Tag Archives: Jacks

Bluefin trevally

A bluefin trevally in the water off the coast of the Big Island of Hawaii

I was getting close to the ladder where I get out after a swim, when two large bluefin trevallies went by. One swam off, but the other one turned around and to check me out and I snapped this one photo in murky water.

I was happy how it cleaned up and how it caught the fish’s curiosity and it’s sparkling blue markings.

Posted in response to Becky’s October Squares challenge theme of ‘Past Squares – Blue.’ See more responses here.


Leatherbacks off the coast of Hawaii

Leatherbacks are members of the Jack family and are most often seen singly or in pairs. I see them quite often and always try to get a photo of them and almost always fail. That’s because they have a tendency to surge upwards to feed and then zip back down.

On this occasion, a group of a dozen or more leatherbacks went by in the company of several bluefin trevallies and other fish. As usual, they were traveling at speed, but the numbers meant I had a better opportunity to get this photo.

Rainbow runner chasing a mackerel scad school

A school of mackerel scads, or Opelus off Hawaii

On a recent swim, I was turning to head for home when I saw this large school of fish rocketing towards me. As they zipped by I snapped the top photo. I could see they were mackerel scads, known in Hawaii as Opelu.

The reason for their haste also became clear as the last of them went by. The bottom photo shows a rainbow runner hot on their tails. Both fish are members of the jack family, but it’s a family that doesn’t get along. Mackerel scads are a favorite food of rainbow runners.

In a matter of moments, the fish disappeared out of sight. These were the only two photos I was able to take of the episode and I was thrilled that both turned out pretty well.

A school of mackerel scads, or Opelus being hunted by a rainbow runner off Hawaii

Yesterday’s swim

A small shoal of convict tang feeding.
I think this is a spotted coral blenny on a head of purple cauliflower coral, and possibly a small trumpetfish.

This is a second response to this week’s Sunday Stills challenge theme of ‘Waterworld.’ (See more responses here.) Yesterday, I posted about the movie Waterworld. Today, it’s a probably more expected response.

These are photos I took during my swim yesterday. Visibility in the water was patchy with some good areas and some not so good. I didn’t see anything startling, though the mackerel shads aren’t a common sight. Last time I saw such a shoal there was a great barracuda lurking on the other side. I looked around and, sure enough, there was another one looking interested as it cruised low down, too low for a decent photo.

The other oddity was in the photo at left. I saw what I think is a spotted coral blenny on this patch of cauliflower coral, and snapped a quick photo before it took off. But it was only when I processed the photos that I saw something else, to the left and slightly below the blenny. I think it’s a small trumpetfish, but it could be something else. A lot of small fish and other creatures hide in coral heads so I must pay more attention from here on.

In short, it was a fairly typical swim.

A shoal of mackerel scad on the left with yellow tang on the right.
Little fish enjoy the comparative safety of the shallow water in the surge zone.
On the left, a fourspot butterflyfish and a cushion star. On the right, black triggerfish are cleaned by a Hawaiian cleaner wrasse.
Just before getting out I saw this small Pacific trumpetfish with goldring surgeonfishes.

Threadfin jack juvenile

I posted a photo of a threadfin jack juvenile back in August, in part to illustrate the fact that I hadn’t seen any this year, which was unusual. September came and went without sightings, so I’d pretty much given up the thought of seeing one when October rolled around. But on October 2, I got in the water and soon bumped into this little fellow.

I don’t know why the sighting was so late this year. Possibly the murkier water this summer has something to do with it. But it’s no clearer currently, which is why that day was the only sighting I’ve had. I know other people have seen it since so it’s still around. But even if I don’t get a second look at this fish, I’m glad to have seen this one at all. They’re not often seen, but they really are spectacular little fish and I appreciate every encounter with them.