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Skipjack Tuna illustration

Skipjack Tuna

World Record ~ 45 Lbs 4 oz. Caught at  Flathead Bank, Mexico on Nov. 16, 1996 by angler Brian Evans

Scientific name ~ Katsuwonus Pelamis

Other names ~ Skipjack, arctic bonito, Atlantic bonito, banjo, bonito, lesser tunny, mushmouth, ocean bonito, oceanic skipjack, skipper, skippy, stripe bellied bonito, striped bellied tunny, striped bonito, striped tunny, victor fish, watermelon, and white bonito, Aku

Identification ~  The Skipjack Tuna is dark blue or purple along the back, while the belly and lower sides are silvery and have 4 to 6 dark but broken lines running the length of the body. Like other tunas, the skipjack tuna has a fusiform (football shaped, tapered at both ends) body shape. It has two dorsal fins: the first with spines, the second without. There is a single row of small, conical teeth in the mouth.

Size ~ The angler caught Skipjack Tuna commonly has a weight of between 5 and 22 pounds and measures 32 inches or less.

Habitat ~ The Skipjack Tuna is found worldwide in tropical and subtropical waters in the 58 F to 86 F  range. The skipjack Tuna is usually found near the surface during the day but is believed to descend to depths of up to 850 feet at night. The Skipjack Tuna can often be found in large schools under large drifting objects.

Feeding Habits ~  The diet of the Skipjack Tuna consists of bait fish near the surface such as herring, mackerel, bonito, and lanternfish. It also feeds on crustaceans, shrimp, and squid. Feeding seems to mostly occur at dawn and dusk.


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