, and incapable of reproducing their kind.