Sarda Sarda



Nearshore, Reef

10 - 12 pounds

8" - 36"

Atlantic Bonito 

Also Known As: Bloater, Bone Jack, Bonito, Boston Mackerel, Common Bonito, Skipjack

Guides Who Fish This Species

Atlantic Bonito (Sarda Sarda)

Fish Description

This is a huge mackerel-like fish of the Scombridae species.
They are mainly silver with blueish-green dorsal fins and have black stripes along their body.
They are shaped similar to tuna but with a thinner, compressed body and a very narrow caudal peduncle. The caudal peduncle helps the fish move quickly through the water. These fish are capable of reaching a speed of 40 mph.

The Bonito can grow up to 12 pounds and 30 inches. The world record, 18 lbs 4 ounces was caught in the Azores. The average age is approximately 15 to 18 years.

Atlantic Bonito Distribution

Atlantic Bonito can be found as far north as Nova Scotia, Canada, and all along the eastern seaboard coast. They continue as far as Argentina, South America. However, they will be scarce in the Gulf of Mexico.


They are also found in the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea where they are a popular food and often used as canned tuna. They are a very oily fish and not used for consumption in the United States.

Atlantic Bonito have no size or bag regulations in the United States.

Atlantic Bonito Fun Facts

They are associated with the tuna family but are not used as an edible fish in the United States. They can be known as a false albacore or a little tunny.

The schools of Atlantic Bonito swim with their dorsal fin raised out of the water, like a school of small sharks.

People often confuse them with white tuna.

Atlantic Bonito Diet

The Atlantic Bonito is a ram ventilator, meaning they cannot bite. They must eat their prey whole which are mostly smaller fishes like mackerels, menhaden, alewives, sardines, and sand lance.

Predators of the Atlantic Bonito are larger fish like tuna, marlin, and wahoo.

Atlantic Bonito Method and Lures

Atlantic bonito group in large schools in the hundreds. These schools feed on the surface, chasing their prey and sometimes jumping above the surface of the water in their pursu