Fishing Charters in Aruba

Rainbow Runner

Fishing in Aruba

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Rainbow Runner
(Elagatis Bipinnulata)

Rainbow Runner, the species of marine pelagic fish is widespread throughout the tropical and subtropical seas across the world. These fish are known to inhibit both in the coastal and offshore areas. Rainbow Runner has a brilliant color on its body and is quite easily distinguished by its body shape. A fast-swimming predator, the Rainbow Runner takes on a wide variety of crustaceans, along with the small fish. This species of fish is commonly known as the Game fish, especially at the ones of larger sizes. The Rainbow Runner is also a well-regarded table fish.

Rainbow Runners are not a dominant commercial species, but their flesh is said to be of outstanding standards. The fish is more commonly used bait, either live or dead. Rainbow Runner is also rigged behind the game boats for more abundant species such as the Tuna and Billfish while using the method of trolling. They have also received a substantial recognition as a great large marlin bait.

The Rainbow Runner
Habitat and Behavior

The highly migratory fish, Rainbow Runner is known to form schools of variable sizes from few individuals to several hundred. Their muscles contain high levels of fatty acids because of the presence of low lipids in their other organs. These fish belong to the group of pelagic fish that prey on open ocean species of sea skaters; it is the type of insect which rests on the surface of the ocean. They are carnivores that prey on a wide variety of cephalopods, small fish and planktonic. Rainbow Runners are known to prefer shallow reef systems with the water depths ranging from 10 to 30 m with steep coral drop-offs and pinnacles. Rainbow Runner is quite famously known for its fighting abilities and its physical appearance of the long torpedo-shaped body, forked tail, and fantastic coloration.

The Rainbow Runners have a circumtropical distribution, inhabiting tropical and subtropical waters worldwide. In the western Atlantic, the fish occurs from Massachusetts and Bermuda to Northeastern Brazil, the Northern and Southern Gulf of Mexico,including the Bahamas, and the Greater and the Lesser Antilles, while also extending from the east to the Azores. Rainbow Runners are also widespread throughout the Pacific Ocean, but slightly less abundant in parts of the Indian Ocean. The species is also an occasional visitor to the Mediterranean Sea. Rainbow Runners have been observed to be close to the land over rock and coral reef systems, as well as far offshore. The fish occasionally come close to the shore and is known to inhabit lagoons for shorter periods.

The Rainbow Runner -
Physical Description

  • Size: – Rainbow Runners are known to attain lengths of more than 1.2m (4 feet). The maximum length of the species is somewhat contentious, with most sources giving a known maximum length between 107 and 120 cm (42 and 47 in) cm, while one source asserts the species reaches 180 cm (71 in) in length. The Rainbow Runner with the maximum weight is known to be 46.2 kg, as recorded by the International Game Fish Association.
  • Appearance: – Rainbow Runner’s body is observed to be deep and compressed. The fish has a subcylindrical, elongated body, with a long and pointed head and snout and a tapering rear end right before the point where the caudal fin emerges. The eyes of a Rainbow Runner are relatively small, with the teeth arranged on jaws in the form of bands; the minute teeth are also present on the roof of the mouth and the tongue.

The Rainbow Runner has two dorsal fins; the first one consisting of six spines, and the second one of a single spine with around 25 to 30 soft rays. About 4% of the Rainbow Runners have only five spines in the first dorsal fin and are apparently born without them. The Anal fin consists of a single spine detached from the fin; while the main fin has a single spine and around 18 to 22 soft rays, with the last two detached from a finlet like the dorsal fin. The Dorsal fin of the fish is quite longer than the Anal fin. The Pectoral fin is about the length of the pelvic fin, with about 20 rays. The pelvic fin consists of one spine and five-branched soft rays. The caudal fin is also deeply forked and consists of 17 caudal rays, 9 dorsally and 8 ventrally. The lateral line has a slight anterior arch and no scutes are present on the line but possess about 100 scales. The scales that cover the body and parts of the operculum, cheek, pectoral fins, pelvic fins, and caudal fins are ctenoid in shape. The species has 24 vertebrae.

A Rainbow Runner can most easily be identified by its color; with the name taken from the species’ striking colors. The upper body is dark olive blue to green in color and fades to white underneath. Two narrow, light blue to bluish white stripes move longitudinally along the sides, with a broader olive to yellow stripe between them.

The Rainbow Runner
Conditions for Survival

Rainbow Runners often form schools of variable sizes, ranging from a few individuals to several hundred. The species is known to be highly migratory and has been proven to contain high levels of fatty acids, probably because of the low lipids in their muscles due to their accumulation in other organs. Other migratory fish such as Tuna, also have this adaptation; implying that this is a convergent trait.

Rainbow Runners are swimming carnivores and feed themselves on a wide variety of prey. Their prey includes a wide range of small fish, Cephalopods, and pelagic or planktonic crustaceans, including shrimp and crabs. Rainbow Runners are quite selective with their prey; they may increase their swimming and prey-searching abilities rapidly with their growth, becoming more efficient at finding their preferred prey items. Rainbow Runners prey on open-ocean species of sea-skaters a type of insects which rest on the surface of the ocean. Rainbow Runner themselves is itself an important prey item for a number of larger species, with positively identified predators being Fraser’s Dolphin and a number of seabirds.

The female Rainbow Runners are known to be around 660 mm in length at the time of their sexual maturity. However, the size of the males at the time of their sexual maturity is not exactly known; though it is estimated to be between 600 and 650mm. In the Atlantic, the species is known to spawn from spring through to early autumn; although the Rainbow Runners that live in waters with a temperature of more than 27°C spawn throughout the year. However, even when year-round spawning occurs, seasonal peaks are seen, with fish in the Western Pacific Ocean showing these peaks in May and in December–January. Rainbow Runner is known to be Oviparous, implying that it produces pelagic eggs and larvae. The larvae include a supraoccipital crest and distinctive patterns of pigment and melanophores. The fish at the age of 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 years are estimated to be 30, 46, 59, 69, and 77 cm in length, respectively.

The Rainbow Runner
Other Names

Rainbow Runners often form schools of variable sizes, ranging from a few individuals to several hundred. The species is known to be highly migratory and has been proven to contain high levels of fatty acids, probably because of the low lipids in their muscles due to their accumulation in other organs. Other migratory fish such as Tuna, also have this adaptation; implying that this is a convergent trait.

Rainbow Runners are swimming carnivores and feed themselves on a wide variety of prey. Their prey includes a wide range of small fish, Cephalopods, and pelagic or planktonic crustaceans, including shrimp and crabs. Rainbow Runners are quite selective with their prey; they may increase their swimming and prey-searching abilities rapidly with their growth, becoming more efficient at finding their preferred prey items. Rainbow Runners prey on open-ocean species of sea-skaters a type of insects which rest on the surface of the ocean. Rainbow Runner themselves is itself an important prey item for a number of larger species, with positively identified predators being Fraser’s Dolphin and a number of seabirds.

The female Rainbow Runners are known to be around 660 mm in length at the time of their sexual maturity. However, the size of the males at the time of their sexual maturity is not exactly known; though it is estimated to be between 600 and 650mm. In the Atlantic, the species is known to spawn from spring through to early autumn; although the Rainbow Runners that live in waters with a temperature of more than 27°C spawn throughout the year. However, even when year-round spawning occurs, seasonal peaks are seen, with fish in the Western Pacific Ocean showing these peaks in May and in December–January. Rainbow Runner is known to be Oviparous, implying that it produces pelagic eggs and larvae. The larvae include a supraoccipital crest and distinctive patterns of pigment and melanophores. The fish at the age of 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5 years are estimated to be 30, 46, 59, 69, and 77 cm in length, respectively.

Aruba Fishing Seasons and
Availability of Rainbow Runner

Rainbow Runner is available in abundance in the Aruba waters in the months of August, September, October, and November.

The fish is, however, available in reasonable quantity in the Aruban waters in the months of January, June, July, and December.

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The Rainbow Runner
How to make the Catch?

Various techniques such as trolling, poppers, live jigs, and bait can be used to capture the Rainbow Runner. In case a larger species bites, one must use more massive tackle; however, in most cases, a 30 lb braid works just fine for the fish. Trolling works as the ideal technique for landing hands at a Rainbow Runner, as it requires a light overhead or a spin combo. Since Rainbow Runners don’t have sharp teeth, using the wire while catching the fish can be skipped. These species are known to quickly take on live baits like squids or small fish. Light graphite rods, small lever drag reels are ideally suited for this exciting style of fishing.

The Rainbow Runner
Relation with Humans

Unlike Tuna or Herring, Rainbow Runners are not a major commercial species but are taken in large quantities as bycatch. Their flesh can be bought at a lower price because of them being relatively unknown.

A minor recreational fishery exists for Rainbow Runner in a few parts of the world. Rainbow Runners are often taken while trolling for other species such as Tuna and Mackerel but are often targeted inshore by anglers on the west coast of America, using surface popper-style lures. The fish are caught on a wide variety of lures and baits, with deep-diving lures, surface lures, and even saltwater flies that are actually used for a good measure. The species takes a wide variety of baits, including live and cut fish, squid, octopus, and probably other crustaceans resembling their natural food. They are renowned as gamefish, especially at larger sizes. The species is also commonly used as bait, either as live bait or dead bait rigged to be trolled behind game boats for larger species such as Billfish and Tuna.

The Rainbow Runner
Eating for Humans

Well-regarded as table fish, Rainbow Runners are decent to eat and not that highly prized.

The Rainbow Runner -
Unknown Facts

  • The maximum length of the Rainbow Runner is contentious, which is known to be between 107 and 120 cm, while the maximum weight has been noticed to be around 46.2kg.
  • These species have been observed rubbing against the rough skin of the passing sharks; some suggest they do so to remove the parasites off their skin while others say it might a form of harassing the sharks so that they can leave the area
  • They are typically found in schools and feed on squids, shrimps, and other fish.

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FAQ

Have a Question?
Find the Answer Here

Are Rainbow Runners good to eat ?

Rainbow Runners are better known for their good looks and fighting abilities rather than their eating qualities. However, it is not prohibited to eat one.

When to target Rainbow Runner?

Early mornings and late afternoons into evenings must be preferred for fishing a Rainbow Runner.

What is a Rainbow Runner?

A Rainbow Runner, as the name suggests, is a beautifully colored species that is normally taken as a bycatch whilst trolling and casting lures around the shallow, coral reef bomboras.

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