If you’re looking for a challenging, yet accessible, fish to catch that’s also good to eat, consider the Rainbow Runner. Although Rainbow Runners are often bycatch fish caught when searching for other species offshore, they are also a fun pursuit on their own and quite prevalent in the waters around the Gulf of Chiriquí and Hannibal Bank.

Here are some details about Rainbow Runner fish, including the best ways to catch them and how to cook Rainbow Runner for a tasty meal.

What Is a Rainbow Runner Fish?

Rainbow Runners are part of the Jack family of fish, but they have a distinct appearance from the other types of Jack fish. Rainbow Runners have long, round bodies with a blue/green upper body and a white underbody area. Between these two sections, you’ll notice yellow or olive stripes on these unique and beautiful fish.

Rainbow Runner fish often hang out on the pinnacles of seamounts in offshore areas and travel in large schools. They are known for being strong and tough, like all Jacks are, and they pull hard for their size. Rainbow Runners eat small fish and squid, and they are common baitfish for catching tuna and marlin.

How to Catch a Rainbow Runner

You will typically catch Rainbow Runners on small, live baits when on a fishing trip in Panama. They are fun to catch on lighter tackle and tend to be a little easier to catch than other species of Jack fish. Try catching Rainbow Runners on poppers with a mid-heavy spinner. But they certainly aren’t the pickiest fish in the ocean, so there are a variety of techniques to use when catching these fish, including trolling and jigs as well.

How to Cook Rainbow Runner

Many anglers wonder about the Rainbow Runner fish eating quality, and the good news is that these are delicious fish to eat. Rainbow Runner fish are excellent to use raw when preparing sushi and ceviche. If you prefer cooked fish, you can cook Rainbow Runner in a cast-iron skillet with butter and marinate with garlic, onion, and other seasonings. Another idea for how to cook Rainbow Runner is to pan-sear the fish with just a little sesame oil, salt, and pepper.

Plan Your Rainbow Runner Fishing Experience

But if you prefer to focus on the fishing and leave the cooking to someone else, book a stay at our Panama sport fishing lodge and let Chef Eddie do all the work. We’ll serve you breakfast, lunch, and dinner at our lodge, along with beer, wine, and spirits included too.

Book your trip with us today and learn how to catch Rainbow Runners from the pros!