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bonito illustration


World Record ~ Atlantic -  18 Lbs 4 oz. Caught at Faial Island, Azores on July 8, 1953 by angler D. Gama Higgs Pacific - 21 Lbs 3 oz. Caught at Malibu, CA on July 30, 1978 by angler Gino M. Picciolo

Scientific name ~ Atlantic - Sarda Sarda   Pacific - Sarda Chiliensis

Other names ~ Common Bonito, Katonkel, Belted Bonito, California Bonito, eastern Bonito, Pacific Bonito, bonehead, Laguna Tuna, Striped Tuna, Ocean Bonito

Identification ~  The body of the bonito is cigar-shaped and somewhat compressed. The head is pointed and conical, and the mouth is large. The color is dark blue to blue-green above, dusky on the sides becoming silvery on the belly. There is a number of slanted darkish stripes along the back. It can be distinguished from the tuna by its slimmer body, a mouth full of teeth, and the dark lines on its back rather than its belly.

Size ~ The Atlantic Bonito Averages 2 to 10 pounds with a maximum size of about 20 pounds and a length of 36 inches. The Pacific Bonito is the larger of the two bonitos growing to a maximum of 25 pounds and 40 inches, although the average angler caught Pacific Bonito is much smaller.

Habitat ~ Pacific bonito occur discontinuously from Chile to the Gulf of Alaska, with the greatest area of abundance in the northern hemisphere occurring in warm waters between Magdalena Bay, Baja California, and Point Conception, California. They are found between the surface and the middle depths. Atlantic Bonito can be found in brackish water and saltwater, particularly in tropical waters. They are a schooling fish and often inhabit surface inshore waters. The Atlantic Bonito can be found from Nova Scotia to Argentina.

Feeding Habits ~ The Bonito feeds on small schooling fish, squid, mackerel, menhaden, alewives, anchovies, silversides, and shrimp. They can also be cannibalistic feeding on small bonitos.    

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