Bonito

BonitoThe bonito has a small mouth with prominent teeth and is a grasper. It is a strong swimmer and if you are fortunate to hook up with one, it will quickly take off and put up a fight . Normally it travels in fairly large schools and is common offshore. Bonitos differ from tuna by their compressed bodies, by having no teeth on the roof of the mouth, and by certain coloring differences.

When inshore water temperatures reach the mid 60's is thought to be the time to find bonito over nearshore reefs and wrecks. They seem to like structure with which to break up current. Atlantic bonito weighs up to 10 to 12 pounds, but if you are lucky enough to catch one, it can be as small as two pounds.

Here is some information for those of you interested in scientific terms and additional details:

Family: Scombridae (mackerels and tunas)

Genus and Species: Sarda sarda

Description:Atlantic bonito belong to a group which have the dorsal fins very near, or separated by a narrow interspace. It has the body completely scaled with those scales in the pectoral fin area and the lateral line usually larger in size. Atlantic bonito share Atlantic waters with the striped bonito (the Atlantic population of which is sometimes considered a separate species). The Atlantic bonito can be distinguished from its relative, striped bonito by its dark oblique stripes on the back and with a maxillary only about half as long as the head; whereas the striped bonito has striping on its topside nearly horizontal and a maxillary more than half the length of the head.