My wife and I think this is a permit, but we sometimes have trouble separating jacks. Are we right?
Yes, that's a Permit.
It sure looks like a Permit to me. Where did you see it?
According to Reef Fish Id, pompano look similar, but "lack orangish area at anal fin". Pompano are usually found just off sandy beaches. Lots of them are caught by anglers by surf fishing off the beaches on both the east and west coast of Florida. I recall from catching them that they don't have the black fins - but I haven't caught a lot of them, and a hooked fish can look very different than a free swimming one. Permit can be seen on the reefs and are commonly seen (and caught) in the Florida Keys backcountry.
Key Largo, Florida USA
Buoy M3, Molasses Reef, Key Largo, Florida. Thursday, October 21, 2010, depth 26 feet, bottom temperature 85 degrees. Coral reef, consistent with your comment.
REEF Headquarters | P.O. Box 370246 | 98300 Overseas Hwy | Key Largo, FL 33037 | USA Phone: 305-852-0030 | Fax: 305-852-0301 | email: REEFHQ@REEF.org